Men in Trees

Men in Trees Information

Men in Trees is an American romantic television dramedy series which premiered on September 12, 2006 on ABC and starred Anne Heche who played relationship coach Marin Frist. The series was set in the fictional town of Elmo, Alaska and concerned Marin Frist's misadventures in relationships. The premise showed at least superficial similarities to the HBO television series Sex and the City (on which series creator Jenny Bicks was a co-executive producer), which also featured a romantically-oriented, female writer. The protagonist's apparent "fish-out-of-water" feeling in a remote, small, Alaskan town can be likened to CBS's Northern Exposure. The protagonists in both series were New Yorkers thrust into small town Alaska societies. Filming for the series was based in Squamish, British Columbia.

Five episodes of the first production season, which were not yet shown on ABC, debuted in New Zealand on the TV2 network in June 2007 and July 2007. The five carryover episodes aired on ABC after the first episode of the second production season, beginning October 19. Men In Trees has been cancelled as of May 4, 2008. Its final episodes aired starting with Wednesday, May 28, 2008.


The show first aired on ABC with a preview on September 12, 2006 after the season premiere of Dancing with the Stars. On September 15, 2006 the show moved to Fridays at 9 p.m. ET. From November 30, 2006 until March 2007 episodes aired Thursdays at 10 p.m. The network announced on May 15, 2007 intentions to return the series to Fridays, albeit one hour earlier than its original timeslot, in its fall schedule. Men in Trees was pulled from the air in favor of the new ABC series October Road, which began airing on Thursday, March 15, 2007. After the initial run of October Road, Notes from the Underbelly was supposed to take over, but that has been changed. The Futon Critic and have each reported that the remaining five Season 1 episodes will air as part of Season 2 in the fall of 2007.

Noting the absence of Men in Trees from ABC's schedule since March, series creator Jenny Bicks reported in her blog for ABC that reruns of the show would be shown on ABC beginning in June 2007, continuing throughout the summer. Reruns of the series' first season began airing on ABC on Thursday, June 28.

The series began the Fall 2007 season airing Fridays at 10 p.m. However, due to its inability to hold on to the audience of freshman hit Women's Murder Club and the underperformance of 20/20 at 8 p.m., Men in Trees was moved to the 8 p.m. Friday slot. Five episodes of Men in Trees unscreened in the US premiered on TV2 in New Zealand, and started on Monday, June 25, 2007 with the 18th episode titled "Chemical Reactions". Following the end of the 2008 writers' strike, the show returned on February 27, 2008 in its new timeslot on Wednesdays at 10PM.


Main characters

  • Marin Frist (Anne Heche) - Relationship coach, author, and radio host. She discovers that her fiancée Graham has been cheating on her right under her nose. Decides to start a new life in Elmo, Alaska.
  • Annie O'Donnell (Emily Bergl) - Fan of Marin's books and Patrick's fiancée; followed Marin to Alaska.
  • Patrick O'Bachelorton (Derek Richardson) - Avid fan of Marin's books, runs the town inn and radio station; engaged to Annie. Patrick changed his last name to O'Bachelorton, after it was originally Bachelor, citing the influences as O' from (Annie) O'Donnell; Bachelor from his mother; and -ton from his biological father's last name, Washington.
  • Jane Burns (Seana Kofoed) - Marin's editor, falls for "plow guy".
  • Jack Slattery (James Tupper) - Local biologist and Marin's love interest.
  • Buzz Washington (John Amos) - Pilot of one of the only planes in and out of Elmo. The biological father of Patrick from a tryst with Celia Bachelor.
  • Ben Thomasson (Abraham Benrubi) - Owner of the town bar, The Chieftain, and the local hockey team, the Huskies. The town sports facility, Thomasson Center, is named after him. Allegedly made his fortune by inventing Wetnaps, but left Seattle to get away from his various hangers-on. At the show's beginning, he and his wife Theresa are estranged, but still continue to live in the same house while Theresa conducts several affairs under his nose. When he and Sara resume their old relationship, he asks Theresa to move out. The couple eventually reconcile.
  • Sara Jackson (Suleka Mathew) - Town's former "working girl", single mother who now works at The Chieftain with one-time boyfriend Ben.
  • Theresa Thomasson (Sarah Strange) - Ben's wife, once estranged from him, who works as the town barmaid. Even though she and Ben are separated, they still live under the same roof. It's only after Ben asks her to leave following the resumption of his relationship with Sara that she realizes how much she loves him. Theresa also reveals the motives behind her behavior: her marriage with Ben is the first relationship for her that hasn't turned abusive, and it scared her. She is a former backup singer for Jewel.
  • Police Chief Celia Bachelor (Cynthia Stevenson) - Patrick's clingy, widowed mother. (Eps. 14-present; recurring previously) Celia's maiden name is Hisbut.
  • Mai Washington (Lauren Tom) - Buzz's wife, an entrepreneur who sells various items taken from unclaimed luggage. (Eps. 14-present; recurring previously)

