Generally, getting a show on television first requires shooting a pilot that hopefully the network likes, after which they’ll order up a bunch of episodes and hopefully you’ll make it past the first season. But sometimes, a project just makes sense right out of the gate, and that’s how HBO feels about “Family Tree.”
Variety reveals that the network has gone ahead and ordered up eight half-hour episodes of the new show from comic mastermind Christopher Guest, based on the strength of the pilot script alone. Not bad. Even better, as was previously announced, it has rising actor and funnyman Chris O’Dowd in the lead, with more set to join him. So where will Guest’s latest effort take you? The story will center on a 30-year-old who inherits a mysterious box that belonged to his great aunt, and decides to learn more about his roots. Our guess is that he’ll meet some eccentric people along the way. But we love Guest, and we hope some of his regular troupe of players pop their heads in — and the premise certainly seems suited for it.
But that’s not all that will keep O’Dowd busy, as he tells ScreenDaily he’s currently penning a comedy with a unique backdrop. “I’m working on a script about the Irish boom and bust. Because that economic problem was such a well-known case I think the story will have international appeal,” he said. “It’s about a countryside chancer who buys properties and makes his way up through the market and ends up in government before corrupting it. It would take place over a 15 year period.”
Pretty ambitious and intriguing stuff. And it should be noted that back in May he said he was writing a script for Judd Apatow. Could this be it? We’ll soon see. And O’Dowd has even more on the horizon, as he recently wrapped a new Sky 1 comedy series “Moone Boy” opposite Steve Coogan and shot his parts for Nick Frost‘s laffer “Cuban Fury.” So in short: lots of potentially great comedy stuff involving O’Dowd on the way.