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Six Feet Under (TV Series 2001–2005) Poster

(2001–2005)

Trivia

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Alan Ball was inspired to write this series after losing his sister.
Within a week of the first episode being aired, HBO renewed the show for a second season.
Michael C. Hall's first screen role. He had confined himself to the New York stage prior to "Six Feet Under". The first scene he shot was in the pilot episode when David goes to the morgue to collect his father's body.
The lone tree in the opening sequence does not actually stand on the hill shown. It was dug up from someone's back yard, and placed there for the purposes of capturing the shot.
According to Brett Martin's 2013 book Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From The Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad, HBO only gave Alan Ball one note (criticism) on the pilot episode, which was: "we love the characters. We love the story, but the whole thing feels a little safe, Can it be more fucked up?" In response, the episode three sequence in which Claire steals a foot from the morgue was written.
Nikolai's flower shop actually is a real flower shop at 14325 Ventura Blvd and was once a gas station. It was in fact the gas station that James Dean filled up at the day he left out of town on his way to the crash that would kill him (there is a color photo of him at the station about to get back behind the wheel in fact).
Both of the main male leads in this show ('Peter Krause' and Michael C. Hall) subsequently starred on other TV shows during which they dated actresses playing their sisters. When Krause played Adam Braverman on Parenthood, he started dating his costar Lauren Graham, who played his sister Sarah Braverman. When Hall starred in Dexter, he started dating (and later married and divorced) his costar Jennifer Carpenter, who played his sister Debra Morgan.
Rachel Griffiths had read the script and had indicated to the production that she was very interested in playing Brenda. The producers' only real concern was whether she could pull off a convincing American accent. When Griffiths flew over from Australia to meet them, she arrived complete with perfect accent, and got the part.
The pilot episode features several spoof commercials for funeral homes and products. This was intended to be a recurring feature throughout the series but was dropped after the first episode.
Fisher & Sons funeral home is actually the well-known Auguste R. Marquis residence that now houses the Filipino Federation of America in Los Angeles.
Frances Conroy is not quite 12 years older than Peter Krause, whose mother she plays on the show.
Alan Ball's cousin suffered from an arteriovenous malformation, which was the inspiration for the same ailment that afflicts Nate at the end of the first season.
Ranked #27 on Empire magazine's 50 Greatest TV Shows Of All Time (2008).
Peter Krause (Nate Fisher) originally auditioned for the part of David, as he was impressed by the political/human rights message that the role had and he wanted to stand up for the character. However, the creator, Alan Ball had found the role of Nate Fisher impossible to cast, and was impressed by Krause and his tangible chemistry with Rachel Griffiths (Brenda Chenowith).
Juliette Lewis auditioned for the role of Brenda.
In the credits of the pilot, you see a pallbearer who has a skeleton ring on his finger. The ring was digitally-erased from the credit opening thereafter.
Alan Ball had 13 days to shoot the pilot episode, something which caused him a degree of anxiety, seeing as he had never directed before.
Freddy Rodríguez's real son Giancarlo Rodriguez plays Rico's on-screen son Julio.
Alan Ball specifically wrote the role of Federico Diaz for actor 'Freddy Rodriguez'.
Anna Faris auditioned for the role of Claire Fisher, but according to Faris she was laughed off by the casting director.
Caskets for the show are made by ABC Caskets in Los Angeles.
Unusually, the title sequence was created after the theme music had been composed (generally, it's the other way round).
Set in Los Angeles because, according to series creator Alan Ball, LA is the "world capital of the denial of death".
Dina Waters, who plays David's wannabe girlfriend Tracy in the first season, tested for the part of Brenda.
Kathy Bates, who directed two episodes in Season 1, would appear in an acting capacity from Season 3 on as Ruth's friend Bettina.
The difference in ages among the Fisher siblings differs somewhat from that of the actors who portrayed them: Nate was born in 1965, like actor Peter Krause; but David was born in 1968, while Michael C. Hall was born in 1971; Claire was born in 1983, while Lauren Ambrose was born in 1978. So, while there's a 14/18-year hiatus between the births of the brothers and the sister as characters (and it's relevant to the story), the actors' actual birth dates are roughly equidistant.
Richard Jenkins and Frances Conroy previously played a married couple in Alex Haley's Queen.
The initial inspiration for this show came from Carolyn Strauss, then the president of HBO's entertainment division, who, shortly before meeting with showrunner Alan Ball, had watched the 1965 film adaptation of the 1945 novel The Loved One, a satirical expose of the funeral industry. Ball's further inspirations for the show included Jessica Mitford's book The American Way of Death and Thomas Lynch's essay collection The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade.
Nathaniel is by far the character who appears most as a "ghost". Nate however is the second one, appearing as a "ghost" in the last three episodes.
Nate's middle name is Samuel.

Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

Both actresses who played Nate's mothers-in-law starred in Ridley Scott's cult science fiction movies. Veronica Cartwright (Peg Kimmel) played helmsman Lambert in Alien (1979) and Joanna Cassidy (Margaret Chenowith) played replicant Zhora in Blade Runner (1982).

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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