Recurring characters

  • Jerome Robinsky (Timothy Webber), Regular patron at the Chieftain. As the show has progressed, bits of Jerome's past have been revealed (in "The Girl Who Cried Wolf," several pictures of a younger Jerome are seen with various world leaders, and in "Sonata in Three Parts," he reveals to Annie that he is a composer. His last name is also revealed.) Was previously involved with Annie's mother Mary Alice, but the relationship ended when Jerome discovered she had gone back to her husband. He composed a song for her, which he played at Sam and Jane's wedding in New York.
  • Carl (Adrian McMorran)
  • Lynn Barstow (Justine Bateman), Jack's pregnant ex-girlfriend who has again left Elmo because Jack didn't love her.
  • Police Supervisor Richard Ellis (Currie Graham), Celia Bachelor's boyfriend
  • Sam Soloway/"Plow Guy" (Ty Olsson), Jane's husband who drives a plow
  • Stuart Maxson (Jason O'Mara), Marin's book publisher
  • Cash (Scott Elrod), An attractive handyman who finishes repairing Marin's cabin in exchange for a place to live and has a secret"?he's dying of kidney failure.
  • Eric (Nicholas Lea), The minister at the local church that is dating Sara.
  • George Washington (Orlando Jones), Buzz Washington's gay son.
  • Terri (Mario Cantone), Elmo's only hairdresser, a New York transplant, and occasional boyfriend of George Washington. Donates a kidney to Cash.
  • Ivan (Diego Klattenhoff), Croatian ice hockey player


Season Episodes Originally
DVD release
1 17 2006 – 2007 TBA
2 19 2007 – 2008 TBA

Season 1: 2006-2007

# Title Original Airdate Production Code
ProdCode=276009 ShortSummary=Relationship coach and best-selling author Marin Frist goes to a small town in Alaska for a conference about real love and the best ways to get married. After her own relationship falls apart, she finds herself stuck in a town full of the one thing she doesn't really need -- available men. LineColor=0080FF }}

ProdCode=3T5301 ShortSummary=Marin is still adapting to her new lifestyle and her new job as relationship adviser on Patrick's radio station. Meanwhile, she has opened the door to a new romance with a handsome stranger. LineColor=0080FF }}

ProdCode=3T5303 ShortSummary=This year the town's charity Bachelor Auction host will be -- Marin Frist! Meanwhile, the relation between Patrick and Annie is ready to go to the next step, meeting Patrick's overprotective mother, and another relationship gets more complicated - that of Ben and Theresa. LineColor=0080FF }}

ProdCode=3T5302 ShortSummary=Because Marin has been away from New York for a while now, people there are beginning to forget her and are starting rumors she could be dead. When the Elmo town elder passes away, Elmo's sister city breaks its ties with the town just before the New Moon Festival, and Marin sees an opportunity to be useful by finding a new sister city for Elmo. LineColor=0080FF }}

ProdCode=3T5304 ShortSummary=As Elmo experiences a record heatwave, Marin realizes the energy bars she has been feeding the raccoon are making him sick. When she turns to Jack for help, she discovers something between them has changed. LineColor=0080FF }}

ProdCode=3T5305 ShortSummary=Marin wants to find out if you really can be friends after you've slept together. She asks Jack to take her to Anchorage so she can get a dose of culture. Patrick begins to wonder if there is a problem in his relationship with Annie, because she always asks him to leave right after they've been intimate. Meanwhile, Ben gets tired of having to sneak around with Sara, and he asks Theresa to move out. LineColor=0080FF }}

