–The Minds Behind “The Office” and “Extras” Bring the Eight-Part Series to Science Channel Beginning January 22 —
(Pasadena, Ca.) This January, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant are bringing the most elaborate practical-joke-turned-sociology-experiment in television history to Science Channel. The Emmy®-winning crazy geniuses behind the acclaimed series “The Office” and “Extras” bring the eight-episode series AN IDIOT ABROAD to the United States, beginning Saturday, January 22, at 10:00 PM ET/PT. A special preview episode will air immediately prior to the series premiere at 9:30 PM ET/PT.
“It’s great to have AN IDIOT ABROAD on such a prestigious and innovative outlet,” said Gervais. “Karl didn’t even go to school and now look at him. I can’t wait to hear how they announce it on air. ‘And now on Science Channel, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant send a chimp around the world to annoy it.'”
In AN IDIOT ABROAD, Gervais and Merchant surprise their close friend – and close-minded curmudgeon – Karl Pilkington with a forced trip around the globe to visit the Seven Wonders of the World. This jet-setting adventure would be a dream come true for most, but it is a nightmare for Pilkington, who has no interest at all in ever leaving his comfort zone in the UK. Despite his resistance, however, he’s shipped to exotic locales, including the Great Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Wall of China, and the Taj Mahal. His assignment at each destination is to learn the history of each Wonder of the World and immerse himself in the local customs. Will Pilkington, whom Ricky calls “the real-life Homer Simpson,” broaden his perspective or trigger an international incident?
“Science Channel is television’s home for the thought provocateur – and no one provokes like Ricky Gervais. He’s the perfect fit for our network,” said Debbie Myers, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Science Channel. “Karl Pilkington gives AN IDIOT ABROAD a real heart. He has a fearless, childlike wonder that allows him to ask the questions that others are afraid to. His fish-out-of-water experiences in these new, mysterious worlds make him the epitome of an ‘accidental scientist.'”
AN IDIOT ABROAD is produced for Science Channel by Mentorn International. For Science Channel, Brian Lavin is network producer, and for Mentorn International, Dan Goldsack is executive producer.
About Science Channel
Science Channel, a division of Discovery Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), is home for the thought provocateur, the individual who is unafraid to ask the killer questions of “how” and “why not.” The network is a playground for those with audacious intellects and features programming willing to go beyond imagination to explore the unknown. Guided by curiosity, Science Channel looks for innovation in mysterious new worlds as well as in its own backyard. Science Channel and the Science Channel HD simulcast reach more than 68 million U.S. households. The network also features high-traffic online and social media destinations, including ScienceChannel.com, facebook.com/ScienceChannel and twitter.com/ScienceChannel.
Mentorn’s output has a breadth and quality that ranks it as one of the UK’s foremost producers. Established in 1985, Mentorn Media is one of the UK’s longest established independent television production companies, making thousands of hours for broadcasters in the UK and worldwide. With offices across the UK they produce programs across a range of genres. Question Time and Underage and Pregnant are recognized brands in the BBC’s output, placing Mentorn as the sixth biggest supplier in terms of hours to the BBC in 2009. Over the last couple years Mentorn has produced two series of The School Musical and, in 2010, An Idiot Abroad with Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington for Sky 1HD. Mentorn USA has been established for 10 years in Los Angeles and has produced award-winning Bravo US series, Work Out; Paradise Hotel which ran on FOX, Fox Reality and MyNetwork; Chef Academy for Bravo US and American’s Worst Driver for the Travel Channel. Mentorn International is the distribution arm of Mentorn and Mentorn USA, leading independent producers in the UK and North America, with successful International formats, and, award-winning programming for the UK and worldwide. Mentorn International sells formats and licensed programmes including reality, entertainment, factual entertainment and factual genres.