Extras is a British television sitcom created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant about extras working on film sets and in theatre, charting the lives of Andy Millman, his friend Maggie Jacobs and Andy's substandard agent and ex-Carphone Warehouse employee Darren Lamb, as Millman rises to fame.
The series is co-produced by the BBC and HBO. It is written and directed by Gervais and Merchant.
Extras has two seasons of six episodes each, as well as a Christmas Special. The first episode aired in the UK on 21 July 2005 on BBC Two and on 25 September 2005 on HBO in the US.
The second season premiered in the UK on BBC Two on 14 September 2006 and began airing in the US on HBO and in Australia on ABC on 14 February 2007. The Christmas Special aired on 27 December 2007 on BBC Two and on 16 December 2007 on HBO.
Extras originally premiered in South Africa on DStv's BBC Prime channel on Tuesday 3 April 2007, at 21h00.
A rebroadcast of the series premiered on BBC Prime on Thursday 1 May 2008, at 20h30. There are six half-hour episodes in the first season.
Season 1 Synopsis
Bitter, grumpy, sarcastic actor Andy Millman gave up his day job in the hope of achieving fame and fortune. So far he's yet to land a speaking part, let alone saunter down the red carpet to pick up a BAFTA.
He remains optimistic however, as rubbing shoulders with the A-list on-set only serves to reinforce his belief that the big time is just a job or two away.
If only his agent wasn't so stupendously useless...
He and best friend Maggie, also a bit-part actor of little repute, can usually be found in the green room, swigging coffee, bitching about their peers or whinging about their lot in life.
Andy and Maggie begin as extras — "supporting artists". Andy, who believes himself to be a "proper" actor, despite never having a speaking role in a production, is discontent with just appearing in the background and often being cut out of programmes altogether.
His agent, Darren Lamb (whose only other client is "Barry off Eastenders"), is unable to attain any substantial or suitable roles for Andy and, although morally well-guided, is terrible at his job.
Eventually, determined to produce a sitcom, Andy writes a pilot script for When the Whistle Blows — a show centred around factory workers in Wigan.
Andy's agent fails to draw attention to the script but, while working as an extra on set with Patrick Stewart, Andy gives the script to Stewart who eventually passes it on to the BBC.