Family Tree is a British-American documentary-style television comedy series created by Christopher Guest and Jim Piddock which follows Tom Chadwick, a down-on-his-luck 30-year-old who inherits a mysterious box and starts investigating his lineage, unconvering a world of unusual stories and characters and acquiring a growing sense of who he and his entire family are.
The series premiered in the USA on HBO and in the UK on BBC Two on 12 May, 2013.
Family Tree premiered in South Africa on M-Net (simulcast in HD) on Wednesday 16 October 2013, at 21h30. New episodes broadcast weekly. There are eight episodes in the first season.
Having recently lost his job and his girlfriend, 30-year-old Tom Chadwick has a rather unsure sense of his own identity.
But when he inherits a mysterious box of belongings from a great aunt he never met, Tom starts investigating his lineage and uncovers a whole world of unusual stories and characters, acquiring a growing sense of who he and his real family are.
With the help of his sister, Bea (Nina Conti), best friend Pete (Tom Bennett) and friendly neighbour Mr. Pfister (Jim Piddock), as well as many other well-meaning but unconventional characters, Tom embarks on his quest to learn more, following leads and clues in London that eventually bring him to the United States.
In the series premiere, unemployed and unattached Tom Chadwick is surprised when he's bequeathed an old chest of curios by his great-aunt Victoria, although he and his sister Bea can't remember ever meeting her.
He finds an old black-and-white photo in the chest that his father, Keith (Michael McKean), believes is Tom's great-grandfather, Harry.
With the help of Mr. Pfister, his avuncular neighbour, and Pete, an old school friend, Tom tracks down Neville St. Aubrey (Christopher Fairbank), a strange expert in the field of antique photos, who discovers intriguing and revealing information about Tom's ancestor.
Meanwhile, Pete tries to get Tom's love life back on track by setting him up with a "model pretty" date. He's just not sure what kind of model.
Written and created by Christopher Guest and Jim Piddock, the comedy series Family Tree is a single-camera, documentary-style show in the manner of Guest's acclaimed feature films (such as Best in Show, Waiting for Guffman and A Mighty Wind).
Chris O'Dowd (Bridesmaids) stars as Tom Chadwick in the HBO presentation, along with Tom Bennett and Nina Conti.
The series also features appearances by Carrie Aizley, Bob Balaban, Ed Begley, Jr., Maria Blasucci, Matt Griesser, Christopher Guest, Don Lake, Michael McKean, Lisa Palfrey, Jim Piddock, Kevin Pollak, Amy Seimetz, Meera Syal, Ashley Walters and Fred Willard.