TV3 Hopes Idiot Will Have Broad Appeal

Spot the idiot abroad

TV3 will be banking on tonight’s 9.30 HD premiere of the Ricky Gervais hit, An Idiot Abroad, to reverse the fortunes of the first few days of its new season.

Other than the popularity of The Almighty Johnsons, TV3 has taken a hit with new shows like Hawaii Five-O and Bigger Better Faster Stronger underperforming and returning series such as CSI and SVU showing their age.

An Idiot Abroad, in which Geravis and Office co-creator Stephen Merchant send podcast collaborator Karl Pilkington off to explore the globe as “some kind of real-life Homer Simpson”, has been such a success that a second series has been commissioned.

Pilkington said in a BBC Radio interview that An Idiot Abroad 2: The Bucket List will add a twist by focusing on the experiences people should have before they die – although he’s sceptical of the concept.

“I’ve never understood the ‘things to do before you die’ idea. If I was ill, I’d be in no mood to have a swim with a dolphin.”

To see why Pilkington was even picked to front the show, the Daily Telegraph interviewed him on the eve of its Sky 1 premiere in the UK, and learned: “The only reason I did this, is because my girlfriend, Suzanne, who knows me better than anyone, said: ‘It’s a good opportunity to see the world.’”

Meanwhile, An Idiot Abroad’s humour has travelled well, having sold to the Discovery Channel (Canada), SVT (Sweden), TV3 (Denmark), YLE (Finland), NRK (Norway) and ITC Skjarinn (Iceland), and Network Ten (Australia).

In the US, it scored record ratings for the Science Channel.

Said The Hollywood Reporter of its premiere: “An Idiot Abroad is ridiculously funny and even when it’s clear that Gervais and Merchant – pulling the strings back home in England and communicating with Pilkington via cell phone – are having a cruel laugh, it’s nearly impossible not to fall apart laughing at poor Pilkington’s fate.”

For a sneak peek of Pilkington’s “fate”, see this photo gallery.

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One Response to “TV3 Hopes Idiot Will Have Broad Appeal”

  1. I see that TV3 will have had their hopes dashed then … According to Throng’s access to ratings information, it did very poorly indeed.

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