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) » May 31st 2005, 4:16 am

I found an interview with one of the cast members -- the interview was published five days before ABC announced that they wouldn't pick up the show.
The Waiting Game

For actors who book and shoot a pilot, perhaps the most agonizing part of the process comes after the fact, waiting to hear the show's fate. "You think of it every day," says Jonathan Bennett, who is waiting to hear if the ABC drama pilot he stars in, 1/4 Life, will get picked up. "You get to the point where you don't care if it gets picked up or not; you just want to know." Bennett's credits include the films Mean Girls and the upcoming Vegas Baby and Lovewrecked, opposite Amanda Bynes, as well as a short stint on All My Children and appearances on numerous prime-time shows, including Law & Order: SVU, Boston Public, Smallville, and Veronica Mars. He's also no stranger to the pilot experience: In 2002 he appeared with Marcia Cross and Lori Loughlin in Eastwick, a pilot based on the hit film The Witches of Eastwick.

The Eastwick pilot wasn't picked up, and each experience since has helped him to further define what he wants out of his career. Originally he had been leaning toward films. "I like making movies: It takes three months, and then you're done," Bennett explains. "I wasn't really planning on doing TV. My passion was to make movies. I literally didn't have any intentions of being on a show."

1/4 Life writers-directors-producers Marshall Herscovitz and Ed Zwick convinced him otherwise. Their resumes boast numerous acclaimed series, including My So-Called Life, thirtysomething, Relativity, and Once and Again. "They became my personal heroes in this," says Bennett. "They are the most amazing guys to work for. They are so dedicated." 1/4 Life follows a group of Chicago friends and roommates in their 20s and co-stars Rachel Blanchard (7th Heaven) and Shiri Appleby (Roswell).

Bennett had two days to study the full script before going in for his first audition with a casting director, at which he read for the role of Shane. Bennett was told, "Come back for Marshall, and look at [the role of] Charlie, as well." Although many actors would simply move their focus onto the new role, something about Shane resonated with Bennett. "I looked at both parts, and Shane was a lot funnier, and his sense of humor was a lot like mine. I called in and said, 'I don't want to read Charlie. Can I read Shane?'" When he then went in to read Charlie for Herscovitz, Bennett stood his ground. "I said, 'I don't really want this role,'" recalls Bennett. "So I left and nothing really came of it."

Two and a half weeks went by, and after testing many other actors for Shane, no one could find either a Shane or a Charlie. "So I went back in," says Bennett. "I read for Shane again, and it was much more relaxed. He asked me to read Charlie. Second time. When Marshall Herscovitz asks you to read for the lead in the show twice, something's up; you've got to do it." He read for the part, but told Herscovitz he felt the part of Shane was funnier and he would be better at that role.

Bennett left and got the phone call two days later. He knew the news was good when he answered the phone and it was his agent's assistant, telling him that it was a conference call with his agent and his manager. "A conference call is usually good news," he says.

He learned he got the job and that the director would be calling him within an hour. It had been a unanimous decision from ABC that he would be playing Shane, the role he had wanted and pushed for.

The following week he had appointments for wardrobe, a physical for insurance, hair and makeup tests, and then, once all of the principal actors had been cast, a field trip for everyone to Malibu. "Marshall took us all out to his house in Malibu, just eating and listening to him and Ed talk about the show, and how they work and what their style is," remembers Bennett. "We spent a whole day talking, interviewing us as characters, not only to get us thinking about our characters but to help them." Much of this process found its way onto the set. For example, Bennett had mentioned that his character might have an interest in photography; on the first day of shooting, he was given a camera and told it was part of the show. He says, "The great thing about Marshall: He takes what you say seriously. Everything the actors do has to come from them; it has be organic."

The pilot was shot. Now everyone is waiting to hear the show's fate. Bennett meanwhile continues to pursue work, although conditionally. "I've been working on Veronica Mars, and a small film, but you can't go out for other series regulars, or films that will be shooting in September," he says.
http://www.backstage.com/backstage/feat ... 1000913613


There's also an article about new shows not making it beyond a pilot episode, but it's subscription only and Google News only gives a small excerpt.