ProdCode=3T5306 ShortSummary=Marin is surprised not only by the birthday party that the people of Elmo are throwing her, but her younger sister shows up as well. Her sister immediately has the hots for Jack and wants to marry him. Marin is left feeling insecure by her sister, because all the attention is now on her. Buzz informs Patrick that he found a plane on the mountain while he was out flying. The plane belongs to Patrick's dad and it went down over 26 years ago. Patrick starts to wonder if it is possible that his father, Eric Iacovino, survived the crash somehow and is still out there. Sara is officially dating Ben now, and that makes Theresa mad. LineColor=0080FF }}

ProdCode=3T5307 ShortSummary=Marin tries to help Patrick and Buzz build their relationship, but things go haywire when Celia reveals they are actually related to one another. Marin and Annie need to unwind and go to a beauty salon. Sara begins to feel nervous about taking her EMS exam as she thinks about the future. Marin and Jack head out in search of friends who have been trapped by an avalanche caused by minor earthquake tremors. LineColor=0080FF }}

ProdCode=3T5308 ShortSummary=After Jane leaks an excerpt from Marin's new book on men to The New Yorker magazine, Marin is forced to defend her career to Jack. Elmo receives a special guest, singer-songwriter Jewel, whose car has broken down. She runs into her former bandmate, Theresa, in the Chieftain. Meanwhile, Celia and Patrick's new stepmother, Mai, face each other in an alpha showdown for the role of "top mom." LineColor=0080FF }}

ProdCode=3T5309 ShortSummary=When Marin goes back to New York during Thanksgiving week to meet with editors regarding publishing her new book, the emotions between her and Jack escalate. Although she is happy to be back in a more familiar environment, she misses her life back in Elmo. Meanwhile, Jack has decided it's time for him to make his move concerning his "friendship" with Marin, but an unexpected event changes his plans. Thanksgiving week is a headache for most of the Elmoians. Patrick must choose between spending Thanksgiving with Annie in New York or with his new family, and Ben is hoping Theresa will help him prepare for their annual Orphan Thanksgiving. LineColor=0080FF }}

ProdCode=3T5310 ShortSummary=While Jack is waiting for Marin to return from New York, he receives an unexpected visitor, who has arrived in Elmo with a secret. Meantime, the relationship between Annie and Patrick isn't getting better after he neglects her at Thanksgiving dinner. Also, Theresa and Ben ponder their future; Jane and Sam spend a romantic time together in New York. LineColor=0080FF }}

ProdCode=3T5311 ShortSummary=While Marin is waiting for Lynn to leave Elmo and Jack, Annie thinks that Patrick can't have a relationship until he can survive without his mother. Meanwhile, Celia gets a visit from her out-of-town boss, Sarah comes back to Elmo and gets a surprise when she sees Ben and Theresa back as a couple. Back in NY, Jane wonders if she wants to keep a long-distance relationship with Sam "Plow Guy". LineColor=0080FF }}

ProdCode=3T5312 ShortSummary=Marin volunteers to help at a rummage sale to deal with writer's block and her problems with Jack. She also gets an unexpected visit from Stuart Maxson, who wants to discuss the second chapter of her new book. LineColor=0080FF }}

ProdCode=3T5313 ShortSummary=While Marin moves into her rustic mountain cabin and finds some unexpected visitors, Jane unintentionally neglects Sam. In the meantime, Sara fills in at the Chieftain while Theresa takes care of Ben. Patrick is concerned he will not be able to give Annie the wedding of her dreams, and Celia admits to dating her boss, Richard. LineColor=0080FF }}

ProdCode=3T5314 ShortSummary=Marin experiments with being 'one of the guys'. Jane and Sam teach one another skills traditionally associated with the opposite gender. Jack works through issues about the baby. LineColor=0080FF }}

ProdCode=3T5315 ShortSummary=Marin can't get her construction crew to work on her run-down cabin and meets a sexy loner. Buzz learns George's secret - he's the son he hasn't seen since the boy was 8. Meanwhile, Marin must decide if she should attend Lynn's baby shower, and, in order to spend time with Sam, Jane tries to establish her New York business in Elmo. LineColor=0080FF }}

