HBO has ordered a new comedy pilot from Stephen Merchant, co-creator of the original U.K. comedy The Office. Merchant is set to both direct and star in Hello Ladies, and is writing it as well. The pilot will be executive produced by a couple of his former Office colleagues, Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, making for a little reunion on the pilot set.

Hello Ladies is about an unusually tall British man (Merchant, who comes it at 6’7”) who is bound and determined to make his way into the world of Los Angeles’ most beautiful people. Working against his search for love and acceptance in LA’s elite, glamorous circles are the facts that he’s somewhat gawky, obviously desperate, and not quite as charming as he likes to think he is. The idea, according to Deadline, came from Merchant’s standup comedy routine and sounds like it’s at least partially autobiographical. Apparently poking fun at himself isn’t a problem for Merchant.

Eisenberg and Sutpnitsky are the team behind recent feature Bad Teacher and upcoming Sandra Bullock vehicle The Heat. Merchant worked with Ricky Gervais on project such as Extras and Life’s Too Short in addition to The Office, and he's featured in The Ricky Gervais Show, which airs on HBO stateside. HBO will start production on the pilot before the end of the year, so we could be seeing it in 2013 if it goes well. The project has a good, proven comedy team behind it, and will be able to get away with a lot more since it’s for HBO than it would on network TV, so it could certainly have some promise.

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