HBO News Blog

Development Slate: FAMILY TREE and BUDA BRIDGE

By Jef Dinsmore on Aug 19, 2012 to HBO News

Who would have thought that another Development Slate post would come so soon on the tails of the last one? It just goes to show you that HBO is always looking for content. Here is a look at two new works that look exciting for the channel. What do you think?

  • FAMILY TREE with Christopher Guest

In a Development Slate item back on 06.01.2012 we reported that comic actor and director Christopher Guest was shopping around a comedy entitled FAMILY TREE. It was hoped at that time that a talent such as his would be a good asset for HBO. Sure enough, just this week, his project has been ordered to series for the pay channel. HBO must have really liked the project because it did not ask for a number of scripts to consider or even worry about approving the series after seeing a pilot episode; this project has gone straight to an eight (8) episode order. No date has been set for the premiere at this time.

Mr. Guest will serve as creator, writer and occasional actor in the piece and will share executive producer credit with frequent collaborator Jim Piddock. They will present the series in the same documentary-style they have used with such works as ‘Waiting for Guffman” and “A Mighty Wind.”

As the show seems to be on a fast track it has already picked its leading man. Chris O’Dowd, lately of “Bridesmaids,” will star as Tom Chadwick, a 30-year-old man on a journey of personal discovery. FAMILY TREE has been described by HBO this way – “Having recently lost his job and girlfriend, Tom has a rather unsure sense of his own identity. But when he inherits a mysterious box of belongings from a great aunt that he never met, he starts investigating his family lineage and uncovers a whole world of unusual stories and characters and a growing sense of who he is and who his real family is.”

That premise sounds like an opportunity for Guest to take on a quirky role and for many of his friends like Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Michael McKean or even his spouse Jamie Lee Curtis to cameo from time to time as well. This is one family we hope will fit in well with HBO’s schedule and viewers.


  • BUDA BRIDGE from Mann/Johnson is set

Two big names team up to be executive producers in a Belgium set series called BUDA BRIDGE. They are Michael Mann, who worked on LUCK last, and Mark Johnson, who is overseeing the last season of “Breaking Bad.” One more name to add to the team is the piece’s writer and director of the pilot. He is Michael R. Roskam (pictured). He is noted for receiving a Foreign Language Oscar nomination this past year for the movie “Bullhead.” Maybe, we should all check out that acclaimed work to get a feel for this young filmmaker or wait for the movie “The Tiger” which he is also directing.

HBO has ordered a pilot script for the drama, a Belgian-set crime story that takes place in Brussels in the near future. It unfolds when a woman is found dead on Buda Bridge, which leads to a series of violent crimes and strange science that bring mayhem to the dark capital of the European state.

It sounds like an intriguing piece as a crime procedural set in the near future. It is also set in a unique locale for an American audience but, only time will tell if this piece grips its viewers. Right now it is in the go-to-pilot phase but sounds like an exciting venture that will hopefully come to be.

This writer braves a prediction that says “with the production team that is behind this work and the unique premise it offers BUDA BRIDGE will be a big hit for HBO.” Now all we have to do is be patient. HBOWatch will keep you posted as this work develops. Now if we can only get some development news about AMERICAN GODS!


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