Chances are, you've never seen 'Party Down' (Fri., April 23 at 10PM ET on Starz), the little show that has gotten a lot of buzz. You've probably heard of the comedy show about struggling Hollywood-types getting by as caterers. Maybe you've seen the bus shelter poster of it.
You probably also don't know that the Starz comedy is one of the most witty shows on television. It's topped many "best of" lists -- it was named one of the 10 best shows of 2009 by The American Film Institute -- and attracted tons of Hollywood talent from Megan Mullally to Steve Guttenberg. So, what makes 'Party Down' so special and how does it keep attracting movie and TV stars? Let's break it down.
It's a show about a group of people chasing their Hollywood dream -- they also happen to be working as caterers to get by. It's a workplace comedy where the workplace changes every week. One day the gang from Party Down Catering will be working a funeral and the next day it could be a child's birthday party. Each week it's a different party and different guest stars.
More after the jump.
The 'Mars' mastermind doesn't want fans to continue on the roller coaster that has been the 'Veronica Mars' movie saga, but he is exploring alternate routes -- like indie financing -- to reunite with Kristen Bell and the residents of Neptune on the big screen.
While promoting the second season of 'Party Down' (that part of the interview coming soon), Thomas divulged some new details about his ongoing quest to give 'Mars' fans a taste of the snarky private eye on the big screen.
Mullally is replacing Jane Lynch, whose role as Sue Sylvester on Glee has been bumped up from recurring character to series regular. She plays "Lydia Dunfree, who leaves her small town and her failed marriage to help her 13-year-old daughter Escapade achieve her dream of becoming an actress. In addition to working as a cater-waiter for Party Down, Lydia is looking for Mr. Right."
As we mentioned last week, even a petition set up by star Christina Applegate couldn't save Samantha Who? from the axe. It's a shame. Applegate has turned into such a magnetic and charming comedic actor. Here's hoping she gets another shot at her own show or, like Jason already suggested, a long-running guest stint on HIMYM or maybe The Big Bang Theory.
ABC is also making room on its summer schedule for the final eps of Cupid and In the Motherhood. The sole remaining ep of Cupid, which shared the same fate as the 1998 show it was based on, will air June 16 -- if the NBA Finals don't make it to Game 6! (That's another slap in the face from the network to Cupid creator Rob Thomas). In the Motherhood's final three eps will begin airing June 25 at 8:30 p.m.
Only three episodes in and the Cupid cancellation rumors are swirling. According to some sites, the show is already dead. I might have been upset about Cupid going bye bye two weeks ago. Today, not so much.
I won't weep for a show that delivers warmed over fluff instead of compelling stories and interesting characters week after week. The first two episodes weren't amazing, but the charming cast, some great guest stars and the show's optimistic spirit managed to make them watchable. Tonight's ep dragged, the story and the couple of the week were straight outta dullsville, and Trevor and Claire's banter is getting old fast.
(S01E02) Like I wrote last week, the success of Cupid 2.0 will hinge heavily on the guest stars. Luckily, this week's guest stars were great.
Erik Palladino and Julie Ann Emery (as Mick and Riley) gave me the warm fuzzies as Cupid's latest couple of the week. I enjoyed their chemistry so much that I was able to forgive the stock "surprise twist" that reared its witless head in the third act.
ABC's original Cupid from 10 years ago, also headed up by executive producer Rob Thomas, was a smart, playful and quirky hour of television that looked and felt like nothing else on the air at the time. ABC's promos for Thomas' remake made this new show look silly and the quirkiness look forced. Thankfully, that's not the case – for the most part.
Bobby Cannavale plays Trevor (played by Jeremy Piven in the original), a New York City bartender who claims he's Cupid, the god of romantic love. Expelled from Olympus, he's given the task of bringing one hundred couples together here on Earth. Trevor goes about his plan under the watchful eye of Sarah Paulson's Dr. Claire McCrae (Claire Allen in the original), a psychiatrist and best-selling self-help book author assigned to monitor Trevor's release from a psychiatric hospital.
