HBO Orders ‘Hello Ladies’ Pilot from ‘The Office’ Co-Creator

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 19th, 2013 at 12:43 pm,

HBO just can’t get enough of Stephen Merchant. The network already airs two of the British comic’s projects – The Ricky Gervais Show and Life’s Too Short – and now it appears that they’re anxious to add a third series to the list.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the premium cabler has ordered a pilot for Hello Ladies, about an English man determined to find love in the world of beautiful people known as Los Angeles. Merchant will star, executive-produce and write the series. Presumably, it will draw inspiration from his 2011 stand-up act, the live DVD release of which is titled Stephen Merchant: Hello Ladies… Live!

Best known for co-creating the British version of The Office, Merchant has collaborated with Ricky Gervais on a number of projects, including The Office, Extras, The Ricky Gervais Show, Life’s Too Short (starring actor Warwick Davis) and travel series An Idiot Abroad. He has also appeared on all of these series and in films like Hot Fuzz, Tooth Fairy and Hall Pass.

However, despite his wealth of film and television experience, Hello Ladies marks the first project in which Merchant will take center stage. The pilot – co-written by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky of the U.S. version of The Office – could prove a terrific launching pad for Merchant to stateside stardom, especially if the wit is as infectious and sly as some of his previous series.

It’s unknown at this point if Merchant will be going the route of something like Curb Your Enthusiasm (which recently got some Emmy recognition) and play a fictionalized version of himself or an entirely new character. Either way, this series is comparable to Larry David’s HBO series, in that he was the sole driving force of the series without the aid of Jerry Seinfeld.

Whether or not Merchant can effectively carry the show without the aid of his long-time collaborator Gervais remains to be seen, but given HBO’s track record with its original series, Hello Ladies certainly has a good shot at finding an audience.


Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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  1. Dunno about this. Gervais and Merchant are awesome and hilarious, but I don’t think they are ever as good when they do projects individually. They are definatly best as a due, maybe this will prove me wrong though.

  2. I’m happy that Merchant is getting a shot to do something on his own.
    If Merchant will star in the show I would have liked to see it set in London but I also think a fish out of water premise could also be funny.

  3. I think this will work well for Steve. From listening to the podcasts and his radio days and comparing them to the series he co-wrote with Gervais, I often wonder if it’s Steve who is the real brains behind it all. I say good luck to him and hope he does well out on his own. I just wish Karl Pilkington was able to do the same, especially since the Ricky Gervais Show was really the Karl Pilkington Show. He’s hilarious without trying, but sadly I don’t think he has what’s needed to go it alone.

  4. I love Stephen Merchant. His acting is wonderful (Darren Lamb) and his comedic delivery is razor sharp. Was able to see his show in LA and can’t wait to see him back on screen. Some lucky woman is going to grab him! Wish him luck – who knows? He might find a woman who possesses much more than physical beauty – one with a brain AND a heart!