Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Megan Mullally, who is joining the cast of the Fox comedy Breaking In, confirmed today that the long-rumored Party Down movie, inspired by the Starz series, is now a go and she will be part of it. “John Enbom is writing it right now, I’m excited about that,” Mullally said during a Fox panel at the TCA in Pasadena. After the session, she added that the entire cast is expected back with the possible exception of Jane Lynch, whom Mullally actually replaced (as a different character) after the first season. Filming on the pic is eyed for late spring/summer. Starz canceled the series back in June. It followed six actors and writers as they do side gigs and try for their first big break. The cast of the show, created and primarily written by Enbom, Rob Thomas, Dan Etheridge and Paul Rudd, included Adam Scott, Ken Marino, Mullally, Ryan Hansen, Martin Starr and Lizzy Caplan.
EXCLUSIVE: Friends with Benefits co-star Ryan Hansen has landed the male lead in another NBC comedy project, pilot Lovelives. Lovelives, from 20th TV, Chernin Entertainment and writer Chris Sheridan, is described as a sophisticated, adult multi-camera comedy about a couple, Tim (Hansen) and Holly, and their challenges of love and infidelity. Tim is an attractive and smart professor of literature at Fordham University who is less than honest with Holly. For Gersh-repped Hansen, Lovelives is formally in second position to Friends with Benefits, which is yet to receive an air date. The series is also for the same network (NBC) and from the same studio (20th TV) as Lovelives, making this second position as safe as they come. Hansen previously co-starred on Veronica Mars and Party Down.
EXCLUSIVE: HBO is teaming with Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Gary Sanchez and actress Lizzy Caplan to develop a comedy series project based on actress/writer Julie Klausner’s memoir I Don’t Care About Your Band. The project is eyed as a potential starring vehicle for Caplan, who is coming off Starz’s cult comedy series Party Down. The book, a gritty but comedic look at what it’s like to navigate the dating world in your 20s, chronicles Klausner’s experiences from her preadolescent sexual awakenings through the unsavory details of sleeping with a gallery of losers throughout her 20s.
Gary Sanchez’s Owen Burke brought the book to the company’s Jessica Elbaum, who recently received an Emmy nomination for executive producing Ferrell’s You’re Welcome America HBO special. (She also exec produced the one-man Broadway play the special was adapted from from.) Elbaum started developing the project with Caplan. Gary Sanchez’ Ferrell, McKay, Chris Henchy and Elbaum will executive produce Band, with Caplan and Burke producing.
Band expands Gary Sanchez’ relationship with HBO. The CAA/WME-repped company produces HBO’s comedy series Eastbound & Down, which is returning for a second season. HBO also owns a stake in Gary Sanchez’s successful comedy web site Funny or Die, which spawned a Funny or Die-branded sketch comedy series on the pay cable channel.
Caplan, repped by CAA and Benderspink, also has a history with HBO where she recurred on True Blood. The actress recently completed Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours and indie Queens … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Starz has decided not to renew comedy series Party Down and Gravity. I hear the pay cable network may make the announcement later today. Both shows were developed and launched by Starz’s previous regime, but new president and CEO Chris Albrecht has stated repeatedly that he is big fan of Party Down. While the off-beat comedy has become an instant cult classic, I hear at the end of the day its appeal was deemed not wide enough to keep the show beyond its recently concluded Season 2. Consider this: The Season 2 finale of Party Down and Season one close of Gravity last week drew a 0.0 rating in adults 18-49 each and total audiences of 74,000 and 54,000, respectively. That is miniscule even for pay cable standards. And the writing has been on the wall: some of the actors on Party Down have already taken other jobs, like Adam Scott, who recently joined NBC’s Parks & Recreation. Starz’s slate has evolved following the breakout success of period drama Spartacus. The pay cable network has focused on dramas with big, recognizable title like the upcoming series Camelot, Torchwood and the Spartacus prqeuel as well as limited series The Pillars of the Earth. Additionally, Starz is developing an U.S. version of the hit Australian mob drama Underbelly.
UPDATE 12PM: Stephan Shelanski, executive vp programming for Starz Entertainment, issued a statement confirming the cancellations. ”After careful consideration, we’ve … Read More »