The premise is the same: Trevor Pierce claims to be Cupid, exiled from Mt. Olympus, and he needs to find true love for 100 couples before he is allowed back home. After Trevor is arrested for one of his stunts and sent to a psychological hospital, singles self-help guru Dr. Claire McCrae is assigned to keep track of him as he makes his way in the outside world. This time around, the show is set in the fast paced and cynical world of New York, complete with all the modern touches of dating in the late '00s (Maybe Cupid will have a Twitter account).
I spoke to the stars of the new Cupid last week. While I was on the phone, I asked Paulson about what happened on her previous series, Studio 60. I got a pretty interesting response...
The comedy about a group of struggling actors working as caterers premieres March 20 on STARZ. The show reunites Thomas with Mars stars Ken Marino, Ryan Hansen and Adam Scott. Now, Veronica Mars herself, Kristen Bell, is slated to guest star on the season finale, airing May 22.
Bell will play a rival caterer who makes trouble for the regular characters. Thomas said he wrote the part with Bell in mind.
OK, so maybe Piz grew on me a little, and he did keep Logan nice and angry, because nobody likes a happy Logan. And besides, would you want to see that sappy, insipid Logan in a feature film?
Did you like the way I slipped that in there? Feature film? Yep, Rob Thomas has confirmed that since the order on Cupid has been slashed from thirteen to eight episodes, he'll have time to write the Veronica Mars movie. And he spills the beans on some other juicy tidbits about the film too:
I know, I know; I was hoping to see Jason Dohring, Enrico Colantoni or even Kristen Bell on the cast list too. No such luck. But Colantoni is set to guest star in at least one episode, and so is Ed Begley Jr., who played Dean O'Dell in the last season of Veronica Mars. Plus, Thomas said that Bell has expressed interest in appearing on the show.
In a recent red carpet interview with The TV Addict, Colantoni said that VM creator Rob Thomas is working on a script for a film version of the short-lived CW series. Colantoni is the latest Mars associate to get fans' hopes up about Veronica's jump to the big screen. In recent months, Thomas and VM star Kristen Bell have spoken publicly about their love for the series and their hopes for a film project. Colantoni seems confident that the movie will happen.
The actor also told The TV Addict that Thomas had possibly come to an agreement with "Joel" about the film's production. That "Joel" is most likely Joel Silver, former executive producer of the show (and about a million blockbusters, including The Matrix and Lethal Weapon). If this is true, then it looks like this project might actually become a reality. Let's just hope Thomas can fit it in while working on the Cupid redo for ABC.
The CW may have kicked off its fall season on Labor Day, but for most of the other networks, things are just getting started. So what does that mean for you? Heavy promotion for not only the new shows premiering this fall, but for returning favorites as well. To that end, My Name Is Earl creator Greg Garcia and star Jason Lee spoke with reporters recently about Earl's upcoming 4th season.
My Name Is Earl returns for its 4th season on NBC with two back-to-back episodes, September 25 at 8pm. Not only did Garcia and Lee give us a taste of what to expect when we catch up with our favorite Camdenites, but they also dished the dirt on dream guest stars, what previous guest star peed over by craft services, if an Earl movie is in the works, and perhaps a word or two about a famously abrasive 30 Rock star. All of the details are after the jump.
I am about to write something that I normally don't do when it comes to the way networks program their primetime schedules. It's something that will shake your foundations, rock the world, turn Republicans into Democrats (and vice-versa) and make Amy Winehouse finally get sober. Ready? ABC is being smart with its programming schedule.
There, it's done. Now to sit back and wait for the accolades.
Seriously, after years of relying on only a handful of shows to carry the schedule throughout the year, ABC has been filling out their schedules with a number of backup shows to fill those gaps that always appear when a fall premiere tanks. Granted, some of these mid-season replacements also tank, but at least the network is letting them try. Because of that we have been lucky to enjoy shows like Samantha Who? and Eli Stone. This time around, ABC has five new series - all scripted - that will be premiering during the 2008-09 season. You'll find a brief explanation of each after the jump.
Even though Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas has two pilots in the works (Cupid and Outrageous Fortune), he still hasn't forgotten the little detective show that is singlehandedly responsible for people no longer asking him if he's the dude from Matchbox Twenty. Apparently, Thomas's production office is located on the same lot where VM star Kristen Bell is currently shooting Heroes and the two sat down for a little chat.
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