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The Television Critics Association Press Tour is going to be crawling with TVWeek staffers. Check this space for observations from the presentations, hallway chatter and the dope on who was misbehaving at the parties. TVWeek’s Jon Lafayette, Josef Adalian, Andrew Krukowski, Sergio Ibarra and Vlada Gelman all will post as they scour the scene for news.


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Starz Gets Ready to 'Party Down'

January 10, 2009 4:50 PM

At least one of the actors in “Party Down,” the new comedy from Starz, really was a “cater waiter” while waiting for her big break.

During a Saturday panel at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour about the series, about a group of Hollywood wannabes working for a catering company, Lizzy Caplan said she would serve food to show business types and “the whole experience made me so angry,” she said. She would be thinking, “You should be serving me,” adding, “There’s no one so cocky as the unemployed actor.”

Ms. Caplan also worked in a restaurant, where she still has friends on staff. She said some of them might be good for the show. “They’re really good at serviing food,” she said.

The show is created by Rob Thomas, who was executive producer of “Veronica Mars.” Mr. Thomas has cast several people who also appeared on “Mars” in the new show. Veronica Mars herself, Kristen Bell, has visited the set and is expected to appear in an episode, Mr. Thomas said.

“Party Down” is part of Starz’s push into original programming. Also upcoming is a new version of “Spartacus.”

Executive producer Rob Tapert described it as “a hard-core, testosterone-driven drama unlike anything on television now.” He said it would get a “hard R” rating because of what are expected to be brutal fight scenes between the gladiators, as well as a fair amount of sex and nudity.

The key figure of Spartacus is yet to be cast, but Mr. Tapert said he’s not concerned.

“The history of television is it creates stars,” he said.

Starz’s dramatic series “Crash” has just finished its first season. Starz Entertainment President Bill Myers said that conversations about season two will begin next week, and that there are a few weeks before a decision about a renewal must be made.

Returning to Starz is improv comedy “Head Case,” which this season will feature Jerry Seinfeld, Tori Spelling and Hugh Hefner as guest patients.

Star Alexandra Wentworth said that since the show is improvised, it's hard to know what to guests might do. She reported that Mr. Seinfeld decided to work a little more blue than fans of his sitcom might expect.

She said only one thing went too far for the show: when singer Macy Gray went on and on about how much she wanted to sleep with Barack Obama.

Ms. Wentworth said her husband, ABC’s “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos, advised her that it was over the line.

Mr. Stephanopoulos won’t be appearing on “Head Case,” but Ms. Wentworth said her work has appeared on “This Week.”

When David Gregory took over as moderator of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Mr. Stephanopoulos read a top 10 list of things Mr. Gregory should expect on his new job. Ms. Wentworth said she wrote many of those items.

—Jon Lafayette

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Comments (1)

gary:

what in the h... are you people on tv land thinking!!!!????
nobidy wants to have to watch somones hogh school reunion on tv. take this mess of a show off the air and put back our regular programs!!!!
Mad as H...!
Tv watcher1

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