NBC officially picks up "quarterlife" - airdate: spring 2008

"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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NBC officially picks up "quarterlife" - airdate: spring 2008

Post by Sascha (sab) » Nov 17th 2007, 6:17 am

The rumors were true: The broadcast network NBC has picked up the new Bedford Falls production "quarterlife" according to the Hollywood Reporter. The network will premiere the show as an hour-long drama series midseason after it concludes its run on the Internet early in 2008 and will also stream it on nbc.com.

While NBC will become a distribution partner for online, DVD and foreign markets, Herskovitz and Zwick will still retain full ownership and creative control of the series.
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Re: NBC officially picks up "quarterlife" - airdate: spring 2008

Post by emmie » Nov 17th 2007, 12:45 pm

wow this is awesome. do you know if it's going to be the same show that is on myspace? or will they start over with new actors, etc? also, will this be affected by the writer's strike?

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Re: NBC officially picks up "quarterlife" - airdate: spring 2008

Post by Sascha (sab) » Nov 17th 2007, 8:06 pm

Yes, this is the same show that is now "airing" on MySpace and Quarterlife.com. They will just repack the 36 eight-minute parts into six episodes so they can air it just like any other tv drama series. I have no idea if there are any plans for more than those six episodes or even a "second season" -- it probably depends on the ratings.

It's not going to be affected by the WGA strike (that's probably one of the main reasons why NBC bought it) because the company which is officially producing the show (quarterlife, inc.) is not a WGA signed company.... yet.
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Re: NBC officially picks up "quarterlife" - airdate: spring 2008

Post by TomSpeed » Nov 18th 2007, 5:43 pm

Wow! Congrats to Herskovitz and Zwick.
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Re: NBC officially picks up "quarterlife" - airdate: spring 2008

Post by lizardcub » Nov 18th 2007, 7:28 pm

So in other words, Herzkowitz and Zwick are now officially scabs.

They'll rail on the networks for not supporting writers or giving them enough creative control, but then they sign a deal for themselves at precisely the moment when it undermines other writers -- who, on the whole, are displaying immense solidarity to try to wrest fair remuneration for their work from the networks. This leaves a really bad taste in my mouth. I'm very sad to see people whose work I have respected playing this role. I hope no one else associated with MSCL is doing the same.

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Re: NBC officially picks up "quarterlife" - airdate: spring 2008

Post by Sascha (sab) » Nov 19th 2007, 8:12 am

lizardcub wrote:So in other words, Herzkowitz and Zwick are now officially scabs.
That worried me too. This agreement with NBC came with a very weird timing but I think this case may be a bit different (and more complicated) than it looks on first sight. Herskovitz & Zwick actually own the complete show, which is very unusual these days where the studios own most of the shows. This is an independent production and NBC just licensed it. So one can see this also as an empowerment of writers -- this could be an example for a new business model where the studios are no longer needed and the writers get actually their fair share from the revenues.

Also, all 36 segments of the show are already written and from what I heard, Zwick/Herskovitz are now trying to find an agreement with the WGA.

Still, it's kind of a PR mess.

ETA: I just found a statement from Marshall Herskovitz about this matter over at DeadlineHollywoodDaily.com where he clarifies his viewpoint:
[..]
"I am delivering completed episodes to a network where they have not even seen the scripts. This is absolutely unprecedented. Creative freedom may be less measurable than the concrete issues now in contention during the strike, but it's just as important to writers."
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Re: NBC officially picks up "quarterlife" - airdate: spring 2008

Post by lizardcub » Nov 19th 2007, 2:37 pm

I have to say, I don't buy Herskovitz's argument here AT ALL.

In any strike, scabs start being offered better deals -- things they would never be offered outside of the context of other workers refusing to work and the company being desperate to hire someone, to keep production going, and to break the strike.

That doesn't mean that the scab offers represent a victory for the workers -- precisely because most workers would never be offered that, and all workers are LESS likely to get those kind of good deals when their collective action and solidarity is undermined.