Some TV pilots never take flight
The Spokesman Review (subscription), WA - 1 hour ago
ABC was stoked to have the "thirtysomething" team of Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz chronicling twentysomethings with " 1/4 life," while "Scrubs" creator...
http://www.spokesmanreview.com/features ... p?ID=71979
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » May 31st 2005, 2:31 pm

I've been working on Veronica Mars
Hee, Casey Gant!
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Post by Sascha (sab) » Aug 27th 2005, 4:44 am

Sascha (sab) wrote:I found an interview with one of the cast members -- the interview was published five days before ABC announced that they wouldn't pick up the show.
The Waiting Game
And here's a follow up article -- again they're interviewing one of the main characters of "1/4 life" and how he learned about the cancellation:
Life, Interrupted

Jonathan Bennett's pilot was 1/4 Life, from veteran film and television writing-directing-producing team Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick (My So-Called Life, thirtysomething, Relativity, Once and Again). After a long casting process, Bennett landed the lead role of Shane. During the course of creating the pilot, he'd worked closely with the show's creators to develop the character, with an eye toward taking that character on a long continuing run as a series. When ABC didn't pick up the show, says Bennett, "I was kind of in shock. I mean, with Herskovitz and Zwick, I was pretty optimistic. It was one of the most talked-about shows, and it didn't go."

Being so close to series regular and then losing it wasn't made any easier by how he found out. "No one officially told me," he says. "We kind of figured it out when no one got plane tickets to go to New York for the upfronts. I was totally in denial at first. I kept thinking, 'It will get picked up,' and then more and more time went by."

It's a roller coaster Bennett has been on his entire career, with highs (Mean Girls) and lows (he starred in another pilot that met the same fate, Eastwick, in 2002). "If you sit there and harp on the old, it doesn't get you anywhere; you have to move forward," he says.

Bennett recognizes the business for what it is, and despite the amount of work he and everyone involved with creating 1/4 Life put into the pilot, he understands the reasons behind the show's fate. "Once I saw [the pilot], I loved it," he says. "But [the network executives] said not enough happened in the pilot."

Such an experience could leave an actor bitter, but Bennett doesn't resent how things turned out. Landing a role opposite Steve Martin in Cheaper by the Dozen 2 probably goes a long way toward taking the sting out. Interviewed for this article while shooting in Toronto, Bennett has been able to absorb the end of 1/4 Life with grace. "It's like everything happens for a reason," he says. "Because if 1/4 Life had been picked up, I wouldn't be here. Steve Martin is one of my acting idols."
http://www.backstage.com/backstage/feat ... 1001022620
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Post by Sascha (sab) » Nov 5th 2005, 10:13 am

It took a while, but I finally managed to dig up some pages of the shooting script of "1/4 life". There are 47 pages out of about 60, so there are a few pages missing, most notably the beginning and the end. Those are the casting sides used for auditions of the main characters, so there are a lots of markings in the pages. I cleaned them up a bit and put them online here:
http://www.mscl.com/hiddenstuff/quarterlife/

It's a draft from fall 2004.

I think it's a marvelous and well written script, the dialogues and characters are touching, interesting and funny. It has a similar tone as ABCs upcoming midseason show "What about Brian" and I guess both shows probably contended for the same timeslot.

Unfortunately I don't know yet who played the characters in the pilot episode, but I guess the following:

Shiri Appleby - Debra
Rachel Blanchard - Lisa?
Jacob Pitts - Andy?
Merritt Wever - Bailey?
Reggie Austin - Eric
Austin Nichol - ?
Jonathan Bennett - Shane (confirmed)
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Post by EricMontreal22 » Nov 5th 2005, 8:21 pm

Thank you SOOO much--gonna read now.

I wish the pilot would somehow leak :P

E

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Post by Lorena » Nov 14th 2005, 10:55 am

I'm loving this so far.

I can't believe we aren't going to watch this... :roll:

I'm so fed up with stupid science fiction, devotion to dead people , and drama for 13 year old population that this was just what I would have needed.

