Honestly, the return-on-investment for this project has got to be through the roof -- no script, almost no hassle from the "talent," a little bit of animation. And still "The Ricky Gervais Show" offers the network a hilarious 30-minute program starring a major name with both critical and commercial credibility.
If you've somehow missed it, the show is simply an animated rendering of the radio shows recorded by Gervais, his collaborator Stephen Merchant and producer-fellow commentator Karl Pilkington. Before becoming a TV show, their radio shows became the most-downloaded podcasts of all time, with more than 8 million downloads.
Much of the show consists of Pilkington offering wildly misinformed opinions on all manner of things and Gervais and Merchant ripping on him mercilessly.
Whether Pilkington is a deadpan comic genius or a complete moron remains unclear, though Gervais and Merchant insists that Pilkington's character is genuine and not a creation.
"If we came up with a character as good as Karl, we would never squander him on a poxy little radio station like this one," Merchant once said.
In any event, the show's return is nothing but good news.