Starz on Wednesday canceled Shining Vale after two seasons and removed the horror comedy starring Courteney Cox from its digital platforms. In an interview published Thursday, Minx star Jake Johnson told Deadline that he did not expect a Season 3 renewal for the period erotic comedy, which had been rescued by Starz after its cancellation by Max.

Shining Vale and Minx are Starz’s last remaining current comedy series. The premium network, which is in the process of separating from Minx producer Lionsgate Television, has about a half-dozen upcoming scripted series, all of them dramas.

According to sources, Starz executives in private conversations with producers have lamented that comedy is not working on the network.

There have not been development announcements for comedy projects set up at Starz in a year and a half, and I hear the network is not top of mind when comedy pitches are taken out.

Sources inside Starz insist that the network is not pulling out of the comedy business and may develop half-hour projects in the future catering to Starz’s target audiences of women and underrepresented viewers.

This is the not the first time Starz has pulled back on comedy. In one of his first moves, the network’s previous CEO Chris Albrecht in 2010 canceled comedy series Party Down and Gravity to focus on drama. (Party Down made a triumphant return to Starz earlier this year for a limited series revival under current CEO Jeff Hirsch.)

Three years later, the network signaled a return to comedy, with Albrech stressing in 2013that the plan was to “tread cautiously” and not “open the floodgates” to half-hour pitches that had been rejected elsewhere. 

Starz is not the only premium network to weave in and out of comedy, a notoriously hard genre to nail. Showtime also has struggled to find half-hour hits of the caliber of Weeds and Californication.

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Source: DLine

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