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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Post by Sascha (sab) » Oct 27th 2004, 4:21 am

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/entert ... 589.htm?1c

Posted on Wed, Oct. 27, 2004

Gail Shister | Fidgety about his 50s, producer turns to turbulent 20s

By Gail Shister

Inquirer Columnist

He's done 30 (thirtysomething) and 40 (Once and Again), but homeboy Marshall Herskovitz can't face the big 5-0.

"I don't know if I've accepted being 50-something," says Herskovitz, 52. "I need a few more years in that decade. We don't know what 'being in your 50s' means anymore. When I was 20, 50 was old."

Did someone say 20? That's the demo Herskovitz and his producing partner, Ed Zwick (also 52), will put under their emotional microscope in their next ABC drama, 1/4 life, in development for next season.

The show revolves around seven twentysomething friends from college living together in a Chicago apartment. (Friends in the Windy City?)

"They're all at various stages of figuring out their lives," says Herskovitz, a Lower Merion High alum. "Most of the people I know made their big life decisions in their mid-20s. It's a fearful, exciting, confusing time."

Herskovitz and Zwick came up with the idea while observing the young employees in their production house, Bedford Falls.

"We have maybe six people in the office between 24 and 27," Herskovitz says. "We hear about their lives every day. One day, it just clicked."

Herskovitz and Zwick mined the adolescent psyche in 1994's My So-Called Life, with then-unknown Claire Danes. Two years later, they took on 20-year-olds in the short-lived Relativity, starring Kimberly Williams and Adam Goldberg.

"Ed and I have an ongoing fascination with various developmental passages of life," Herskovitz says. "That's why we keep doing it."

They spent the last two years producing (Herskovitz) and directing (Zwick)Tom Cruise's The Last Samurai. Their big-screen credits include Brad Pitt's '94 Legends of the Fall.

Given how Once and Again was yanked around the schedule, the producers were skittish about returning to series TV.

"We loved doing Samurai," Herskovitz says. "We felt frustrated and confused about what the landscape of TV has become. Now we're ready. We're not giving up on TV."

Here's why: "This venture feels very vital. My 20s were a vivid time in my own life. I not only remember it well, but half the time I still feel I'm in it."
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Post by Sascha (sab) » Jan 25th 2005, 5:22 am

There's an article in the newest issue of TIME - I found it via Google News, so all I have are two short excerpts:

Update: I played a bit with Google and got more excerpts

http://www.time.com/time/archive/previe ... 89,00.html
Grow Up? Not So Fast
MEET THE TWIXTERS. THEY'RE NOT KIDS ANYMORE, BUT THEY'RE NOT ADULTS EITHER. WHY A NEW BREED OF YOUNG PEOPLE WON'T--OR CAN'T?--SETTLE DOWN
By LEV GROSSMAN


Jan. 24, 2005
Michele, Ellen, Nathan, Corinne, Marcus and Jennie are friends. All of them live in Chicago. They go out three nights a week, sometimes more. Each of them has had several jobs since college; Ellen is on her 17th, counting internships, since 1996. They don't own homes. They change apartments frequently. None of them are married, none have children. All of them are from 24 to 28 years old. Thirty years ago, people like Michele, Ellen, Nathan, Corinne, Marcus and Jennie didn't exist, statistically speaking. Back then, the median age for an American woman to get married was 21. She had her first child at 22. Now it all takes longer. It's 25 for the wedding and 25 for baby. It appears to take young people longer to graduate from college, settle into careers and buy their first homes. What are they waiting for? Who are these permanent adolescents, these twentysomething Peter Pans? And why can't they grow up?

Could growing up be harder than it used to be? The sociologists, psychologists, economists and others who study this age group have many names for this new phase of life--"youthhood," "adultescence" -- and they call people in their 20s "kidults" and "boomerang kids," none ...

...people in their late teens and early 20s don't make as much as they used to...

Timothy Smeeding, a professor of economics at Syracuse University, found that only half of Americans in their mid-20s earn enough to support a family, and in ...

... and you start to wonder, Is it that they don't want to grow up, or is it ...

"And we're going to think about those people getting ...


The human brain continues to grow and change into the early 20s, according to Abigail Baird, who runs the Laboratory for Adolescent Studies at Dartmouth ...

... The producing duo Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz, who created the legendarily zeitgeisty TV series thirtysomething and My So-Called Life, now have a pilot with ABC called 1/4life about a houseful of people in their mid-20s who can't seem to settle down. ...
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Post by EricMontreal22 » Jan 25th 2005, 5:32 am

AH! I so wanna find out more--anyone bought the new issue yet? It looks like this was done more about the phenomena of twentysomethings living at home etc, and all that more than the show though

Now that W in Canada stopped airing thirtysomething just as I was about to watch the fourth season (they stupidly didn't even amnage to air all the eps once) I'm feeling Bedford Falls withdrawal all over again...

