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MTV is breathing Life into "LIFE"

New York Daily News
April 4, 1995


By Richard Huff

There is still a pulse in ABC's teen series "My So-Called Life." And, surprisingly, it's cable's MTV that's playing a big role in possibly keeping it breathing.

In an unprecedented deal (since the show hasn't officially been cancelled), MTV has picked up the rights to air all 19 episodes of the series, which chronicles a 15-year-old's life at school and home.

MTV will air the series weeknights at 7 [Eastern/Pacific, 6 PM Central] for a month starting April 10.

"My So-Called Life" debuted last fall to great critical reviews, but low ratings. ABC pulled the show after its last telecast in January and is not expected to make a decision on its fate until next month.

The MTV outings will no doubt add lots of fuel to the energetic public campaign by the show's fans to pressure ABC to renew it.

The MTV deal is unusual because ABC controls the program and can air the repeats itself. "Everybody here loves the show and our audience loves the show," said Joe Davola, MTV's senior vice president of original programming.

Davola initially contacted series co-executive producer Marshall Herskovitz with the idea and then took the concept to ABC's brass.

"Maybe we can raise the awareness," Davola said. "By airing it, we give it our stamp of approval."

Series co-executive producer Ed Zwick declined to call the MTV telecasts a last chance for the series, although he admits the extra exposure can't hurt.

"I think it will be very interesting to see it in a different venue," Zwick said. "It's another opportunity for people to see it. I hope it's not the last hurrah."

MTV's Davola said the network would probably feature some of the stars of the series on the network before the telecasts and perhaps have them appear in a forum on America Online.

(The story included the stock photo of Claire leaning against the lockers, with the cutline "`MY SO-CALLED LIFE': The teen series, featuring Claire Danes as Angela Chase, debuted wioth great critical reviews, but failed to capture an audience.")

“School is a battlefield for your heart.”

Angela Chase, Episode 1: "My So-Called Life (Pilot)"