Chris O’Dowd to star in Family Tree for BBC & HBO

by Lisa McGarry

BBC TWO and HBO announced today that Family Tree, a new eight-part comedy series co-written and co-created by Christopher Guest (Best in Show, Waiting for Guffman, This Is Spinal Tap) and Jim Piddock (Best In Show, Too Much Sun, Independence Day) and starring Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids, The IT Crowd) is in production in the UK. Directed by Christopher Guest, Executive Producers are Christopher Guest, Jim Piddock and Karen Murphy for Lucky Giant and Chris Sussman for the BBC.

Filming will continue until early 2013, on location in the UK and Los Angeles, to air on BBC TWO and HBO in Spring 2013.

Chris O’Dowd will be joined by Nina Conti (For Your Consideration, Her Master’s Voice) in the role of his sister Bea, and Tom Bennett (The Hunt For Tony Blair, Phoneshop) playing his best friend Pete. Also appearing are Ed Begley Jr., Maria Blasucci, Matt Griesser, Don Lake, Michael McKean, Lisa Palfrey, Amy Seimetz and Fred Willard, as well as, co-writers/co-creators Christopher Guest and Jim Piddock.
Family Tree follows the world and journey of 30-year-old Tom Chadwick (Chris 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.

Family Tree will be a single-camera, improvisational, documentary-style comedy, a style that Christopher Guest’s films have pioneered.

Janice Hadlow, Controller BBC Two says, “I am delighted to welcome Christopher Guest to BBC Television. It will be his first television series for British audiences and one I am proud to have here on the BBC. It has a stellar cast led by the fantastic Chris O’Dowd and is an exciting collaboration with NBCU International and HBO. Family Tree will form a key part of the channel’s comedy next year.”

Christopher Guest says, “I am also delighted to welcome myself to BBC Television. I am very lucky to be working with an incredibly talented cast. Chris O’Dowd has been on my radar ever since he was a child actor in Wales.”

Chris O’Dowd added, “I’m terribly excited and monumentally under-qualified to work on an improvised show with Chris Guest. I call him Chris ‘coz we are friends. He calls me George. I don’t know why.”