One year after Starz confirmed a “Party Down” revival series is in the works, we finally have more details to serve up. The six-episode follow-up to the cult comedy classic is officially “reviving the party” for fans, as Variety reported in March 2021.
“Party Down” originally premiered in 2009, with Adam Scott, Lizzy Caplan, Jane Lynch, Ken Marino, Ryan Hansen, and Martin Starr as the core cast of caterers with big dreams of making it in Hollywood. Each episode centered around a different catering job: from Sweet Sixteens to Bar Mitzvahs, funerals to pre-school fundraisers. The series ran for two seasons.
“Before the cast of ‘Party Down’ became well-known television and movie actors and award winners, they were all wearing the same pink bowties as part of a less than competent team of Los Angeles cater-waiters while chasing their dreams of stardom on the STARZ series,” Christina Davis, Starz original programming president, said.
Megan Mullally joined the cast in Season 2, while Lynch — who had by then joined “Glee” — returned in a guest role capacity. A slew of now A-list cameos including Kevin Hart, Kristen Bell, and J.K. Simmons were customary for the series.
The overarching theme of modern television revivals, including Peacock’s “Bel-Air” and “Saved By the Bell,” and Showtime bringing back “Dexter,” easily made room for fans’ push for “Party Down” to gain some traction.
Now, put on a clean white shirt and pink bowtie and practice some lines because it’s time to learn all there is to know about the beloved series revival.
Season 3 First Look
The first batch of revealing production pics of “Party Down” Season 3 just dropped, showing how the cater-waiters have (or haven’t) changed in the past decade since being together.
The official Season 3 logline reads: Ten years later, most of the Party Down catering team have moved on, including actor/bartender Henry Pollard (Adam Scott). After a surprise reunion, the gang find themselves once again stoically enduring the procession of random parties and oddball guests all over Los Angeles.
The Revival Premieres Feb. 24
“Party Down” is officially back starting February 24 on Starz. “You can celebrate, even if he won’t,” the official show Instagram page captioned with a video of Adam Scott as disgruntled cater-waiter Henry. Set 10 years after the original series, the “Party Down” teaser introduced Tyrel Jackson Williams and Zoë Chao as new main cast members donning white shirts and pink bowties.
We Can Thank a Reunion Panel for the Revival
…and a whole lot of fans. Vulture Festival celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the “Party Down” premiere in 2019. A reunion panel consisting of stars Adam Scott, Lizzy Caplan, Megan Mullally, Jane Lynch, Martin Starr, Ryan Hansen, and Ken Marino, and series creators Jon Enbom, Dan Ethridge, and Rob Thomas, discussed their favorite memories from filming — which apparently sparked the idea for a revival series. (Paul Rudd, who was a co-creator of the series, was not in attendance.)
“We had such a good time that we wanted to find a way to get the team back together again,” executive producer Thomas said in March 2021, via Variety. “The cast is so busy these days that finding a window where we can do it may require trigonometry, but we’re determined to make it happen.”
“Party Down” Was Rob Thomas’ Version of “The Office”
Yes, those “Office” comparisons are spot-on. Rob Thomas admittedly found inspiration to write a “sad comedy” about workplace dynamics after watching “The Office” on BBC America.
“I hosted a lot of parties. The idea of being able to drop into a new party each week seemed like a funny idea to me,” Thomas said during Vulture Festival. “When you host parties in L.A., you tend to get people whose life ambition is not to be waiting on people at your party.”
He added, “But we started writing it around the time we were turning 40, or close to 40 or whenever, and that was the time all of my friends back home were trying to decide: Do you give up the dream, or do you keep going? And that idea of how long do you chase a dream was interesting to us.”
The Show Was Supposed to Be on HBO, Then FX…
“Party Down” originally was expected to be in development at HBO.