ProdCode=3T5316 ShortSummary=When Marin lets the sexy and free-spirited Cash temporarily move into her cabin in exchange for repairing it, she must get used to his lifestyle. Meanwhile, Marin finds herself unprepared for some surprising news she hears about Jack and Lynn. And Patrick wants to officially propose to Annie by asking her father for her hand in marriage, so she takes him to New York to meet her parents and other family members. LineColor=0080FF }}

Season 2: 2007-2008

Season 2, consisting of 19 episodes, first premiered in New Zealand on the TV2 network on June 25, 2007 with "Chemical Reactions". Season 2 premiered on ABC on October 12, 2007 with the first produced episode of Season 2.

# Title Original Airdate Production Code
ProdCode=3T6201 ShortSummary=To help Marin get rid of issues that weigh her down, Cash takes her to visit a guru. On the way back down the mountain trail, an arctic cyclone erupts. Meanwhile Celia and Dick take their relationship to a new intimacy level, and Sara tells Ben about her mysterious court summons much to the chagrin of wife Theresa. LineColor=FF4D00 }}

ProdCode=3T5317 ShortSummary=Marin gets lost in the woods and is found by Jack. Lynn becomes envious of the passion she sees in other couples and wants the same in her own relationship. Meanwhile, Sara's ex-husband wants full custody of her son. LineColor=FF4D00 }}

ProdCode=3T5318 ShortSummary=Now that Jack's fiancee has left town, everyone in Elmo assumes that Marin and Jack will get back together. Mai's cousin from China comes to visit. LineColor=FF4D00 }}

ProdCode=3T5319 ShortSummary=Romance finds its way back into Marin's life as she receives gifts from two men. She also juggles being both maid of honour and best man for Patrick and Annie's wedding. Sara struggles with a church policy. LineColor=FF4D00 }}

ProdCode=3T5320 ShortSummary=Wild wolves descend on Elmo, leading to a heated fight between Marin and Jack. A series of ill-fated events threatens Patrick & Annie's wedding. LineColor=FF4D00 }}

ProdCode=3T5321 ShortSummary=Reconsidering her feelings for Jack, Marin invites him to be her wedding date; but Patrick and Annie's wedding is threatened by dangerous and unforeseen events. Jane flies in for the nuptials and has an impulsive reaction when she sees her ex-boyfriend, Sam, with his date. Meanwhile, Dick and Celia become too attached; Sara helps her minister deal with the fall out of his actions toward his congregation; and Cash returns to Elmo. LineColor=FF4D00 }}

ProdCode=3T6202 ShortSummary=Marin finds a mysterious woman's phone number in Jack's belongings while he is away studying whales in the Bering Sea. Celia suggests that Annie help Patrick remember his old life. Ben begins to put his hockey team ahead of his friends and family. Buzz and Mai offer dating advice to Jerome and Mary Alice, and Jane drops a bombshell on Marin. LineColor=FF4D00 }}

ProdCode=3T6203 ShortSummary=Marin becomes concerned when she hasn't heard from Jack, and with good cause as she soon finds out. In his absence, she is wooed by two suitors, one with whom she has a history and another who is a complete surprise. Meanwhile, Sam and Jane attend a snowplow convention and develop an unusual living arrangement, and Sara's relationship with Eric begins to show promise. LineColor=FF4D00 }}

ProdCode=3T6204 ShortSummary=With Jack still away at sea, Marin gets an unexpected visitor. Cash re-enters her life in a big way and brings with him a shocking secret. Sara provides a temporary haven for Eric while he re-builds his church, but complications quickly arise for the celibate couple. Buzz's efforts to help Patrick regain his memory produce nearly disastrous consequences and Sam discovers Jane's controlling side when, unbeknownst to him, she throws out one of his favorite flannel shirts. LineColor=FF4D00 }}

ProdCode=3T6205 ShortSummary=The town of Elmo hopes for the best when they learn that Jack's life may be in danger. Eager to stay positive, a hopeful Marin focuses her energy on helping Cash through his illness; Patrick decides to take life by the horns and asks a young girl out; Annie discovers surprising news about Jerome's past life; and tensions arise between Sara and Pastor Eric when Eric's church group catches Sara in a compromising position. LineColor=FF4D00 }}

