Learn TV’s Extended Family Trees, Courtesy of Omnipresent Parents Stephen Collins, Blythe Danner, and More

This week’s Smash included a side story about Karen’s (Katharine McPhee) family back in Iowa, and Karen’s mom was played by Becky Ann Baker — who was also the mom on Freaks and Geeks and will be seen as the mother in HBO’s upcoming Girls. This makes Karen Cartwright a TV sibling to Sam and Lindsay Weir, and Lena Dunham’s new character! Once casting directors find an actor who fits a certain parental image (be they loving, goofy, or tightly wound), they cast them again and again as guest moms and pops on different TV shows (and a few films), which makes for some interesting intra-series family trees. Thanks to Stephen Collins, The Office’s Andy and Private Practice’s Addison are long-lost siblings: Do they share neurotic recessive genes? Let’s explore these and other long-lost families that came to light with some recent casting.

Let’s Explore TV’s Extended Family Trees, Courtesy of Frequent Guest Moms and Dads