Stephen Merchant Says Hello HBO

English comedian Stephen Merchant has been given a pick-up from HBO for his sitcom pilot Hello Ladies, as the premium network sign him to an initial one-season deal for 8 episodes.

The pilot, which stars Ricky Gervais‘ long-time collaborator as a ‘geeky Englishman’ looking for love in Los Angeles, was co-written and directed by the Portal 2 star, who worked with Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky (The Office (USA)) on the project.

Under a fairly streamlined arrangement, the first season will air within a year, though little details of the launch are known beyond the fact that it will broadcast in the year 2013.

The show, which takes its name from Merchant’s 2011 debut stand-up comedy tour of the same name, will also feature Christine Woods (FlashForward), Kevin Weisman (Alias), and Nate Torrence (Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip), but will audiences be as receptive to the format as HBO appear to have been?

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