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HBO is now also in the Stephen Merchant business

Having established a thriving business as America's chief importer of Ricky Gervais, HBO is now branching into the slightly more niche market of Stephen Merchant, picking up a pilot from Gervais' longtime collaborator. Bearing the same title (and from the general description, many of the same themes) as his standup special, Hello Ladies, the show will find Merchant playing a slightly fictionalized version of himself, who thinks he's much more charming and worthy of mingling with beautiful and famous people than he actually is. The difference between this and Extras, however, is that Merchant is very tall. American Office writers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky will co-write and co-produce the show that currently doesn’t have Gervais' name attached to it anywhere, though it's presumed that—should the show be picked up to series—eventually there will be an episode where Merchant will have an awkward run-in with Gervais at one of said mingling events, and Gervais will act like kind of an asshole.  

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