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Netflix Renews the Ricky Gervais Drama ‘After Life’

Fern Siegel

Netflix’s “After Life” is a dramatic departure for stand-up comedian Ricky Gervais, who co-created the British version of “The Office,” as well as appeared in “Night at the Museum,” which starred Ben Stiller.

The second season of “After Life” premieres April 24.

Set in a small British town, Gervais plays a journalist who has lost his beloved wife. In the first season, he is depressed and traumatized by her death — and questions his will to live.

Following the first season, Gervais told NME that “After Life” was “the most dramatic, the darkest [and] the most uncompromising” project he’s worked on.

In the upcoming six-episode season, Gervais’ character tries to rebuild his life and become more attentive to his friends. He will also face the threat of his local newspaper shutting down.

“After Life,” which is made by Derek Productions, Gervais’ production company, has a strong cast that includes Penelope Wilton (“Downton Abbey,” “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”) and Ashley Jensen (“Agatha Raisin,” “Ugly Betty,” “Extras”).

In addition, Netflix has announced Elisabeth Shue (“The Boys,” “Battle of the Sexes,” “Leaving Las Vegas”) will star opposite French actress-director Julie Delpy (“Before Sunrise,” “Before Sunset”) in the dramatic comedy “On the Verge.”

Deadline first reported the news.

Both women double as executive producers for the 12-episode series, about four female friends in their 40s. The women use the time to reinvent themselves and live the lives they truly desire.

“On the Verge” is a co-production between Canal+ and Netflix. Canal+ will air the show in France; Netflix will distribute it globally.

Shue will next star opposite Tom Hanks in “Greyhound.”

Netflix has also renewed the third season of “Sex Education” with Gillian Anderson and ordered a documentary on the late musician Nipsey Hussle.