Starz Ready to ‘Party Down' Again

Starz will party for a second season with its scripted
comedy series Party Down, having
announced a renewal of the freshman sitcom Wednesday.

The series, about a Los Angelescatering team of Hollywood wannabes waiting for theirbig break, 
launched in March and is produced by Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars, Cupid).

"Starz aims to give our audience fresh, original and
enormously entertaining originals to accompany our lineup of hit feature films,
and Party Down certainly fit that
bill its first season," said Starz executive vice president of programming
Stephan Shelanski in a statement. "The comedic pedigree of the cast not only
complements the incredible writing, but cements the show as one of a handful of
truly original comedies on the air today."

Key cast members returning are Ken Marino as Ron Donald, the aggressively pious leader of the Party Down Catering company; Adam Scott as Henry Pollard, the one-time actor who has returned to the life of cater-waiter; Martin Starr as Roman DeBeers, the team's self-proclaimed Sci Fi visionary and all-purpose intellectual; Ryan Hansen as Kyle Bradway, who's an actor, model and front-man for an earnest alt-rock band when not working Hollywood parties; and Lizzy Caplan as Casey Klein, a pretty, smart, funny, and insecure comedienne who happens to make ends meet as a cater-waiter.

TV Squad, which calledParty Down "a great dark and funny show that boasts an incredible cast of comedic actors," reported that actress Jane Lynch has signed on to do a Fox series called Glee and said her availability would be limited to a few episodes of Party Down. But someone close to the show said Starz was close to re-signing her, possibly for the full season, if it can be managed around her Glee commitment.

Lynch is recognizable from her roles in Christopher Guest movies, including A Mighty Wind, in which she plays a porn actress turned folk musician, Laurie Bohner. Glee is set to preview on Tuesday, May 19, at 9 p.m., after American Idol.

Starz has not made a decision on whether to bring back
its other comedy series, Head Case,
which also launched in March as part of the network's Friday-night comedy block
with Party Down.

Meanwhile, the
network said it begins shooting later this month on the second season of its
drama series Crash. A second drama
series, Spartacus, will debut in first-quarter 2009.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.