Englewood, Colo., October 13, 2008 – Starz Entertainment is ramping up its original programming slate with a new half-hour comedy series, “Party Down,” which will debut exclusively on Starz in first quarter 2009. The 10-episode scripted series marks the first show produced for the network by the premium channel’s sister company Starz Media. The announcement was made today by Stephan Shelanski, executive vice president, programming, Starz Entertainment.
The new original comedy series is created and executive produced by Rob Thomas (“Veronica Mars,” “Cupid”) along with John Enbom, Paul Rudd and Dan Etheridge. Enbom also serves as show runner. Co-executive producers are Jennifer Gwartz and Danielle Stokdyk. Jennifer Dugan will produce the series. William J. Hamm, executive vice president, originals productions, Starz Media will oversee production.
“Party Down” follows a sextet of Hollywood wannabes making ends meet working for a Los Angeles catering company as they chase their dreams of stardom. Each episode is a catered event – a sexy, senior singles mixer, a video porn awards after-party, a super-sweet 16 party gone horribly wrong, etc.
“We’ll have opportunity for satirical lampooning of whatever subset the party represents as we tell the ongoing stories of our catering crew,” says Rob Thomas. “If the original British version of â€˜The Office’ was a show about people who have given themselves over completely to the rat race, ‘Party Down’ is a show about people who have chased the dream for far too long. We’re particularly interested in mining the comedy of what happens as the dream fades.”
“‘Party Down’ is a new daringly fresh series that will bring a new style of comedy to Starz,” Shelanski said. “It further fulfills our mission to produce intelligent, contemporary original series that traditional networks cannot offer. We are pleased to work with Rob Thomas who brings a unique and visionary style to his productions. â€˜Party Down’ will be the perfect companion show to our hit comedy series â€˜Head Case’. These two shows will ensure a dependable destination for fresh, out of the norm comedy entertainment.”
Starz Media’s Anchor Bay Entertainment will hold exclusive worldwide home entertainment distribution rights to “Party Down,” while the company’s Worldwide Distribution group will handle international television domestic syndication sales. Starz Media produces and distributes entertainment for television, for Starz as well as other networks, along with theatrical releases, DVDs and new media programming.
“Party Down” is the latest installment in Starz’ original programming line-up. The channel’s first dramatic series, “Crash,” a co-production with Lionsgate, premieres October 17. “Head Case,” an original half-hour comedy series, which stars Alexandra Wentworth is currently in production with 10 new episodes and will premiere in ’09 along with “Party Down.” Starz also features “Starz Inside,” a monthly series of original specials examining people, trends and culture in movie entertainment hosted by film critic Richard Roeper.
Starz Media, LLC, is a programming production and distribution company operating worldwide. It includes the Film Roman, Anchor Bay Entertainment, and Manga Entertainment brands. Its units create animated and live-action programming — including theatrical films — and programming created under contract for other media companies. It distributes that programming, and programming acquired from outside producers, through home video retailers, theaters, broadcasters, ad supported and premium television channels, and Internet and wireless video distributors in the US and internationally. Starz Media (www.starzmedia.com) is a controlled subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation attributed to the Liberty Capital Group.
Starz Entertainment, LLC, is a premium movie service provider operating in the United States. It offers 16 movie channels including the flagship Starz and Encore brands with approximately 17 million and 31.3 million subscribers respectively. Starz Entertainment airs more than 1,000 movies per month across its pay TV channels and offers advanced services including Starz HD, Encore HD, Starz On Demand, Encore On Demand, MoviePlex On Demand, Starz HD On Demand, Encore HD On Demand, MoviePlex HD On Demand, and Starz Play. Starz Entertainment (http://www.starz.com/) is an operating unit of Starz, LLC, which is a controlled subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation, and is attributed to Liberty Entertainment Group, a tracking stock group of Liberty Media Corporation.