New Bedford Falls Project: "1/4life"

"quarterlife" is a new innovative "web-only" series produced by The Bedford Falls Company. 36 episodes with 8 minutes runtime each will be available online on MySpace.com and quarterlife.com beginning November 11, 2007.
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New Bedford Falls Project: "1/4life"

Post by Sascha (sab) » Sep 13th 2004, 4:49 am

Seems like Zwick & Herskovitz are finally back on TV: There are reports at Variety and Hollwoodreporter.com that Zwick & Herskovitz have signed a deal with ABC for a new series called "1/4life" about twentysomethings. Yay!! :-) Let's all hope that ABC will commit to a full series.


http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr/te ... 1000628415
http://www.variety.com/article/VR111791 ... id=14&cs=1


Here's the article from Variety.com:
Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick -- the producers who explored the angst of thirtysomething adults and the so-called lives of teens -- have now set their sights on the folks in between.

Twentysomethings will get their due in "1/4life," which has received a pilot commitment (with a heavy penalty attached) from ABC. Skein follows a group of young adults -- friends and roommates -- in their mid-20s living in Chicago. Title refers to the "quarter-life crisis" most post-college adults face as they figure out their paths in life, love and career.

Project comes from Touchstone TV and Zwick/Herskovitz's Bedford Falls shingle.

Zwick and Herskovitz wrote the pilot themselves, which will be produced in the vein of their other relationship-oriented Alphabet shows. No one else is attached as an exec producer at the moment. Herskovitz is expected to direct the pilot.

Duo have produced some of ABC's most critically hailed dramas, starting in 1987 with "thirtysomething." Other Alphabet hours include 1994's short-lived but starmaking "My So-Called Life" (with Claire Danes and Jared Leto), "Relativity" and the Sela Ward/Billy Campbell divorce drama "Once and Again."

Skein will be guided through development at ABC by a familiar face: Suzanne Patmore-Gibbs, the net's recently tapped senior VP of drama development, once held a similar gig at Bedford Falls.

Bedford Falls has long been based at Touchstone and various scripts in development at the shingle often pop up on the net's pending development roster. The fact that Herskovitz and Zwick will personally pen the pilot script, rather than simply oversee development of the project, no doubt made a pilot greenlight easier for ABC Entertainment prexy Steve McPherson.

McPherson, however, has made it clear that his top development priority for 2005-06 is finding a procedural drama hit for ABC, a la "CSI" or "Law & Order."

While Zwick/Herskovitz skeins have generated buzz and critical bouquets, they've struggled to find a mass audience. "Thirtysomething," which lasted four seasons, came closest to amassing the magic 100-episode mark, while "Once and Again" survived three seasons (and multiple timeslots).

Zwick and Herskovitz have actually done better on the bigscreen, exec producing pics such as "The Last Samurai," "I Am Sam," "Traffic" and "Shakespeare in Love."

Does anybody know what they mean by "with a heavy penalty attached"?

Hm, Angela & her friends would be now exactly at that "1/4life" mark.
Last edited by Sascha (sab) on May 31st 2005, 4:19 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Nostradamus » Sep 13th 2004, 5:14 am

Wow, cool news. I like the idea of a "heavyweight" version of the Friends setup.
Does anybody know what they mean by "with a heavy penalty attached"?
No clue, but given H&Z's prior relationship with ABC it sure sounds ominous. I hope they didn't have to resort to a Faustian bargain just to get a new pilot.

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Post by EricMontreal22 » Sep 13th 2004, 6:31 am

Awww anyone know the time frame for this kinda stuff? Is it too soon to hope this could be a possibility for midseason? Not that midseason shows often last--but I'm anxious for a new Bedford Falls drama damnit, and with ABC's new "all season" format it may be diff (ie, if successful Desp Housewives will play on Sundays this Fall Sunday nights for its full episode run only to be replaced come Jan with Alias with its full run).

Also I thinkthe current tv world is more welcoming to these kinda prestige shows that get smallish but loyal audiences. ABC seems to realize this (they have the most promising drama lineup this year of all the networks--i think cuz they';ve done so badly lately and are willing to take more chances) to an extent--and the influence of hit cable shows like Six Feet Under and Nip/Tuck show this too (and I think network tv is taking notice--although it could mean a smaller episode commitment, but I could deal with that as long as it didn't mean a cancellation too).

I suppose it's way too early to even ask if Winnie Holzman would be on task as a writer/producer as the writing team probably won't be assembled until the pilot potentially is picked up. I hope so though--she wrote some of the strongest episodes of my beloved Once and Again (though I think she was absent from Relativity--prob as she was working on that flop Dylan McDermott movie).

As for the penalty line--i read it as meaning that if ABC *doesn't* pick it up Bedford Falls gets more compensation than a normal pilot might. But maybe that's me being way too optimistic. Come to think of it this is ABC (albeit under brand new management)--I probablya m being too optimistic.

