or


[01/04/13 - 11:52 AM]
New HBO Comedy Series "Family Tree," Created by Christopher Guest and Jim Piddock, Starring Chris O'Dowd, Debuts This Spring
The series also features appearances by Bob Balaban, Ed Begley, Jr., Don Lake, Michael McKean, Kevin Pollak and Fred Willard.

[via press release from HBO]

NEW HBO COMEDY SERIES "FAMILY TREE," CREATED BY CHRISTOPHER GUEST AND JIM PIDDOCK, STARRING CHRIS O'DOWD, DEBUTS THIS SPRING

Having recently lost his job and his girlfriend, 30-year-old Tom Chadwick has a rather unsure sense of his own identity. But when he inherits a mysterious box of belongings from a great aunt he never met, Tom starts investigating his lineage and uncovers a whole world of unusual stories and characters, acquiring a growing sense of who he and his real family are.

Written and created by Christopher Guest and Jim Piddock, the new comedy series FAMILY TREE is a single-camera, documentary-style show in the manner of Guest's acclaimed feature films (such as "Best in Show," "Waiting for Guffman" and "A Mighty Wind"). Chris O'Dowd ("Bridesmaids") stars as Tom Chadwick in the HBO presentation, along with Tom Bennett and Nina Conti. The series also features appearances by Carrie Aizley, Bob Balaban, Ed Begley, Jr., Maria Blasucci, Matt Griesser, Christopher Guest, Don Lake, Michael McKean, Lisa Palfrey, Jim Piddock, Kevin Pollak, Amy Seimetz, Meera Syal, Ashley Walters and Fred Willard.

Christopher Guest recently took a break from production on FAMILY TREE, which debuts this spring, to discuss the series.

Q: You are well-known for feature films such as "Best in Show," "Waiting for Guffman" and "A Mighty Wind." What led to your conceiving a TV series?

Christopher Guest: I thoughtabout doing it as a film, but because there is no end to the story, television seemed the right format.

Q: Many of theactors on FAMILY TREE - including Ed Begley, Jr., Fred Willard, Jim Piddock, Michael McKean, Nina Conti and Bob Balaban - will be familiar to fans of your films. What is it about this repertory group that makes you continue to work with them from project to project?

CG: I work with actors who can improvise, and they do it brilliantly. Therefore, the same actors are seen in most of my projects.

Q: How did you end up casting Chris O'Dowd, who is not a veteran of your films, as the star of the series?

CG: I was looking for an actor who was funny, smart and appealing. The audiencemust be able to relate to him. That's Chris.

Q: The premise of the show - a young man investigating his lineage - seems to allow the kind of wide-ranging possibilities for stories and characters that have characterized your feature films. Was that your intent, or will you stick to a tighter storyline than you might in a longer format? Can you talk about the importance of improvisation in this show?

CG: All of my films have an incredibly strict story line. Every scene is mapped out and that is also true for this show. The dialogue is improvised, which is the way I usually work, and I think it results in very spontaneous scenes.

Q: Are the challenges of working in a half-hour episodic format different from feature films?

CG: The challenges I face for television are different from the standpoint of editing. On a film, I take a year to edit. That doesn't work for TV.

Q: Why did youbring this show to HBO? Could it have been staged as a traditional broadcast network comedy series?

CG: This is not a show that would work on a traditional network. HBO is the perfect place for it.

Q: The exploration of ancestry holds strong appeal for many people, perhaps more today than ever before. Can you talk about your personal interest in this subject?

CG: The search for the details of my own ancestry was the thing that motivated me to do a show around the subject. I have an interesting group of relatives, apparently, and the research continues. The show doesn't reflect my own path, however.

Q: Did you meet with any genealogists or experts in the field in the process of preparing the series?

CG: Jim Piddock and I metseveral genealogists in London when we were developing the show.

Q: What has shooting part of the series in the UK added to the process?

CG: The first four episodes of the show take place in England, where Tom Chadwick, our hero, lives. I wanted to show him moving around to different areas in his search. The nextfour shows take place in the United States. It can go anywhere from there.

FAMILY TREE will debut on BBC Two in the UK this spring.

