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 Girls in 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 …
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.
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 …