It’s not too surprising, but Starz has cancelled both of their current half-hour series Party Down and Gravity. The Party Down cancellation has warranted the most lamentations, with a cult following and critical acclaim. And when I say “cult”, I mean that the season two finale was viewed by a meager 74,000 viewers, and recorded a 0.0 in the 18-49 demo. Hit the jump for comments from creator Rob Thomas on the cancellation.
Speaking with Hitfix, Thomas commented,
“I want to wake up some day and know what it’s like to have good ratings… No one on our side is particularly shocked by the news. Frankly, the waiting has been excruciating, and there’s a certain amount of relief in knowing and being able to move on.”
Chris Albrecht was hired as Starz CEO in between the first and second seasons of Party Down, which Thomas believed had a major effect on the future of the show.
“We were heading for a third season [before Albrecht was hired]. There’s little to no doubt that we were going to get one until Chris came in. But I do think if we had done better numbers, Chris would’ve kept us. I don’t think Chris wanted to come in and clean house. I just don’t think he had quite the emotional attachment that people who had been at Starz through the birth of the show had towards it.”
A long run never seemed in the cards for Party Down, with or without Albrecht. In addition to low ratings, Jane Lynch left for Glee after season one, male lead Adam Scott would only appear in three episodes of a theoretical season three after joining the cast of Parks and Recreation, and Ryan Hansen would likely face schedule conflicts with his NBC midseason comedy Friends with Benefits.
Likewise, with the success of Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Starz has a steadier footing in original programming now than when Party Down premiered last year. The network has a few high-profile projects on the horizon, including the the medieval King Arthur saga Camelot, a new season of sci-fi series Torchwood, and an adaptation of the Australian mob drama Underbelly.