Series co-creator John Enbom noted that the “Party Down” concept was first brought to HBO since Paul Rudd was attached. “They bought it before we got through the door when they saw Paul. And then I think a week or two later, Paul was like, ‘Oh, I can’t do it,'” Enbom said. “And then we sort of parted ways with HBO also because I think we wanted something kind of downbeat and small.”
Thomas added, “I think they bought it thinking that we were going to be very inside Hollywood, which is something that they like to do, and we turned in this outline to the first episode, which was a Sherman Oaks neighborhood homeowners association potluck.”
So, the script was then penned with FX in mind. But the network allegedly didn’t see a future with “Party Down” since the series didn’t mesh with FX cornerstone comedy series, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”
“[After they passed on it], it sat in our collective drawers for two years, and then we decided to shoot a pilot in my house,” Thomas said, citing the pilot was only made possible after the cancellation of his detective series, “Veronica Mars.”
“We went out to favorite people to ask if they would do it for $100 a day,” Thomas said of curating the initial cast. “This is who we could afford.”
The Entire Cast Is Returning, Minus Lizzy Caplan
Starz announced that the revival series is officially bringing back Adam Scott, Ken Marino, Jane Lynch, Martin Starr, Ryan Hansen, and Megan Mullally. However, Lizzy Caplan is not set to return due to scheduling conflicts with upcoming FX series “Fleishman Is in Trouble” and Paramount+’s “Fatal Attraction.”
Yet we’re still holding out hope for stand-up comedian Casey (Caplan) to return as a cater-waiter.
Get Ready for New Cast Members
Jennifer Garner, James Marsden, Zoë Chao, and Tryel Jackson Williams joined the “Party Down” revival cast, as announced January 31.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, Garner will play Evie, a successful movie producer who’s reconsidering her life choices after a breakup. A fledgling relationship with Henry (Scott) becomes a way for her to explore new directions in her life.
Williams is portrayaing Sackson, a handsome and driven would-be influencer who’s knowledgable and savvy about his specific internet niche but much less so in other aspects of his life.
Chao is set to play Lucy, a passionate “food artist” with dreams of being a celebrity chef — but who is for now stuck making hors d’oeuvres.
And Marsden will recur as Jack Botty, the handsome, charming star of a popular superhero franchise.
Production Began in January 2022
Adam Scott and Martin Starr both shared behind-the-scenes photos of their first day back on the “Party Down” set. “Shortest wardrobe fitting ever,” Scott captioned an Instagram mirror selfie.
Starr similarly posted: “Longest wardrobe fitting ever.”
Deuxmoi also shared a “Spotted” update that the Party Down catering van has been spotted throughout Los Angeles suburbs.
A-list pals like Kumail Nanjiani, Jenni Konner, Elizabeth Banks, and even CNN’s Jake Tapper all commented on Starr and Scott’s respective posts with their excitement. Can we expect some more celebrity guest appearances?
Who Will Be Back for Cameos?
Any good “Party” doesn’t really get started without some celeb cameos. Before her “White Lotus” Emmy nod, Jennifer Coolidge played Jane Lynch’s cutthroat roommate, and J.K. Simmons hilariously stole the show across two episodes in both original seasons as a foul-mouthed, high-powered movie executive. Plus don’t forget Adam Scott’s romance with a rival caterer played by Kristen Bell. So which stars will pop up once more for the new season? We’ll just have to wait(er) and see.
Quinta Brunson Joins Cast
“Abbott Elementary” creator and star Quinta Brunson confirmed that she will be guest starring on the series reboot. Brunson will play Jaff, the “sharp, calculating agent” for Ryan Hansen’s actor character, Kyle Bradway.
“Party Down” Revival Won’t Just Stop at One Season: “There’s a Possibility for More”
Kathryn Busby, the Starz president of original programming, called the revival series “a gift” for fans. “I would always hope that there’s a possibility for more,” Busby teased to Variety. “Certainly, we would love to ask that question and entertain that possibility.”
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