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Post by EWU MSCL fan » Jan 27th 2005, 4:08 am

I can't wait to see this.

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Post by Sascha (sab) » Jan 30th 2005, 7:51 am

Very long article about the show in The New York Times.

Also a small picture from the pilot episode.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/30/arts/ ... 0rhod.html (reg. req'd)
the same article without the pictures also available at:
http://www.naplesnews.com/npdn/neapolit ... 19,00.html (reg. req'd)



Talkin' About Someone Else's Generation
By JOE RHODES

Published: January 30, 2005

LOS ANGELES

ED Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz - the writing/directing team that created 1987's "Thirtysomething," 1994's high school drama "My So-Called Life" and 1999's divorce drama "Once and Again" - swear they weren't intentionally searching for another generational story to tell when they came up with "1/4 Life," their proposed new series for ABC focusing on the lives of seven people in their mid-20's, living together in a house in Chicago.

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It's just that their production company, like all production companies, was filled with employees of a certain age, many of them struggling with post-college adulthood, uncertain of where they were going or even who they wanted to be.

"We were surrounded by and involved - intensely involved - with the lives of this group of people," Mr. Zwick is saying on the set of the pilot for "1/4 Life," which is a likely candidate for ABC's fall schedule. "We were made mindful not just of how intense and distinctive their lives were, but also how reminiscent it was of a moment in our lives that we had not ever really addressed."

"This is the crucible of life," Mr. Herskovitz says, leaping in to finish Mr. Zwick's thought, something that happens frequently. "Those years between college and 25 or 26 is when people either find the courage to pursue a dream or make certain compromises that affect them for the next 20 years, big decisions about relationships, about careers."

"And the interesting thing about it," Mr. Zwick continues, "as we thought about ourselves and spent more and more time with these guys, is that it's also an exuberant time. It's very acted out. The intensities are huge. The feeling of celebration and vitality is enormous."

"At that age, you're able to stay out all night," says Mr. Herskovitz. "Their capacities are much greater than ours - "

"For both pleasure and pain," Mr. Zwick breaks in. "And that suddenly felt like a really fun set of contradictions to explore."

The pilot episode of "1/4 Life," written by Mr. Zwick and Mr. Herskovitz, revolves around a young couple (played by Shiri Appleby, who was a regular on "Roswell" and who appeared in an episode of "Thirtysomething" when she was 9, and Austin Nichols, who had small roles in the movies "Wimbledon" and "The Day After Tomorrow") trying to reconcile her desires for a long-term relationship and his focus on his career. Their five roommates and friends include Lisa, a bartender in love with a married man; Eric, an ambitious entrepreneur; and Andy, who is living away from home for the first time in his life. There are secret crushes, struggles for sexual identity, humbling encounters with ex-lovers who seem to have gotten on with their lives. It's not unlike an episode of "The Real World," only with better dialogue and less expensive furniture.

As with all Zwick-Herskovitz television projects, "1/4 Life," will be character-driven and dialogue-filled. There will be bedroom conversations about failed expectations and the meaning of life. And although there may or may not be acoustic guitar music in the background, it is virtually guaranteed that when the series debuts, a large chunk of critics will immediately label it "Twentysomething."

"I understand the temptation to think of it generationally, to try and target it demographically, but that's something that tends to be done more by marketers and journalists than by us," Mr. Herskovitz says. "We're more interested in telling the stories of these particular people, individuals with unique issues and stories that will be revealed over time. For us, the minute we try to think of something in a grand generalization, that's when there's a risk of the work getting pretty bad."

This is not something that worries Steve McPherson, the president of ABC Entertainment and the man who ordered the "1/4 Life" pilot. "What I think they have done unbelievably well on television is to access points in people's lives that are embedded in the human experience," he said of the two producers.

You might think Mr. Zwick and Mr. Herskovitz would have some strong - and not very positive - feelings about ABC, and about network television in general. Their shows have a history of inspiring intense audience reaction and winning heaps of awards but failing to sustain high enough ratings to stay very long on the air. Their last TV project, "Once and Again" was bounced around the ABC schedule, put in seven different time slots in three years, its frustrated audience dwindling after every move, before being canceled in 2002.

Considering their success in feature films - Mr. Zwick directed "The Last Samurai" and "Glory"; Mr. Herskovitz directed "Stealing Beauty" and "Jack the Bear"; together they produced "Traffic," and both have film projects in development - they could be forgiven if they chose to forgo further adventures in the fickle, ratings-driven world of television. But the lure of a weekly series keeps drawing them back in.