ProdCode=3T6206 ShortSummary=Jack and Marin decide to move in together, but the happy couple doesn't anticipate the difficulty of merging their different lifestyles. Meanwhile, Jane is on a mission to get her marriage to Sam announced in the coveted New York Times; Patrick gets an adrenaline rush while flying Buzz's plane and wants to experience more, much to Celia's chagrin; and after doing a favor for Sara, Theresa has a surprise announcement for her unsuspecting husband, Ben. LineColor=FF4D00 }}

ProdCode=3T6207 ShortSummary=Jack is feeling very amorous towards Marin, but she fears that it may be for the wrong reasons. After Patrick's adventure-seeking stunt, Celia throws him in jail and he takes full advantage of his "right to remain silent." Marin, Jack and Jerome are off to New York to celebrate Sam and Jane's wedding. And Sam is surprised when he learns the truth about Jane's parents. LineColor=FF4D00 }}

ProdCode=3T6208 ShortSummary=Upon Marin and Jack's return from New York , they discover Cash is in the hospital and needs a kidney transplant. Terri still feels guilty for Patrick's being struck by lightning because of the bobby pin he put in his hair at the wedding. Patrick continues to be upset with Celia for putting him in jail, and Celia is having issues with Dick's smothering ways. Meanwhile, Ben's sexy, young, new hockey player, Ivan, arrives in Elmo and is immediately enamored with Annie. LineColor=FF4D00 }}

ProdCode=3T6209 ShortSummary=Morgan Fairchild comes to Elmo to sing the national anthem at the opening game for Ben's hockey team. After running into Marin and getting swept up by how living in Elmo has changed her life, she decides she wants to buy Marin's life rights for a movie. Also, now that Terri will be donating his kidney to Cash, Terri wants them to bond before the transplant surgery. Meanwhile Sara discovers Eric's band is more popular than she thought, especially when she meets his fan club, The Pastorettes; Patrick meets a wing woman who has designs on him; and Buzz breaks his promise to Mai and bets on the hockey game. LineColor=FF4D00 }}

ProdCode=3T6210 ShortSummary=Jack invites Julia and her husband to dinner with Marin so the two women can meet each other. Meanwhile, Sam gives Jane an engagement ring that he found in an unlikely place, and Annie catches Patrick in a compromising situation. LineColor=FF4D00 }}

ProdCode=3T6211 ShortSummary=Marin wants Cash to recuperate in her home after he is released from the hospital. Patrick gets a job in New York with Jane's company as Jane pursues another client who also writes relationship books. Meanwhile, Mai moves in with Celia, and Buzz steps in for Patrick at the inn so he can earn enough money to pay off his gambling debts. LineColor=FF4D00 }}

ProdCode=3T6212 ShortSummary=Marin helps Jack prepare for his first lecture as a college professor. Annie thinks she might be falling for Ivan. Patrick is uncertain about Pilar's advances. LineColor=FF4D00 }}

ProdCode=3T6213 ShortSummary=Marin celebrates the completion of her book by taking a spa trip, where she sees Julia's husband with another woman. Patrick gets several surprises when he comes home. Sam becomes an unlikely hero. LineColor=FF4D00 }}

ProdCode=3T6214 ShortSummary=Marin gets a large check for her latest book. Sam's budget-friendly ways frustrate Jane. Sara fantasizes about another man. Patrick goes to extremes to rekindle his relationship with Annie. LineColor=FF4D00 }}


Seasonal rankings (based on average total viewers per episode) of Men in Trees on ABC:

Season Timeslot (ET) Season Premiere Season Finale TV Season Rank Viewers
(in millions)
1 Friday 9.00 P.M. (September 12 - November 10, 2006)
Thursday 10.00 P.M. (November 30 - February 15, 2007)
September 12, 2006 February 15, 2007 2006-2007 #65 8.4
2 Friday 10:00 P.M. (October 12 - November 2, 2007)
Friday 8:00 P.M. (November 9 - December 7, 2007)
Wednesday 10:00 P.M. (February 27 - June 11, 2008)
October 12, 2007 June 11, 2008 2007-2008 #105 5.8
Season One
Episode # Title Air Date Rating Share 18-49 Viewers Rank
1 "Pilot" September 12, 2006 8.0 13 3.7 12.1
2 "Power Shift" September 15, 2006 5.3 10 2.2 8.02
3 "For What It's Worth..." September 22, 2006 5.5 10 2.5 8.21
4 "Sink or Swim" September 29, 2006 4.7 8 2.2 6.92
5 "Talk for Tat" October 6, 2006 4.8 8 1.9 7.11
6 "The Caribou in The Room" October 13, 2006 5.1 9 2.2 7.15
7 "Ladies First" October 20, 2006 4.4 8 1.6 6.16
8 "The Buddy System" October 27, 2006 4.5 8 2.2 6.86
9 "The Menaissance" November 10, 2006 4.3 7 1.9 6.35
10 "New York Fiction (1)" November 30, 2006 8.0 13 4.0 11.85
11 "New York Fiction (2)" December 7, 2006 5.9 10 2.7 8.28
12 "The Darkest Day" January 11, 2007 6.9 11 3.6 10.26
13 "History Lessons" January 18, 2007 7.3 12 3.7 10.70
14 "Bed, Bat & Beyond" January 25, 2007 7.7 13 3.9 10.98
15 "Take It Like a Man" February 1, 2007 7.3 12 3.9 10.64
16 "Nice Girls Finish First" February 8, 2007 7.1 12 4.1 10.90
17 "The Indecent Proposal" February 15, 2007 7.6 12 4.1 11.21
Season Two
Episode # Title Air Date Rating Share 18-49 Viewers Rank
1 "A Tree Grows In Elmo" October 12, 2007 4.9 9 2.0 7.05
2 "Chemical Reactions" October 19, 2007 4.4 8 1.7 6.42
3 "No Man Is An Iceland" October 26, 2007 4.6 8 1.7 6.51
4 "I Would If I Could" November 2, 2007 4.1 7 2.0 7.41
5 "The Girl Who Cried Wolf" November 9, 2007 4.4 8 1.5 6.16
6 "Nice Day For A Dry Wedding" November 16, 2007 4.5 8 1.6 6.40
7 "Sea Change" November 23, 2007 3.8 7 1.5 5.57
8 "Sweatering it Out" December 7, 2007 4.2 7 1.3 5.97
9 "Charity Case" February 27, 2008 4.0 7 1.7 5.66
10 "Sonata in Three Parts" March 5, 2008 4.0 7 1.6 5.74
11 "Home Seized Home" March 12, 2008 4.1 7 1.7 5.62
12 "Read Between the Minds" March 19, 2008 4.0 7 1.6 5.89
13 "A Tale of Two Kidneys" March 26, 2008 4.0 7 1.5 5.61
14 "Get a Life" April 2, 2008 3.7 6 1.5 5.50
15 "Wander/Lust" April 16, 2008 4.4 7 1.6 6.11
16 "Kiss and Don't Tell" April 23, 2008 3.8 6 1.5 5.21
17 "New Dogs, Old Tricks" May 28, 2008 3.7 6 1.6 5.31
18 "Surprise, Surprise " June 4, 2008 3.3 5 1.4 5.25
19 "Taking the Lead" June 11, 2008 3.2 ' 1.1 4.51

Production history

The series was given a 13 episode order at ABC's May 2006 Upfronts, to debut in the fall of 2006, originally to follow Ugly Betty. After that series was shifted to a lead time slot on Thursdays, Men in Trees eventually followed Friday encore episodes of Grey's Anatomy until November 30, when Trees was moved to follow first-run Grey's episodes. On October 28, 2006 ABC ordered 4 more scripts to be written for the show. ABC then ordered a full season pickup for the show on November 8. It became the seventh new series to be given a full 22-episode order in the 2006-07 season. Men in Trees is among several scripted series affected by the 2007-08 Writers Guild of America strike. In particular, a total of 14 new episodes were written for the second season, versus an order for 22. Combined with five episodes carried over from the first production season, Men in Trees has 19 completed episodes for its second broadcast season in the United States, and was on hiatus from late December 2007 until it returned on February 27, 2008, taking over for Cashmere Mafia. The series was not aired during the May 2008 sweeps period. On May 4, 2008, ABC announced the official cancellation of the show, and that the final episodes would be broadcast starting on May 28, 2008.

Critical reviews



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