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)





[05/03/16 - 10:36 AM]
Molly Ringwald, Meredith Vieira, Amy Sedaris, John Hodgman, and "Hamilton" Cast Members Guest Star in Season Two of Bravo Media's "Odd Mom Out"
They'll join the previously announced Drew Barrymore and Blythe Danner.

[05/03/16 - 10:01 AM]
TBS's "Search Party" Adds Rosie Perez, Ron Livingston, Christine Taylor & Parker Posey in Recurring Roles
In addition, Brandon Micheal Hall has been named a series regular.

[05/03/16 - 09:07 AM]
Vice Media and ESPN Enter Production and Distribution Deal Across Digital, Mobile, and TV
Select films from ESPN's renowned documentary series "30 for 30" will air on Viceland, the new cable network from Vice.

[05/03/16 - 08:45 AM]
Monday's Broadcast Ratings: "The Voice" Extends NBC's Demo Win Streak
The Peacock has taken home the adults 18-49 crown for seven consecutive Mondays.

[05/03/16 - 08:29 AM]
Acclaimed Italian Crime Series "Gomorrah" Premieres August 24 on SundanceTV
As previously announced, the network has acquired seasons one and two from The Weinstein Company, each season featuring 12 one-hour episodes.

[05/03/16 - 07:22 AM]
Bravo Media Debuts New Series "Below Deck Mediterranean" Launching Activations in New York City and Across Digital Platforms
The network kicks off the new installment of the hit series with a premiere day stunt in New York City, as well as with a "Below Deck Mediterranean" Lens on Snapchat.

[05/03/16 - 07:17 AM]
Surging VH1 Greenlights Weekly Topical Show with Pop Culture Maven and Social Media Powerhouse Amber Rose Slated to Premiere This Summer
Rose will conduct candid interviews with celebrity friends and lead provocative, entertaining and humorous conversations with guests about pop culture, motherhood, relationships, friendships, race, and entrepreneurship.

[05/03/16 - 06:00 AM]
Amazon Prime Video Adds the Latest Series from The Weinstein Company and Oscar and Emmy-Winner Julian Fellowes, "Julian Fellowes Presents Doctor Thorne," to Its Original Series Lineup
The series stars Tom Hollander as Doctor Thorne, Ian McShane as Sir Roger Scatcherd, and Alison Brie as Miss Martha Dunstable.

[05/02/16 - 11:53 AM]
Freeform's "That's So Throwback" Programming Event Begins May 2
Laugh along with Lizzie McGuire as she competes with Kate, flash forward to the future with Raven Baxter, live a double life with Hannah Montana, and help Kim Possible save the world.

[05/02/16 - 11:03 AM]
FYI Premieres New Series "Teenage Newlyweds" - Tuesday, May 31 at 10pm ET/PT
The series captures their weddings and all the ups and downs of juggling family, school, career, finances and first homes, while still navigating life as a teenager.

[05/02/16 - 10:49 AM]
Rivalries Reach New Heights as the Competition Goes Down to the Wire in "Wicked Tuna's" Season Finale on Nat Geo Channel
The high-octane season five finale will be followed immediately by National Geographic Channel's only live show-after-the-show, "Reel Talk Live," on Monday, May 16.

[05/02/16 - 10:38 AM]
Oprah Winfrey to Star in HBO Films' "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks"
The film tells the true story of Henrietta Lacks, an African-American woman whose cells were used to create the first immortal human cell line.

[05/02/16 - 10:30 AM]
Former Ohio State & NFL All-Pro Robert Smith Added to FOX Sports & BTN College Football Rosters
Smith teams with host Rob Stone and analysts Dave Wannstedt and Matt Leinart for pregame, halftime and postgame coverage on the FOX broadcast network and FS1 and appears on BTN studio shows throughout the week.

[05/02/16 - 10:11 AM]
Own a Piece of History with "The Oprah Winfrey Show" Audience Chair Auction
A select number of studio audience chairs will be available for auction with net proceeds going to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation.

[05/02/16 - 09:37 AM]
Next Documentary in ESPN Films 30 for 30 Series, "Believeland," Premieres May 14
The documentary will chronicle the struggles of Cleveland's major sports franchises over the past 50 years and the impact it has all had on the psyche of a typical Cleveland sports fan.