HBO orders a Christopher Guest comedy to series

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Is television ready for a Christopher Guest mockumentary series? HBO is betting that the answer is yes.

Deadline reports the cable network has ordered "Family Tree," a new series from the writer-director. Chris O'Dowd ("Bridesmaids," "Girls"), along with Guest himself, will star in the show.

"Family Tree," which will air on HBO in the U.S. and on BBC Two in the U.K., was written and created by Guest and Jim Piddock. Best known for his mockumentary comedies "Best in Show," "A Mighty Wind," "For Your Consideration" and others, Guest has only limited experience in the TV realm. He appeared on one season of "Saturday Night Live" in the mid-1980s and was a producer/director/actor on the short-lived "Morton & Hayes" in 1991. There is currently no projected airdate for "Family Tree."

The show will follow a 30-year-old man who begins to investigate his family after inheriting a mysterious box of heirlooms. O'Dowd will have the starring role of Tom Chadwick, and casting is underway for the rest of the characters.

Thanks to the success of documentary-style comedies like "Modern Family" and "The Office," TV audiences are a lot more used to the format than a few years ago. And Guest is pretty much the master of the mockumentary. He was in "This Is Spinal Tap" -- the original mockumentary -- after all.
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