FAMILY TREE is a Lucky Giant/HBO co-production in association with NBCUniversal and the BBC;written and created by Christopher Guest & Jim Piddock; executive produced by Christopher Guest, Jim Piddock and Karen Murphy; directed by ChristopherGuest.





  [january 2013]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S
  


· FAMILY TREE (HBO)





[09/04/15 - 12:00 PM]
Disney Channel Orders Family Comedy Series "Stuck in the Middle"
Jenna Ortega stars as Harley Diaz, an engineering whiz who uses her inventions to navigate life as the middle child in a family of seven kids.

[09/04/15 - 09:56 AM]
Every Major CBS News Broadcasts Posts Year-to-Year Viewer Growth and Strong Deliveries of Adults 25-54
CBS News further spins the numbers for the week of August 24-30.

[09/04/15 - 09:43 AM]
ESPNU Extends College Football Weekend, Debuts "College Football Sunday" Program
ESPNU will extend the college football weekend with the debut of "College Football Sunday" starting this week, September 6, and continuing throughout the college football season.

[09/04/15 - 08:31 AM]
Thursday's Broadcast Ratings: CBS Rides "Big Brother," "Big Bang" to Another Victory
Said duo are the night's top draws among total viewers and adults 18-49.

[09/04/15 - 08:01 AM]
Fall Into Music with CMT in September as Network Launches New Original Specials, Documentaries, Artist Collaborations, Live Performances, Album Premieres and More
The music-filled month kicks off Labor Day Weekend on September 5 live from Charleston as Darius Rucker performs a surprise pop-up show before his hometown in a brand new installment of "CMT Instant Jam."

[09/04/15 - 07:31 AM]
Beasts of No Nation - Main Trailer and Key Art Debut
The powerful new Netflix film starring Idris Elba recently had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and will screen at the Telluride Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, and London Film Festival.

[09/04/15 - 06:07 AM]
ESPN's 2015 Thursday Night Doubleheader Sees Significant Ratings Increases Over 2014 Thursday Night Opener
ESPN spins the numbers for Thursday, September 3.

[09/04/15 - 04:03 AM]
truTV and "Impractical Jokers" Take Over New York's South Street Seaport in Epic, First-Ever Live Event Celebrating Hit Series 100th Episode
The network recaps last night's special event, hosted by Howie Mandel.

[09/03/15 - 08:23 PM]
Video: "Billy on the Street" - New Season: Sneak Peek
Get your first look at the show's truTV incarnation, premiering Thursday, October 8.

[09/03/15 - 02:37 PM]
"The Late Late Show With James Corden" To Host Top Entertainment Celebs, Sept. 8 - Sept. 10
Corden will welcome Alison Brie, Bradley Cooper, Fall Out Boy, Andrew Garfield, Wiz Khalifa, Jeremy Renner and Jason Sudeikis in the course of just three days.

[09/03/15 - 02:16 PM]
Check Out John Diggle's New Costume on "Arrow!"
David Ramsey's character will be donning this gear in the premiere episode of "Arrow" on Wednesday, October 7.

[09/03/15 - 02:13 PM]
Darius Rucker's Surprise "CMT Instant Jam" from Charleston, SC Premieres Saturday, September 5 at 10 P.M., ET/PT
The one-hour show features Rucker performing on the beach at local venue The Windjammer to hits including "Homegrown Honey," "Don't Think I Don't Think About It," "Alright," Hootie and the Blowfish favorite "Only Wanna Be With You" and more.

[09/03/15 - 02:10 PM]
"Grandfathered" Celebrates Grandparents Day with 1-800-Flowers Promotion
Starting today, use promo code "Grandfathered" to receive 20% off an exclusive collection of flowers and treats.

[09/03/15 - 01:22 PM]
"In The Cut" Viewership Explodes in Week Two, Second Episode & Series Become Most-Watched Original in Bounce TV's History
Bounce TV spins the numbers for Tuesday, September 1.

[09/03/15 - 12:58 PM]
"The Chew" Is All About You! Season Five Kicks Off Tuesday, September 8 on ABC
Hosts Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly and Daphne Oz return for a fun-filled season as your ultimate guides in entertaining from help with a quick fix fabulous meal to aide in a kitchen calamity.