An an analogy, imagine workers in another industry on strike for health care, and suddenly during the strike, scabs start being offered vastly higher wages (as happens in all strikes). Would anyone buy an argument that those wages were a "victory" for workers because workers need higher wages? No, because everyone would understand that this wasn't some sort of permanent change in the company's thinking that made them magically willing to pay more -- it would be a temporary maneuver to set back the demands of the strike, and there's no way the higher wages would continue afterward. Result: no higher wages and no health care, and a chance to have won something lost.

So, does anyone believe that if this strike loses, lots of writers are now going to have new avenues for owning their own writing a la H & Z? I don't. It is impossible for me to see Herskovitz and Zwick's deal as a step forward for writers' creative control, because it was made in the context of (and serves the purpose for NBC of) giving most writers less power.

I'm disgusted with people whose work I've always enjoyed and respected.

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Re: NBC officially picks up "quarterlife" - airdate: spring 2008

Post by Sascha (sab) » Dec 23rd 2007, 12:29 pm

According to zap2it, "quarterlife" will air at 9 p.m. ET Mondays starting February 18, 2008 on NBC. It will be the lead-in for new episodes of "Medium".

The writer's strike issue is also mentioned in the article:
While "Quarterlife" will help plug holes created by the writers' strike, a deal to put the show on traditional TV was in the works before then. As Herskovitz and Zwick were developing the series for the web -- it was initially done as an ABC pilot a few seasons back -- they signed a deal with the network giving it right of first refusal to air the show. NBC also has DVD rights and will stream "Quarterlife" on its own video player.
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new airdate for "quarterlife"

Post by Sascha (sab) » Jan 25th 2008, 4:08 pm

NBC has shifted the premiere of "quarterlife" to Tuesday, February 26 at 10:00/9:00c. Then it will move to Sundays at 9:00/8:00c beginning March 2.
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MTV to air "quarterlife" preview

Post by Sascha (sab) » Feb 15th 2008, 7:56 am

Interesting "déjà vu": MTV will air a special 22-minute preview of the new Bedford Falls series "quarterlife" prior to its launch on NBC. Seems like they remembered what MTV did for "My So-Called Life" back in 1995.

From the press release:
BURBANK - February 14, 2008 -- NBC has formed a unique deal with MTV to run a 22-minute sneak peek of the critically acclaimed Internet series "quarterlife" on the cable network on Tuesday, February 26 at 4:30 p.m. PT/ET, following MTV's 'TRL.' The original drama series from Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick ("My So-Called Life," "thirtysomething" and "Blood Diamond") will premiere on NBC on Tuesday, February 26 (10-11 p.m. ET) and air on Sundays (9-10 p.m. ET) beginning March 2.

The announcements were made by Ben Silverman, Co-Chairman, NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios and Tony DiSanto, Executive Vice President of Series Development & Programming for MTV.

MTV will air 22 minutes from the premiere one-hour episode. NBC will also supply MTV with promotional spots and snipes for inclusion in the preview.

Herskovitz and Zwick's relationship with MTV extends back to their earlier, critically hailed drama series "My So-Called Life," starring Claire Danes, which enjoyed renewed popularity and achieved cult status after its initial network run when it was re-broadcast on MTV in the mid-1990s.

"This innovative deal with MTV provides the perfect promotional platform and social cache for the kind of series that 'quarterlife' represents," said Silverman. "This is a mutually beneficial arrangement that gives viewers of both networks an opportunity to sample a show we feel they will clearly identify with. We know Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick have had a successful history with MTV for 'My So Called Life,' so it makes sense for us to reach this audience for 'quarterlife.'"
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quarterlife: NBC's biggest disappointment in the past 12 mon

Post by Sascha (sab) » Jul 22nd 2008, 1:38 pm

From TVWeek's interview with NBC Entertainment CEO Ben Silverman:
TVWeek: What would you say has been your one biggest disappointment or even failure?
Mr. Silverman: I think that “Quarterlife” would be the biggest disappointment in that it just didn’t perform to even half the level I would have thought it would have. I don’t feel I would ever look back on it differently, because the whole thought process before it, behind it and around it was, “How do we get a scripted show when there’s a strike? How do we build something that’s potentially interactive? How do we gain a foothold in the digital content space and then hopefully it’s going to work also on-air?” Unfortunately, it didn’t perform.
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