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More Brilliant TV Idiocy Ahead: Science Channel Orders 'An Idiot Abroad 2'
April 14, 2011  | By David Bianculli
 
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My favorite TV idiot savant is about to strike again. Karl Pilkington, whose quirky conversations with Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant make me howl each Friday at 9 p.m. ET on HBO's The Ricky Gervais Show, and whose An Idiot Abroad reluctant travel series for The Science Channel is, to date, my unexpected TV delight of the year, has just agreed to star in a follow-up series, An Idiot Abroad 2...

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Science Channel announced Thursday that Pilkington, whose literally animated HBO talk series already has been renewed for a third season, will be back on Science Channel as well, in a sequel travel series scheduled for early 2012. Called An Idiot Abroad 2: The Bucket List, it takes Pilkington on another global voyage -- this time to experience a list, compiled by Pilkington's co-executive producers Gervais and Merchant, of things people should experience before they die.

"We're thrilled to return to Science for another grand experiment," Gervais said in a prepared statement. "It was hard work getting Karl to agree to another torture session -- I mean series. It was time to give him a piece of the pie. It will most probably end up in his face."

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As for Pilkington, he's as wary about this endeavor as he was about the first Idiot Abroad TV travelogue, which sent him to witness the wonders of the modern world, with various detours along the way.

"I've never understood the 'things to do before you die' idea," Pilkington says, adopting the singular, contrarian point of view that is pure... Karl. "If I was ill, I'd be in no mood to have a swim with a dolphin."

It's that sort of thinking that makes The Ricky Gervais Show so much fun, and which made An Idiot Abroad such a brilliant series in its own right. Science Channel repeated it about as often as TNT repeats Law & Order -- running complete-series marathons as well -- and was rewarded for its efforts with a cumulative audience of more than 20 million viewers. It is the network's highest-rated series ever, and brought many viewers to its channel for the first time.

The Science Channel executives would have been idiots NOT to green-light a sequel. And Karl Pilkington, who now has two successful, renewed series franchises on different cable networks -- well, he's crazy like a Fox, too.

Or, at least, crazy like an HBO and a Science Channel...

 

1 Comments

 

jan said:

I'm delighted to hear it. I really liked An Idiot Abroad this first season, so it should be fun.

Comment posted on April 16, 2011 9:11 AM
 
 
 
 
 
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