BBC TWO orders extra Extras
Roly Keating, Controller of BBC TWO, has commissioned a second series of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's hit new comedy, Extras.
Says Roly Keating: "Extras sums up everything BBC TWO comedy stands for � brilliant scripts, superb observation, subtle and sometimes very black humour.
"I'm thrilled that Ricky and Stephen will be making a second series and that the audience will be able to share more of Andy and Maggie's excruciating experiences in the world of showbiz.
"We've discussed ideas for the new series and the potential is huge!"
Says Ricky Gervais: "It's a good job the BBC offered us a second series, Stephen and I had already booked the studio and promised about 30 actors a job.
"Mind you, we'd done that before the first series had been commissioned too.
"The BBC has never interfered on any level. We know how rare that is and thank them for always 'giving us enough rope'."
Plus, in an unprecedented deal brokered by BBC Worldwide in the United States, HBO has already taken up its option to co-produce a second series of Extras with the BBC before transmission of the first series.
The first series of Extras is due to transmit on HBO from 25 September 2005.
Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Ashley Jensen will all feature in the second series, to transmit on BBC TWO next year.
Ricky plays Andy Millman who, in the current series, is an extra who spends most of his days hanging around with other extras envying the A-list stars.
Stephen plays Andy's agent and Ashley plays his good friend and fellow extra, Maggie Jacobs.
The first series, currently transmitting at 9.00pm on Thursdays on BBC TWO, has received reviews to rival The Office and drawn double the usual audience to this slot - an average of 3.9m viewers and 19 per cent share for the first four episodes as opposed to the slot average of two million viewers and 9% share.
The first four programmes featured cameo appearances from Ben Stiller, Ross Kemp, Kate Winslet and Les Dennis.
This week's programme (Thursday 18 August) features Samuel L Jackson and sees Andy giving Maggie some advice about how to act around black people.
Patrick Stewart features in the final programme on Thursday 25 August.
Extras is a BBC co-production with HBO, produced by Charlie Hanson and executive produced by BBC Head of Comedy Entertainment, Jon Plowman.