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Death Watch Continues for "My So-Called Life"

Philadelphia Inquirer
April 17, 1995

The death watch continues for My so-called Life

by Gail Shister

The death watch continues for My so-called Life. Despite a groundswell of fan support and new life on MTV, the ABC coming of age drama is a long shot to make the fall line-up, says co-executive producer Marshall Herskovitz. The network will decide Life's fate by mid-May. "I'd say it's 60-40 against us being re-newed," says Herskovitz, 43, a Lower Merion High alum. "This show has been so near death for so long in so many ways, we're used to it. We're fatalistic about it. We waited 18 months to get on the air at all. ABC ordered episodes in dribs and drabs. If it dies, it dies. We'll be sad. If ABC orders more episodes, we'll be estatic. Either way, nobody will be shocked or go into mourning."

MTV last week began running repeats of Life, starring extraordinary newcomer Claire Danes, at 7pm weekdays. All 19 episodes will be shown. Getting exposure for the freshman series "keeps us in the medias eye and proves once again, there's a real interest in the show," Herskovitz says.

Aside from some public goodwill, however, Life's cable run won't mean squat, Neilson-wise. And without numbers, Life may be declared dead.

"ABC knows the reality," Herskovitz explains. "The actual Audience share points of MTV are so minuscule, in terms of creating an audience, it means nothing.

ABC wants an over 25 audience, so it means especially nothing. Still, it's a wonderful thing." Keep the faith, Marsh!

“Ignore her. She got up on the wrong side of the coffin this morning.”

Enrique (Rickie) Vasquez, Episode 9: "Halloween"