HBO’s ‘Family Tree’: Christopher Guest Previews Upcoming Series
It’s that wonderful time of the year known as the Television Critics Association press tours, where all manner of show-runners, producers and stars sit down to discuss their respective series with press. One upcoming gem we know to be arriving sometime in early 2013 is that of Christopher Guest‘s new HBO TV series ‘Family Tree,’ starring ‘Bridesmaids’ and ‘Girls‘ actor Chris O’Dowd as a man learning about his family, but what new details did Christopher Guest himself bring to the tour?
It’s been too long since we’ve heard any details on Christopher Guest’s upcoming HBO series ‘Family Tree,’ set to premiere sometime in the first half of 2013 and featuring a number of past Guest collaborators. The series follows ‘Bridesmaids’ star Chris O’Dowd as recently unemployed and single 30-year-old Tom Chadwick, who attempts to track down his real family after receiving a mysterious box from a previously unknown great aunt.
Guest, Jim Piddock and O’Dowd were all on hand at the press tour, where Guest explained that the inspiration from the series derived from his own experience looking through his late father’s belongings. “If it had been a movie I think I could have gotten it made,” explained Guest of the decision to go to HBO, “but it doesn’t lend itself to that format.”
Boasting such Guest alum as Don Lake, Fred Willard, Michael McKean and Ed Begley Jr., the series features a diverse cast that also includes Tom Bennett, Nina Conti, Carrie Aizley, Bob Balaban, Maria Blasucci, Matt Griesser, Lisa Palfrey, Jim Piddock (who also writes), Kevin Pollak, Amy Seimetz, Meera Syal and Ashley Walters
The series particularly follows Guest’s usual style of improvisation, which at times can be harder to craft that straight-forward dialogue, said Guest. O’Dowd chimed in on the experience, adding “There is a story but everything is improvisation with new characters and you don’t know why they will respond. It’s very freeing and yet there pressure in the moment because you have to work it out right then and there, and Christopher despite his appearance, is a very funny person. It makes for a lively set.”
A teaser was presented at the panel, which hopefully HBO will make available soon. Tell us if Christopher Guest’s ‘Family Tree’ strikes your interest in the comments!