Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
After serving as its controversial, take-no-prisoners host the past three years, Ricky Gervais is going to have to miss the Golden Globes this Sunday, he told critics during a TCA promo for his latest original comedy series, Derek, on Netflix. “I honestly enjoyed the last three Golden Globes immensely,” he said. “To be the most feared man in Hollywood for three hours is such fun.” Responding to the fact his insults of the gathered stars became such a huge deal, he maintained that the experience ultimately had little impact on his life and career. “That was such a tiny part of my life,” he said. “I literally treated it as three hours’ work. But usually you have to murder someone to get that many column inches. The next day, I’d forgotten about it and was writing new series and new standup.”
Gervais spent the rest of the session discussing his new series, Derek, which originally aired in the UK. He stars as a simple middle-aged man who works in a nursing home. In Britain, there were concerns that the series mocked disabled people with one of the characters in the pilot. Gervais denied he was poking fun at the handicapped and noted that the real risk of his work is in being misunderstood. “The real risk with this is the people who don’t watch it and make assumptions. The idea that (Derek) is cruel follows you around. But some people don’t get it and some people don’t like it. Hopefully, there will be enough people who find it.” The reward of what he does, added Gervais, “is that everything I’ve done is my favorite thing I’ve done so far. That’s certainly true with this. When I did The Office, I didn’t worry about ratings and winning awards. I knew it would be some people’s favorite show, and that’s how I feel about Derek.” He added that he hasn’t been as excited about a TV project since the original Office in the UK.