If God had given me a TV station... :cry:

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Post by EricMontreal22 » Feb 5th 2006, 11:41 pm

Do these pilots ever leak or have any chance of a release? Wasn't there a show on cable a while back that aired unaired pilots?

Still so upset this show never happened

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Post by Sascha (sab) » Feb 6th 2006, 11:57 am

Sometimes they leak, but usually only if a show gets "shopped around" at various networks or if it gets sent to the media for reviews. Both wasn't the case with "1/4life".

The cable channel TRIO has a special section called "Brilliant but cancelled". MSCL wasn't part of their lineup yet, but I think Zwick/Herskovitz were interviewed in a documentary about cancelled shows and they aired some rare pilots over the past year. It's a long shot, but it's the only place I can think of where this pilot episode of "1/4life" could ever appear. They also announced to put some pilot episodes on their website in 2006.

http://www.BrilliantButCancelled.com
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Post by EricMontreal22 » Feb 6th 2006, 9:23 pm

Ya I was just hoping--nto that I'd ever approve of downloading illegally pilots ;) but I remember the original pilot for Desperate Housewives with the original cast, etc were up online so I was hoping.

I swear a few years ago there was a show on some American cable station we never got here in Canada that aired pilots that weren't picked up... Not brilliant but canceled, but actual unaired ones--but I can't find the name or info anymore... I just remember reading a review of a bunch of them in Ent Weekly.


Rereading the script it's frustrating how much potential it obviously has (I almost hate to say this but it comes off almost as a better version of what so many 20something dramas, from the recent Reunion to Kevin Williamson's Wastelands try so hard to be--many fo the same situations and basic characters and friendships but just simply better writing)--but I can kinda see why the network didn't pick it up, it's too bad it didn't get a chance at somewhere like UPN or WB where there would prob be more interest (certainly it's much better than UPN's 20something drama Love and Secrets or whatever it was called...)

I hope we get another chance at a new Herskovitz/Zwick drama on tv soon though it seems a long shot--and it's frustrating when we came so close. Oh well. Is there a list BTW of past Bedford Falls shows that didn't make it? I remember before Once and Again reading about one set in a medieval castle that I think may have even had a pilot filmed, but that's all I remember.

Would it be worth emailing Brilliant But Canceled and lettign them now there's interest in seeing this pilot? Of course if I did see the pilot it might make me just wish more that it had been picked up ;)

E

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Post by Sascha (sab) » Feb 7th 2006, 9:44 am

EricMontreal22 wrote:Rereading the script it's frustrating how much potential it obviously has (I almost hate to say this but it comes off almost as a better version of what so many 20something dramas, from the recent Reunion to Kevin Williamson's Wastelands try so hard to be--many fo the same situations and basic characters and friendships but just simply better writing)--but I can kinda see why the network didn't pick it up
I'm curious about that new J.J. Abrams show "What about Brian" which premieres April 2nd/3rd on ABC. "Brian" and "1/4life" target the same demographic -- the late twentysomethings, early thirtysomethings -- and I guess that both shows also contended for the same timeslot. So this show better be good if it really pushed "1/4life" from the schedule... ;-)

There's a boom of new dramas focusing on that age group between 25 and 35. "How I Met Your Mother" and "Love Monkey" are two excellent examples. High School is out, College and post-College are in. I think we'll see a lot more of that genre in fall 2006. And as with MSCL and 30s, Zwick/Herskovitz were one of the first to (re-)discover this age group with "1/4life".
I hope we get another chance at a new Herskovitz/Zwick drama on tv soon though it seems a long shot--and it's frustrating when we came so close.


Probably not this fall, as far as I remember they are both involved in the production of the "Blood Diamond". But maybe 2007/08. I guess (and I hope) they are still interested in doing TV and not frustrated by that whole business like Joss Whedon.
Oh well. Is there a list BTW of past Bedford Falls shows that didn't make it? I remember before Once and Again reading about one set in a medieval castle that I think may have even had a pilot filmed, but that's all I remember.
I think we already discussed that in another thread last year: http://www.mscl.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3244
I haven't any new informations beyond what was posted there.
Would it be worth emailing Brilliant But Canceled and lettign them now there's interest in seeing this pilot?
Well, asking couldn't hurt. Maybe it would be an interesting feature for their planned broadband offer.
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Post by Daviddln » Feb 10th 2006, 5:43 pm

On http://www.tv.com, it says that "ABC has currently ordered the pilot for review for the upcoming season (2006-2007)." Does anyone know if that information is true or not ?