Does the Hollywoodreporter article offer anymore details? And why do they refer to the show as "Skein". Am I missing something? :oops:

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Post by Sascha (sab) » Sep 13th 2004, 8:01 am

EricMontreal22 wrote:Awww anyone know the time frame for this kinda stuff? Is it too soon to hope this could be a possibility for midseason?
It looks like a "late midseason". September is already pretty late - it sounds like they still have to write the pilot, cast the actors and crew and set up the production (locations etc). This takes a lot of time, three months at least. So the pilot could be ready for late 2004, if ABC then commits to 6 or 13 epiodes, the first bunch of episodes could be ready for airing by February, I guess. On the other hand, the article states, that their "top development priority for 2005-06 is finding a procedural drama hit for ABC, a la "CSI" or "Law & Order."" - so they are rather looking forward to the 2005/06 fall season. Or maybe they're also searching for a summer drama à la "Summerland", who knows. Time will (hopefully) tell.
I suppose it's way too early to even ask if Winnie Holzman would be on task as a writer/producer as the writing team probably won't be assembled until the pilot potentially is picked up.
I bet she would write for that show. Maybe not heavily involved as executive producer or regular writer like with MSCL or OAA, but (I hope) she'll be there. Her broadway musical seems to run fine, so theoretically she should have some time...
Does the Hollywoodreporter article offer anymore details?
Unfortunately, I don't have a HR subscription. I just read the first few lines available at their frontpage.
And why do they refer to the show as "Skein". Am I missing something? :oops:
That's the typical Variety lingo. They have their own expressions for many entertainment industry related terms, like "shingle" for Production Company, "laffer" for Sitcom (from "laugh" ... geddit? ;-)), "Cabler" for cable networks, "Skein" for shows in general (but mostly dramas). They have a whole "Variety-English" dictionnary online at their site (only with subscription) with hundreds of terms like these. Quite silly, but it's something like their trade mark.
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Post by Sascha (sab) » Sep 13th 2004, 8:11 am

Via Reuters, the Hollywood reporter article:
By Nellie Andreeva

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Seventeen years after making their mark as TV dramatists with "thirtysomething," the creators of that ensemble series are venturing into the world of twentysomethings with "1/4life," for ABC.

The project, from Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick, revolves around seven twentysomething friends who live under the same roof. ABC has ordered a pilot.

Herskovitz, who will direct the pilot, and Zwick said they have been thinking for some time about doing a series about the period of transition that comes after a person graduates from college and has to come to grips with life in the real world.

"I think in some fundamental way, everyone is 25," Zwick said. "It's a moment when you've stopped being the person you were and are not yet the person you're going to become."

Zwick said "1/4life" would probably be a "spiritual cousin" to their Emmy-winning 1987-91 ABC drama "thirtysomething," but the duo also stressed that it would have a distinct look and feel from its forerunner.

"I think that given the visual world in which twentysomethings find themselves today, whether it's video games, the Internet, MTV or movies, it's possible to think about a different kind of visual language for telling stories about that age," Herskovitz said.

He wouldn't elaborate on details but hinted that the look of the series will be influenced by the hot reality genre.

The decision to give it the green light in September is in keeping with ABC primetime entertainment president Stephen McPherson's goal of breaking out of the traditional winter pilot season rat race and moving forward with development projects as soon as they're ready for the pilot stage.

"Like they did with 'thirtysomething,' I think they have captured a moment in people's lives that is so relatable to the people living it, it's honest to the people who have lived it ... and to people who haven't lived it yet, it's wish-fulfillment and an eye-opener," said McPherson.

The duo's most recent ABC series was "Once and Again." On the feature side, they most recently produced and co-wrote "The Last Samurai," which Zwick also directed.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter
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Post by Sascha (sab) » Sep 13th 2004, 8:26 am

He wouldn't elaborate on details but hinted that the look of the series will be influenced by the hot reality genre.
Somehow I don't like how that sounds... :?


The decision to give it the green light in September is in keeping with ABC primetime entertainment president Stephen McPherson's goal of breaking out of the traditional winter pilot season rat race and moving forward with development projects as soon as they're ready for the pilot stage.
So neither midseason nor fall season -- something inbetween maybe.

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Post by Nothingman » Sep 13th 2004, 10:22 am

He wouldn't elaborate on details but hinted that the look of the series will be influenced by the hot reality genre.
I'd guess it has something to do with an interview format, where the characters would share their real thoughts as opposed to a voice over. Just a guess.
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Post by Sascha (sab) » Sep 13th 2004, 10:33 am

Nothingman wrote:
He wouldn't elaborate on details but hinted that the look of the series will be influenced by the hot reality genre.
I'd guess it has something to do with an interview format, where the characters would share their real thoughts as opposed to a voice over. Just a guess.
You just described "Once and Again" ;-)
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Post by Nothingman » Sep 13th 2004, 10:38 am

Sascha (sab) wrote: You just described "Once and Again" ;-)
LOL, well I never saw it. Maybe I'm way off then if that idea has already been used. I'm still a big fan of the VO. Scrubs is my current favorite VO show.
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Post by TomSpeed » Sep 13th 2004, 12:03 pm

