Starz caters to comedy with order for new series

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Starz Entertainment is beefing up its scripted slate with "Party Down," a half-hour series from "Veronica Mars" and "Cupid" creator Rob Thomas.

The pay cable network has handed out a 10-episode order to the comedy, set to bow next year.

Produced by Starz Media, "Party Down" follows a sextet of Hollywood wannabes who work at a Los Angeles catering company. Each episode is set at a catered event.

"If the original '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," Thomas said.

Thomas co-created the show with Paul Rudd and "Veronica" alums John Enbom and Dan Etheridge. The four are exec producing, with Enbom set to run the series. Two other frequent Thomas collaborators, Jennifer Gwartz and Danielle Stokdyk are co-exec producers, and Jennifer Dugan serves as producer.

The pilot for "Party Down" was financed by ABC Studios through Thomas' deal there last year. It was shot on spec at Thomas' home and was shopped to cable networks, landing at Starz.(partialdiff)
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