(I'm verry sorry for my bad English. I'm French. ;-)).

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Post by Sascha (sab) » Feb 11th 2006, 12:43 pm

Daviddln wrote:Does anyone know if that information is true or not ?
TV.com is so far the only site reporting it -- without mentioning any source. All other TV related news sites don't list "1/4life" in their summaries of pilot orders for the 2006/07 seaason. I'd say it's very unlikely that ABC would revisit this project after it's been in the pipeline for more than 17 months.

I recommend sites like thefutoncritic for reliable informations: http://www.thefutoncritic.com/cgi/devwa ... id=1/4life
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Post by Kate and her Guitar » Feb 16th 2006, 4:45 am

Wow, this sounds like it would be a good series. It's about time someone did a realistic drama about people in their twenties. TV just disappears into a black hole between MSCL and Desperate Housewives/Sex and the City (which are hardly realistic) where it is supposed people are with their significant other, have babies, buy a house OR set off on a high-flying career, setting themselves up for the juicy plotlines involving extra-marital affairs and realising that success isn't all about money and career. :yawn:

It's about time someone depicted what life's really link in your twenties (something a bit more realistic than Friends. As much as I love it, how many people in their twenties spend all day in the coffee shop, have glittering careers thrown their way and can afford to live in a swanky apartment in NYC?) But then I guess judging by most people in their twenties that I know, it would be pretty boring.

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Post by blakjay22 » Feb 20th 2006, 11:26 am

Another nail in the the new rumor coffin: Rachel Blanchard has been cast in a new, different pilot for the 06-07 season. :(

See the news here at Zap2It.

Silly tv.com -- getting my hopes up. Oh, well.

PS -- sigh, I have no clue why BBcode isn't working on my link. But if you copy & paste this url it will take you to the site (since clicking won't work since it's so long):

http://tv.zap2it.com/tveditorial/tve_ma ... 1|,00.html

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Post by Brian Krakow » Feb 24th 2006, 12:00 pm

Hi, hey.

Okay, so I'm very late to the party. Why? Beats me. :? I did what I could for Operation: Life Support (I wish the book had been produced), wrote letters, etc. I've been a fan of MSCL since the pilot and I love it no less today. If anything, the so-called reality invasion makes me long for a good drama that much more. Roswell has been the closest thing to MSCL in recent years, in my humble opinion, after Relativity maybe, which I unfortunately missed most of. Clearly, Jason Katims learned a lot from working on MSCL and with Herskovitz & Zwick so it's no wonder I loved Roswell and that Relativity looked so good.

You all have probably already done a lot to get 1/4 Life on TV, but the success of campaigns to save/extend Roswell, Buffy, etc. and even to get MSCL on DVD have worked so well, is there anything that can still be done to get 1/4 Life the air play and recognition it deserves before it gets more out of sight and out of mind? Don't they pay attention to such campaigns? MSCL DVDs are still highly sought on eBay. I would have thought that ten + years later, post Ted Harbert and many dunder heads in charge, there would have been a seed change at ABC so they would more readily embrace quality shows with a loyal following, even if ratings are low. It's very sad that appealing to the lowest common denominator still prevails. Herskovitz & Zwick produce such quality TV fare yet ABC seems to continually snub them. Once and Again got 3 seasons but they can't even give 1/4 Life a chance? Can't they get beyond money and ratings being the most and only important thing to them? They've done well with Alias and LOST, and I watch both, but they have a bad track record with Herskovitz & Zwick shows and I just don't understand that. Is there anything else that can be done, that I can do, to get 1/4 Life back on the docket? Get with the program, ABC, in every way!

And does anyone know what can be done to get Relativity on DVD? I keep checking TV Shows on DVD.com but there's no progress.

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