| PASADENA, Calif.
PASADENA, Calif. Jan 9 Ricky Gervais, the brash
Briton who built a career on biting satire, is showing off his
Gervais stars in "Derek," a comedy he wrote about a man who
works in a retirement home filled with many characters in their
80s and 90s.
The creator of "The Office" mockumentary said the new
program featured flawed characters like the ones that were
hallmarks of his earlier works, but was "sweeter."
"It's a show about kindness first and foremost," Gervais
told reporters and TV critics on Wednesday at a meeting of the
Television Critics Association.
"There's some more dramatic moments than 'The Office' or
'Extras,'" his show about actors looking for a big break, he
added. "It's sweeter. It still has the existentialism of 'The
Office.' There are still characters being daft, silly, or nice."
The show, which has already aired in Britain, will be
released this spring on Netflix Inc, the subscription
video service available in the United States, Canada, Latin
America and parts of Europe.
"Derek" stirred controversy in Britain when some critics
complained that Gervais' character, Derek Noakes, appeared to
have a disability and was being mocked.
Gervais has denied Noakes is disabled or that he was being
cruel, describing his character as "innocent, he's childlike,
and he's in awe of the world. He does the right thing. He
doesn't think about it."
Gervais famously skewered the top names in Hollywood during
three hosting gigs at the Golden Globe awards, one of the
industry's biggest celebrations of film and television.
Gervais said he conceived the Derek Noakes character more
than a decade ago and thought about making him an autograph
seeker, putting him in a setting that would provide another
chance to satirize celebrity culture. But he decided against it,
placing Noakes instead in a retirement home after being inspired
by family members who work as caregivers.
"I've got the swipes at fame and all those things out of the
system, I think, and now it's about things that really matter."
Gervais said he will not attend this year's Golden Globes
ceremony on Sunday because he is starting work on the next
"Muppets" movie. But he does miss the hosting gig.
"To be the most feared man in Hollywood for three hours is
such fun," he said.