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Starz cancels ‘Party Down’

Network also axes 'Gravity'

The party’s over at Starz.

The pay cabler has pulled the plug on its much-lauded but little-watched laffer “Party Down” after two seasons. It also axed the dark comedy “Gravity” after one season.

The demise of “Party Down” came as a surprise to bizzers, who have embraced the show that revolves around six who aspire to break into the biz and work for a high-end catering company. “Party Down” was already facing cast defections — star Adam Scott has moved on to a regular role on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” while Ryan Hansen has a lead role in NBC’s upcoming laffer “Friends with Benefits.” And Jane Lynch left the show after its first season for a star turn on Fox’s “Glee.”

But the bigger issue for Starz was that the show wasn’t a good fit with the cabler’s new focus on programs done with international co-production partners; nor did it have much traction with foreign TV buyers. The shows that Starz topper Chris Albrecht has greenlighted since he joined the company in January have been splashy dramas with Euro-friendly casts and multiple production entities, including the costume dramas “Pillars of the Earth” and “Camelot.”

“Party Down” — created and exec produced by John Enbom, Rob Thomas, Dan Etheridge and Paul Rudd — earned an AFI kudo as one of 2009’s top 10 TV series.

“Gravity,” which aired in tandem with “Party Down” earlier this year, revolved around members of a suicide survivors group. Eric Schaeffer starred and exec produced with Jill Franklyn.

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