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by Alison Willmore
November 1, 2012 2:46 PM
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HBO Picks Up Stephen Merchant's Latest Embarrassment Comedy 'Hello Ladies' to Series

Stephen Merchant and Ricky Gervais in 'Life's Too Short' Ray Burmiston/HBO
British comedian and "The Office" UK co-creator Stephen Merchant is HBO's newest star. According to Deadline, the premium cable network has given an eight-episode series order to "Hello Ladies," the comedy pilot he co-wrote, directed and stars in.

READ MORE: 'Office' Co-Creator Stephen Merchant Heads to HBO With 'Hello Ladies'

As in the recent HBO series "Life's Too Short," which Merchant co-created with his frequent collaborator Ricky Gervais, "Hello Ladies" finds the lanky funnyman playing a slightly more obnoxious and awkward fictionalized version of himself, searching for romance amonst the beautiful people of Los Angeles and usually just finding embarrassment -- cringe comedy being one of his specialities.

The series, which Merchant wrote with former "Office" writer-producers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, is based on themes Merchant explored in last year's stand-up show of the same name. Christine Woods, Nate Torrence and Kevin Weisman co-starred in the pilot, which Eisenberg and Stupnitsky executive produced.

Merchant is no stranger to HBO -- in addition to "Life's Too Short," he also co-created "Extras" with Gervais, and with him is a co-host of the animated "The Ricky Gervais Show."

READ MORE: HBO Gives a Series Order to 'Family Tree,' A New Show From Christopher Guest

"Hello Ladies" isn't the only comedy to which HBO has given a series committment lately -- in August, Christopher Guest's "Family Tree" got an eight-episode order from the network.

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