Michael McKean & More Climb Family Tree

Christopher Guest gathers the gang

Look kids, Christopher Guest Casting Santa has been! Yes, back last month when HBO picked up the Waiting For Guffman / Best In Show filmmaker’s new mock-doc TV comedy we said our fingers were crossed that Guest would find room for some of his regular acting troupe. Imagine the smiles plastered across our gobs, then, when we learned that Fred Willard, Michael McKean and Ed Begley Jr. will all show up in recurring roles.

The show, called Family Tree, will focus on Tom Chadwick (Chris O’Dowd) who loses both his job and his girlfriend. At a loose end, he decides to start exploring his family heritage, a quest spurred on after he receives a mysterious box from a great aunt he never met. As a result, he learns about the weird and wonderful family he’s a part of.

McKean will be Tom’s father, Begley is on to play Tom’s uncle Andy and Willard has landed the role of Andy’s weird neighbour. Another Guest stalwart, Don Lake, will be a friend of Tom’s cousin.

With Guest and regular collaborator Jim Piddock overseeing the show and appearing in front of the camera themselves, the series has an eight episode order and will screen both on HBO across the pond and BBC2 here.

For more Chris O'Dowd goodness (a Pint Of Milk interview, to be precise), be sure to read the latest issue of Empire – on shelves Thursday September 27 – which also happens to have so much Schwarzenegger in it, you may well cry with with joy. And to make sure you get lovely limited edition covers every month (like the one on the left above), subscribe to Empire today.