The decision to give it the green light in September is in keeping with ABC primetime entertainment president Stephen McPherson's goal of breaking out of the traditional winter pilot season rat race and moving forward with development projects as soon as they're ready for the pilot stage.
ABC, like the other networks, seems to be moving towards a year-round schedule. For example, Alias is starting in January. The goals are to keep people interested in TV year-round, to better compete with cable, and to spread advertising revenue throughout the year. Of course, viewers will need to change their viewing habits. Year-round schedules could benefit new shows, too. There won't be as many new shows competing with each other at one time. A few more might be able to build audiences.
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Post by Sascha (sab) » Sep 13th 2004, 1:34 pm

TomSpeed wrote:ABC, like the other networks, seems to be moving towards a year-round schedule. For example, Alias is starting in January. The goals are to keep people interested in TV year-round, to better compete with cable, and to spread advertising revenue throughout the year. Of course, viewers will need to change their viewing habits. Year-round schedules could benefit new shows, too. There won't be as many new shows competing with each other at one time. A few more might be able to build audiences.
And the best thing IMHO is the fact that the networks will air less repeats. Like in the case of "Desperate Housewives"/"Alias" - there will be every week a new episode. Not like theWB, which usually doesn't air new episodes of their shows between end of November and mid-January (e.g. "Gilmore Girls").

FOX was the first one to switch to year-round schedule. But their schedule is now complicated as hell, especially Sundays. "Malcom in the Middle" is scheduled to get three different time slots over the next 8 months - not counting the unavoidable last-minute-changes due to cancellations of other shows. I'm really curious how the viewers in the US will accept these year-round schedules.



BTW: The Zwick/Herskovitz story has now been picked up by CNN and zap2it. (But they're mostly reprints of the HR article)
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Post by EricMontreal22 » Sep 13th 2004, 6:20 pm

Sascha (sab) wrote:
EricMontreal22 wrote:Awww anyone know the time frame for this kinda stuff? Is it too soon to hope this could be a possibility for midseason?
It looks like a "late midseason". September is already pretty late - it sounds like they still have to write the pilot, cast the actors and crew and set up the production (locations etc).
I suppose it's way too early to even ask if Winnie Holzman would be on task as a writer/producer as the writing team probably won't be assembled until the pilot potentially is picked up.
I bet she would write for that show. Maybe not heavily involved as executive producer or regular writer like with MSCL or OAA, but (I hope) she'll be there. Her broadway musical seems to run fine, so theoretically she should have some time...
Well from the article I think the pilot WAS written so that's one step down. "Zwick and Herskovitz wrote the pilot themselves, which will be produced in the vein of their other relationship-oriented Alphabet shows."

I know MUCH more about theatre writing and how it works right now than TV producing and writing--Holzman should have miniscule to NO real work connection to Wicked anymore so unless she's working on a new show that shouldn't be a problem whatsoever.

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Post by EricMontreal22 » Sep 13th 2004, 6:32 pm

Nice to see that there's already some buzz about this--I wasn't sure H/Z were big enough "names" to CNN and the like.

I don't liek the sound of the reality thing either but... While I've liked some of their shows more or less than others I've loved all four shows Hersk/Zwick have produced and I trust them enough that I'd be shocked if this was different. the interview thing does sound maybe a likely link to reality genres--ya O&A did it already but there's was sorta a bit more like interviewing the psyche of the characters not a live interview. Still it's not too diff.

I'm not sure about voice overs--they worked for My So-Called Life because that, out of the four series, was the most centered around one key voice and character (even with the two episodes to use other character voiceovers). It doesn't sound like this one will be at all.

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Post by Nostradamus » Sep 13th 2004, 8:56 pm

Nothingman wrote:
He wouldn't elaborate on details but hinted that the look of the series will be influenced by the hot reality genre.
I'd guess it has something to do with an interview format, where the characters would share their real thoughts as opposed to a voice over. Just a guess.
China Beach did something like that. It's a good effect, but if overused it could undermine a show's believability.
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Post by EricMontreal22 » Sep 13th 2004, 10:10 pm

Nostradamus wrote:
Nothingman wrote:
He wouldn't elaborate on details but hinted that the look of the series will be influenced by the hot reality genre.
I'd guess it has something to do with an interview format, where the characters would share their real thoughts as opposed to a voice over. Just a guess.
China Beach did something like that. It's a good effect, but if overused it could undermine a show's believability.
Once and Again--initially I thought it would be annoying after a few episodes but they somehow managed ot use it perfectly. I guess it depends on levels (ie thirtysomething often would have little dream sequences or visual double takes especially early on but they never became too much liek the dreaded thirtysomething).

Watched the premiere of Jack and Bobby last night--liked it much more than I expected but I wonder on that show as well how tired I'll get of the 2049 Presidential stuff interrupting every 5 mins. I suspect I will...

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