January 23, 2014 12:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
HBO's 'Family Tree,' 'Hello Ladies' Canceled; 'Getting On' Eyes Second Season
HBO's Family Tree and Hello Ladies will not return for second seasons, while talks are underway for a potential second season of Getting On.
HBO has decided to not move forward with second runs of the comedy series from Christopher Guest and Stephen Merchant, respectively, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Hello Ladies, however, will wrap up with a comedy special.
Family Tree centered on 30-year-old Tom Chadwick (Bridesmaids' Chris O'Dowd) who, after losing his job and his girlfriend, begins exploring his family heritage after inheriting a mysterious box from a great aunt he never met. Unsure of his identity, he uncovers a world of unusual stories and characters -- as well as a growing sense of who he and his real family are. Guest staples Fred Willard, Michael McKean and Ed Begley Jr. co-stared.
Guest and longtime partner Jim Piddock created the project and executive produced. Both also appeared in Family Tree. The eight-episode single-camera comedy aired simultaneously on the BBC 2 in the U.K. The series is produced by NBCUniversal International TV-based Lucky Giant Productions.
The series launched in May to 541,000 viewers, leveling off during its eight-episode run, which ended in July.
Hello Ladies, co-written with former Office writer-producers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, followed the exploits of Stuart Pritchard and his group of friends and was based on Merchant's stand-up material.
HBO co-produced the series co-starring Christine Woods with ABC Studios, where Eisenberg and Stupnitsky (who also produce ABC's freshman comedy Trophy Wife) are based.
Hello Ladies opened in September to 463,000 total viewers before slipping in subsequent weeks. The eight-episode freshman season wrapped its run on Nov. 17.
Meanwhile, talks are underway for a potential second season of dark comedy Getting On, starring Alex Borstein.
For HBO, the news comes as the premium outlet is set to launch at least two new comedies this year: Mike Judge's Silicon Valley, which is due in the spring, and Jonathan Groff comedy Looking, which bowed to a lackluster 338,000 viewers on Sunday. HBO also recently handed out a series order to Togetherness, a comedy from the Duplass brothers, and renewed Looking lead-in Girls for a fourth season.
On the development side, HBO is prepping comedies Ballers, starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and The Brink, toplined by Jack Black and Tim Robbins.
While ratings are important for HBO in making renewal decisions, the premium outlet also considers shelf space, awards season recognition, critical reviews and social media buzz, as well as if the series makes financial sense for the network. While none of the three shows have broad appeal, HBO's brand is to mix tentpoles (i.e., Game of Thrones) with more narrowly focused fare like Getting On and Looking.