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 as the US casting director. O’Dowd is with UTA, 3 Arts and UK’s Gordon & French.
Family Tree is the third consecutive comedy project with a British pedigree to get a green light by HBO following the pilot orders to Stephen Merchant’s Hello Ladies and an adaptation of the BBC medical comedy Getting On.