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Elijah Wood cast in Dirk Gently for BBC America

Elijah Wood has been cast in a new Dirk Gently series for BBC America.

Based on Douglas Adams’s comic novels Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Wood will play Gently’s “reluctant assistant” Todd.

The comedic thriller will be written and directed by Max Landis, son of Trading Places director John Landis.

The BBC ran a pilot and three-part adaptation of Dirk Gently starring Stephen Mangan on BBC Four from 2010 – 2012 but was not recommissioned.

The actor tweeted his unhappiness at the time when it was not renewed after a drop in viewing figures, saying: “It gives me no pleasure whatsoever to report that the BBC have decided not to make any more.”

More than a million viewers watched the pilot when it was aired in December 2011, but the subsequent three-part series did not do as well in the ratings with less than 600,000 viewers tuning in for its final episode.

A BBC spokeswoman said at the time: “We’ve loved having Dirk on the channel but the licence fee freeze means less British drama on BBC Four.

“In future we will focus on the best dramas from around the globe, like The Killing and Borgen, whilst BBC One and BBC Two become the main homes of original British drama.”

The new eight-part series will premiere on BBC America – part of the BBC’s commercial wing – in the autumn.

Further casting, including Dirk Gently, has yet to be announced.

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