HBO News Blog

Bill Murray Joins OLIVE KITTERIDGE Miniseries

By Jef Dinsmore on Nov 29, 2013 to HBO News

People_BillMurrayThe developing miniseries OLIVE KITTERIDGE is adding to its cast in a big way. Everybody’s favorite snarky dude Bill Murray joins the cast. He has hit us with some big screen characters through the years in movies like Ghostbusters, Scrooged, Razor’s Edge and Hyde Park on Hudson. This upcoming role will be one of his rare turns on TV.  Before we explain his role let’s refresh your memory on the concept. Here lifted from a previous post is what we know about OLIVE KITTRIDGE.


Frances McDormand, of Fargo fame and Richard Jenkins, from HBO’s SIX FEET UNDER, have both signed on to star in an HBO Miniseries. The work is called OLIVE KITTRIDGE, which is based on the Pulitzer-Prize winning tome of the same name by Elizabeth Strout. It has been shaped into a four hour miniseries to be directed by Lisa Cholondenko. You might recognize her at the helm of the movie The Kids Are All Right but she also directed episodes of HBO’s SIX FEET UNDER and HUNG. It is being produced by Playtone and Frances McDormand.

OLIVE KITTRIKittridge_bookDGE tells the alternately poignantly sweet, acerbically funny, and devastatingly tragic story of a seemingly placid New England town wrought with illicit affairs, crime and tragedy, told through the lens of Olive, whose wicked wit and harsh demeanor mask a warm but troubled heart and a staunch moral center. McDormand plays the title character and Jenkins plays her husband, Henry. It has been reported that this project was such a dream project for McDormand that she bought the rights to the work out of her own pocket. From its premise it looks like it could be deliciously fun; think of Desperate Housewives given the HBO treatment.

In another post we offered this casting note.

HBO Miniseries: OLIVE KITTERIDGE is now assembling its cast. We first reported about this cinema event back on 06.07 and now we have evidence of it shaping up. Joining Frances McDormand (as Olive K.) and Richard Jenkins (as Henry K.) are John Gallagher Jr., Jesse Plemons and Zoe Kazan. The miniseries tells the story of a seemingly placid New England town wrought with illicit affairs, crime and tragedy and Olive Kitteridge sees it all play out. Gallagher plays Christopher Kitteridge, the son of Olive and Henry; Kazan plays Denise, who works with Henry at his pharmacy and Plemons plays Jerry McCarthy, Henry’s delivery boy. They all must be involved in some serious drama in the story.People_RosemarieDewitt

Also of note, and honestly kind of cool to come across, is whenever news from local newspapers shows up that put out casting calls for locals to appear as extras in productions. Such was the case with this work. The Massachusetts Film Office has put out the call for extras as it prepares for OLIVE KITTERIDGE production to start near Rockport. The Salem News site has a nice little article about it. Production is getting underway and as the article points out will be wrapping in mid-November.

How does Mr. Murray fit in? He will play a local widower who befriends McDormand’s Olive. Also recently cast is Rosemarie Dewitt (pictured). You might know her from TV’s United States of Tara and Mad Men. Here she plays a fragile shut-in who frequents the pharmacy where Henry (Richard Jenkins) works. 

If you are still curious about this developing piece how about reading its source material. Elizabeth Strout’s novel can be found hereTo add further depth to what the miniseries will be about we also include the book’s description which states –

At times stern, at other times patient, at times perceptive, at other times in sad denial, Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher, deplores the changes in her little town of Crosby, Maine, and in the world at large, but she doesn’t always recognize the changes in those around her: a lounge musician haunted by a past romance; a former student who has lost the will to live; Olive’s own adult child, who feels tyrannized by her irrational sensitivities; and her husband, Henry, who finds his loyalty to his marriage both a blessing and a curse.
As the townspeople grapple with their problems, mild and dire, Olive is brought to a deeper understanding of herself and her life–sometimes painfully, but always with ruthless honesty. Olive Kitteridge offers profound insights into the human condition–its conflicts, its tragedies and joys, and the endurance it requires.


You can also check up with HBOWatch as we continue tracking this show. Check the picture for proof that the miniseries is in production.


  • Paul Frontiero

    For more info on the movie with a lot of on set photos go to; goodmorninggloucester. Com
    And search for hbo or olive kitteridge

    • Jef Dinsmore

      Thanks; we will have to check that out.

  • Nice! This looks like a good one that might appeal to the Downton Abbey crowd.

    • MrBushido

      It should appeal to everybody who appreciates good drama. I’ve never seen Downton Abbey and I’m looking forward to it, not least because of the absolutely stellar cast: Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins are two of the absolute best in the craft, and Bill Murray is a legend.

      • Robbie Moraes

        Another ignorant, and stupid post.

    • Robbie Moraes

      The Dowton Abby crowd are all snobs. If you want to sound more stupid and ignorant about TV audiences Mr. Klein, you just did.

  • Robbie Moraes

    Bill Murray is old and not funny.

    • Jef Dinsmore

      Actually he is only 63 and he isn’t required to be funny in OLIVE KITTRIDGE . It is a dramatic work.

Find an HBO Series

More HBO

Subscribe to HBO
Countries HBO Is In
Watch Game of Thrones Online
Watch The Leftovers Online
Watch Silicon Valley Online
HBO Premiere & Air Dates
True Detective Streaming
Other Streaming Television
HBO Boxing Live Stream
Game of Thrones on DVD & Blu-Ray
Watch Cinemax Online