|Source: Channel 4|
Executive producer and lead star Ricky Gervais has this week announced the commissioning of a new one-off special episode of his hit comedy-drama Derek for broadcast on Channel 4 in the not too distant future. The show, which has amassed a weekly viewership of nearly 2 million viewers over the course of a pair of critically acclaimed six-episode seasons, centres on Broadhill, a fictitious nursing home that plays host to a range of eclectic residents and a similarly diverse team of staff, the most dedicated and instantly lovable of which is undoubtedly the titular protagonist.
In a day and age such as this where UK TV dramas struggle to maintain remarkable viewing ratings and therefore often fall prey to the axe as their respective broadcasters begin to lose faith in their future potential, for Derek to have survived three whole years in the form of a pilot episode (which was broadcast in 2012) and the two aforementioned series is a hugely commendable feat to be sure. Fans (this writer included) were probably cautiously optimistic about the possibility of a full third season of the show being commissioned after the widespread success of this year's run, yet what with the just-announced development of Gervais' The Office spin-off film Life on the Road, it was all but inevitable that the beloved British producer and writer's most successful TV venture yet would resultantly fall by the wayside. If anything, a (presumably) feature-length episode such as this might well turn out to be the perfect send-off for a programme which has constantly subverted pre-conceptions of both its genre and subject and which will thus be sorely missed by its enduringly extensive fandom.
Derek will return to Channel 4 for its heart-warming final outing in 2015.