HBO is making decisions on the three new comedy series that premiered last year. The pay cable network has opted not to order a second season of Family Tree. Also not going to second season is Hello Ladies, which will wrap the story of Stuart Pritchard (Stephen Merchant) and his group of friends with a special — similar to the way HBO ended Ricky Gervais’ Life’s Too Short. There is no final decision on medical comedy Getting On but it is expected to get a second-season renewal pending the sorting out of budget issues.
Unlike HBO’s dramas, which in many cases are big crowd-pleasers like True Blood and Game Of Thrones, its comedies, by design, have been very specific. None of the three freshman 2013 series – all with strong British pedigrees — have been as noisy as Girls for example, but they have been relatively well received (especially Getting On), and their viewership deliveries have been OK for the price point. Christopher Guest’s Family Tree, starring Chris O’Dowd, was originally designed for an arc. I hear being a co-producing with the BBC made a second installment even more complicated, contributing to HBO’s decision not to go forward. Read More »
HBO’s Family Tree hasn’t started with very strong viewing roots. The 10:30 PM debut Sunday of the new comedy pulled in 794,000 viewers. That is a big drop off from the 1.2 million who watched its lead-in Veep and down from the 872,000 who tuned in for the debut of Girlsin the same slot on April 15, 2012. Over two plays, Family Tree had about 975,000 viewers, down from the 1.1 million Girls had. Bridesmaids’ Chris O’Dowd stars in the mockumentary series co-created by Christopher Guest as a recently single and unemployed thirtysomething who seeks to discover himself by investigating his wacky extended family. The series is set to premiere on BBC2 in the UK this month. Also on HBO, Game Of Thrones’ four-week record viewership streak came to an end Sunday, with the flagship show drawing 4.8 million viewers for its 9 PM broadcast. It’s still a strong number but down from the 5.3 million who watched the 9 PM episode May 5. Over two plays for the night, Thrones had 6 million viewers, down from last week’s 6.8 million. Veep, meanwhile, was even with its Season 2 debut April 14. The Julia Louis-Dreyfus-starring political satire drew 1.5 million viewers over two plays Sunday.
Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids) stars in Christopher Guest‘s spring HBO series as a recently single and unemployed 30-something man who discovers himself by investigating his wacky extended family. Frequent Guest players Michael McKean, Fred Willard, Don Lake, Ed Begley Jr., and Jim Piddock (who co-wrote and exec produces the series with Guest) join Matt Griesser, Maria Blasucci, Amy Seimetz, Nina Conti, and Tom Bennett in the single camera docu-style series. Family Tree debuts in May on HBO and BBC Two in the UK. Here’s the show’s teaser:
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
There are a lot of slashes in the titles of the guys in charge of HBO’s new series Family Tree, making its debut in the spring. Christopher Guest is writer/director/executive producer, and Jim Piddock is writer/creator/executive producer and also plays the role of Martin Pfister in the single-camera, documentary style show. (Executive producer Karen Murphy was not present).
Only actor Chris O’Dowd, who portrays Tom Chadwick, has no official title slash. But even his work calls for an extra level of creativity, since the show’s structure will reflect the improvisational mockumentary elements of Guest’s movies. “It’s very freeing, but very pressured at the moment,” said O’Dowd.
Dowd’s character, Tom, is a 30-year-old man who has recently lost his job and girlfriend, and goes on a quest for his family identity when he inherits a mysterious box of memorabilia from a great aunt he never met. That story, Guest said, is based on his own experience going through the inherited belongings of his father, who died 16 years ago. Read More »
UPDATED:Family Tree has added three more recurring guest stars: Matt Griesser as Greg, the American cousin of Chris O’Dowd’s character Tom; Maria Blasucci as Greg’s girlfriend; and Lisa Palfrey as the wife of Tom’s father, played by Michael McKean.
PREVIOUS, 8:26 AM:Nina Conti and Tom Bennett have joined as regulars the cast of Family Tree, HBO‘s single-camera documentary-style comedy from Christopher Guest that stars Bridesmaids‘ Chris O’Dowd. Amy Seimetz has also joined as a recurring on the project, which received a straight-to-series order in August. O’Dowd plays 30-year-old Tom Chadwick, who, having recently lost his job and girlfriend, has a rather unsure sense of his own identity. When he inherits a mysterious box of belongings from a great aunt that he never met, he starts investigating his family lineage and uncovers a whole world of unusual stories and characters and a growing sense of who he and his real family are. Conti, who appeared in Guest’s film For Your Consideration, will play Tom’s sister; Bennett will play his best friend. Seimetz will play Ally, an aspiring writer who works in a bookstore and who Tom meets in unusual circumstances when he visits Los Angeles. Eight episodes have been ordered for Family Tree, … Read More »
HBO has given a straight-to-series order to Family Tree, a single-camera comedy from Christopher Guest starring Bridesmaids‘ Chris O’Dowd. Written and created by Guest and frequent collaborator Jim Piddock and to be be directed by Guest, Family Tree is a documentary-style comedy in the style of Christopher Guest’s films, which follows the world and journey of 30-year-old Tom Chadwick (O’Dowd). Having recently lost his job and girlfriend, Tom has a rather unsure sense of his own identity. But when he inherits a mysterious box of belongings from a great aunt that he never met, he starts investigating his family lineage and uncovers a whole world of unusual stories and characters and a growing sense of who he is and who his real family are. Like he does with his movies, Guest will appear on the show along with Piddock, who had roles in Guest’s three most recent features, For Your Consideration, A Mighty Wind and Best In Show. The two will executive produce the series with Karen Murphy, who has produced all of Guest’s films.
The order for Family Tree, which will air on BBC Two in the UK, is yet to be finalized but is expected to be around 8 episodes. The series is being produced by NBCUniversal International TV Production-owned U.K. company A Lucky Giant, which developed the project with UTA-repped Guest. Casting begins right away with David Rubin … Read More »