Ricky Gervais on ending ‘After Life’: “I don’t want it to outstay its welcome”

The third and final season of the Netflix comedy is released this month

Ricky Gervais has spoken about his decision to end Netflix comedy After Life after three seasons, saying he doesn’t want the show to “outstay its welcome”.

The third season of After Life hits Netflix later this month (January 14) and Gervais has already confirmed that this season will be the show’s last.

Speaking to Deadline, Gervais called a fourth season a “no brainer” and said “every time someone asks (about a fourth season) I get a little adrenaline rush wishing it wasn’t it.”


He went on to say that he “should do it in terms of economics and the audience would love it, everything points towards it except would series four be as good as the first three and actually better because it’s no good for it to be just as good? I don’t want it to outstay its welcome.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Gervais spoke about why he’s broken with tradition and given After Life a third season when all of his other scripted comedies have ended after two and a special.

“This one is slightly grander, it’s got more of an elegance, it’s got the pace of a drama more than a comedy, so you can explore more. The world is bigger; The Office is set in one place, Derek is set in one place, the world is bigger and people come and go. It’s more like a Springfield, where there’s 80 characters in The Simpsons that can have their own episodes”

He went on to say that “I have no desire to make TV for the sake of it. There’s enough of that. I want to polarise people. I want to open the paper the day after this goes out and I want 50% of people to say ‘It’s the best thing I’ve seen’ and I want 50% of people to call for it to be canceled.”


An official synopsis for After Life reads: “Set in the small fictitious town of Tambury, the show follows Tony, a writer for the local newspaper whose life is upended after his wife dies from cancer.

“Whilst still struggling with immense grief for his wife, Tony starts to realise that making other people feel good is what can give him hope and a reason to live. After all, every end is a new beginning.”

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