Ratings and reaction to Life's Too Short were terrible earlier this year, so most people assumed the BBC would quietly axe Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's latest sitcom. But then Gervais claimed on Twitter that a second series was very likely, which felt strange and self-delusional at the time, especially as the show was then greeted with a muted response in the US.
Yesterday, the show's star Warwick Davis confirmed that Life's Too Short won't be back for another series, but the story will conclude with a one-hour special—to be filmed next February.
Davis cited time constraints for this change of plan, and it's true that Gervais is a busy man, but this smells like a compromise to me. It would be too embarrassing if Gervais and Merchant's latest show was axed after one series, and the BBC don't want to upset two talents with their status in the showbiz world, so best to make out Short's coming to a natural but premature conclusion because of things beyond their control.
What, didn't they plan to have time to write series 2? If Life's Too Short had been a massive success on both sides of the Atlantic, would we be reading about the show ending with a special in 2013? I very much doubt it somehow.
Oh well. I didn't like the show very much, so I don't particularly care. I'm actually more excited about Stephen Merchant's next project, because he's making a sitcom pilot called Hello Ladies for HBO, where he'll play an Englishman who's spectacularly bad with women and living in Los Angeles. I'm already laughing. He's writing it with Lee Eisenberg and Gene Gene Stupnitsky, who work on the US version of The Office. They also wrote Year One and Bad Teacher, which doesn't bode as well, but let's hope Merchant's influence is the strongest.