"When you go on the air with a show that's supposedly not doing well, you still have 8, 9, 10 million people watching every week," Mr. Herskovitz says.

"I just think of them as sort of like James Dean," he says of the loudly lamented "My So-Called Life" and "Once and Again." "Killed before their time. And the legend is helped by that."

The two men, both 52, have been collaborators since they met in the mid-1970's while studying at the American Film Institute. Mr. Herskovitz, from Philadelphia, was a Brandeis graduate; Mr. Zwick, from Chicago, studied literature at Harvard. They both wrote for the television series "Family" but got their first real acclaim for the 1983 television film "Special Bulletin," a faux-documentary written by Mr. Herskovitz and directed by Mr. Zwick. Each man saw his future as a film director. Neither cared much about TV.

"We actually made a pact, when I got my first job writing for television, that we would not get brainwashed into thinking that television was worthwhile," Mr. Herskovitz recalls, laughing.

"And when we were offered a deal in television, it was to pay us what was than an astronomical sum each year and we could do whatever we wanted - TV movies, mini-series, whatever. Our only responsibility was that we had to try and sell at least one television series. If we failed at that, we still got our money. So we set out to fail.

"We said, 'Let's do a television series that we wouldn't mind doing if it succeeded, but that would have no real chance of succeeding, that would be so specific to us and so completely unlike anything on television that it couldn't possibly work.' And that show was 'Thirtysomething.' "

By the time they decided to end that series in 1991, after many Emmys and Peabody Awards, they were able to move back and forth between films and TV, taking on movies when, as Mr. Herskovitz says, they "have a craving for a larger canvas" and concentrating on television when they have stories that they feel can be better told in a long-term, episodic way.

"It's allowed us to have a certain rhythm to our lives," says Mr. Zwick, asked why they keep returning to network television and shows like "1/4 Life," "which is to say as a father to our children, as husbands, as people who have even a semblance of normal lives."
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Post by Sascha (sab) » Feb 2nd 2005, 5:11 am

From the Philadelphia Daily News:

http://www.philly.com/mld/dailynews/liv ... 503.htm?1c

Ellen Gray | 'Numbers' and 'Medium' show that family dramas are still thriving on TV

IF YOU HAPPENED to read in Sunday's New York Times that Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick were working on a series about seven twentysomethings sharing a house in Chicago, you might figure this is the end of TV's tortured love affair with the family drama.

Zwick and Herskovitz, after all, brought us "thirtysomething" - set here because Herskovitz grew up here - and "My So-Called Life" and "Once and Again," all shows with families so real it sometimes felt as if the characters were holed up in our closets, taking notes.

So if those guys are now selling what sounds like a dramatic version of "The Real World" to ABC, and the rest of network TV is loaded up with police procedurals and "reality" shows, what hope is there for those who think real drama begins at home?

Quite a lot, actually.

One's about a mathematician who helps the FBI fight crime with formulas, the other about a psychic who helps her DA boss put people away using information that's difficult to obtain with a search warrant.

Both shows, though, aren't as remarkable for their gimmicks as for their family dynamics.

In the case of "Numbers," we've already learned that brothers Charlie (David Krumholtz) and Don Eppes (Rob Morrow) graduated from high school on the same day, though Charlie, a math prodigy, was considerably younger, that their mother died of cancer and that their father (Judd Hirsch) knows a little about the drama inherent in raising a gifted child.

On "Medium," we see Allison Dubois (Patricia Arquette) interacting nearly as much with her aerospace engineer husband (Jake Weber) and their three daughters as she does with cops and lawyers and the dead people who tell her where the bodies are buried. One unfolding storyline deals with something the real-life Allison, a consultant on the series, might or might not be facing with her own three daughters: the realization that her ability can be passed on to her children. (In a recent press conference, DuBois did say, "I... know it to be genetic.")

For "Medium" executive producer Glenn Gordon Caron ("Moonlighting"), the dynamic of a scientist and a psychic raising a family together was one of the attractions of the show.

"I'm sort of fascinated by the whole business of men, and women, marriage, all that stuff," he told reporters last month.

Me, too.

And I suspect we're not alone.

Because for all the dead bodies being dissected on TV these days, marriage and families continue to come to the fore: In ABC's "Desperate Housewives," in supposedly teen-oriented soaps like Fox's "The O.C." and the WB's "Everwood," on series like CBS' "Joan of Arcadia" and "Judging Amy" and even in "reality" shows like ABC's "Wife Swap" and Fox's "Trading Spouses."

Zwick and Herskovitz may just have been a little ahead of their time.
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Post by EricMontreal22 » Feb 2nd 2005, 5:14 am

Thanks for that, though I hate the snarky implication that Herskovitz/Zwick are selling out with this... (and I'm pretty certain this will be more than a dramatised "real world...")

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Post by Sascha (sab) » May 9th 2005, 9:14 am

The moment of truth is coming closer. It has been very quiet in the past months about "1/4life", so I'm not so sure whether this project is really still on track. Anyway, next week on Tuesday 17th of May, ABC will announce their schedule for Fall 2005. Let's hope "1/4 life" is on it...
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Post by Sascha (sab) » May 14th 2005, 6:03 am

ABC published full descriptions of all their possible new fall shows (see here), but for some reason a description for "1/4 life" is not available. Not a good sign.
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Post by Sascha (sab) » May 16th 2005, 5:37 pm

It's not official yet, but many "industry insiders" report that 1/4life hasn't been picked up by ABC.

So this means yet another year without a new show by Bedford Falls. :-(
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Post by Sascha (sab) » May 17th 2005, 8:44 am

And now it's official: 1/4life is dead. Oh, and "Eyes" has been cancelled.
ABC Adds “Commander-in-Chief,” “Freddie,” “Hot Properties,” “Invasion” and “The Night Stalker” to its Fall Lineup; “Crumbs,” “Emily’s Reasons Why Not,” “The Evidence,” “In Justice,” “The Miracle Workers,” “Sons & Daughters” and “What About Brian” Slated for Midseason

In Addition to the Returning Series Already Announced, the Fall Schedule Will Also See the Return of “George Lopez,” “Hope & Faith,” “Rodney,” “Supernanny” and “Wife Swap,” with “The Bachelor,” “Jake in Progress” and “Less than Perfect” to Return Midseason

Episode Order for “Grey’s Anatomy” Has Been Upped to 22.


MONDAY: 8:00 p.m. “Wife Swap” (through January. New night and time)
9:00 p.m. “Monday Night Football” (through January)

(the following will premiere after MNF)

8:00 p.m. “The Bachelor” (new time)
9:00 p.m. “Emily’s Reasons Why Not” (new comedy series)
9:30 p.m. “Jake in Progress” (new night and time)
10:00 p.m. “What About Brian” (new drama series)

TUESDAY: 8:00 p.m. “According to Jim” (new time)
8:30 p.m. “Rodney” (new time)
9:00 p.m. “Commander-in-Chief” (new drama series)
10:00 p.m. “Boston Legal” (new night)

WEDNESDAY: 8:00 p.m. “George Lopez” (new night and time)
8:30 p.m. “Freddie” (new comedy series)
9:00 p.m. “Lost” (new time)
10:00 p.m. “Invasion” (new drama series)

THURSDAY: 8:00 p.m. “Alias” (new night and time)
9:00 p.m. “The Night Stalker” (new drama series)
10:00 p.m. “Primetime Live”

FRIDAY: 8:00 p.m. “Supernanny” (new night and time)
9:00 p.m. “Hope & Faith”
9:30 p.m. “Hot Properties” (new comedy series)
10:00 p.m. “20/20”

SATURDAY: 8:00 p.m. “ABC Movie of the Week”

SUNDAY: 7:00 p.m. “America’s Funniest Home Videos”
8:00 p.m. “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”
9:00 p.m. “Desperate Housewives”
10:00 p.m. “Grey’s Anatomy”
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Post by starbug » May 18th 2005, 4:49 am

:(

They're keeping a show called 'The Night Stalker' (frankly this sounds like an 80s B-grade murder show with a truly terrible soundtrack to me) and not picking up 1/4 life?

:(

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Post by EricMontreal22 » May 19th 2005, 2:49 am

Night Stalker is an update of the cult early 70s Vampire tv movies/series.

So does this mean there's no chance it oculd be midseason? :(

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Post by Sascha (sab) » May 19th 2005, 6:18 am

EricMontreal22 wrote:So does this mean there's no chance it oculd be midseason? :(
Nope, "1/4 life" wasn't even in the final selection of possible shows for fall and midseason. And the midseason shows have also been announced already. I guess "The Powers That Be" didn't like the pilot episode at all.

And if you look a the new shows you see that this year it's all about Action, Crime, Legal Dramas, SciFi and Fantasy (the same goes for the new schedules of NBC, CBS and WB). One of the few shows that are a bit different is J.J.Abrams ("Felicity", "Lost") new midseason drama "What about Brian".

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Post by EricMontreal22 » May 19th 2005, 6:28 am

Idiots. While all the networks seem to be looking for their own Desp Housewives or Lost they don
t seem to get that a huge part of the draw for both shows is the simple character interaction and development--in many ways I thinkthat sucks viewers in more than the fantastical or risque hyped elemtns

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