The Best Show On... the Internet
Quarterlife, by the Creators of My So-Called Life & thirtysomething has been picked up by NBC* and will air for broadcast, eventually... whenever.
You can watch it right now right here on GNB, and on MySpace. Or at Quarterlife.com
The show is being edited* in 8 minute episodes. These will be re-edited later, into one-hour format for broadcast on NBC*, which just picked up the show on Monday.
Because they wholly own the material themselves, and are financing the entire cost of production, Executive Producers Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz aren't impacted by the writers strike. They'd be striking themselves. Nothing in the strike prevents writers from writing for themselves; that would be silly.
There are three broadcast windows:
MySpace -- and its 110 million users -- gets a 24 hour broadcast window.
Quarterlife.com -- a social networking site Zwick & Herskovitz are putting together, will have a window.
iTunes and other sites will have their own window. And now, ABC will also be part of this third broadcast window.
VarietyThis is the first major deal I know of, which has started out on the internet, and is moving to network broadcast.
Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz are undertaking an ambitious new-media project that will see them revive onetime ABC pilot "Quarterlife" and distribute it via MySpace, as well as create their own social-networking site.
Duo will produce and variously write and direct episodes of the show, which centers on twentysomethings grappling with life and love in Chicago.
In conjunction with the television project, Herskovitz and Zwick are set to launch Quarterlife.com, a social-networking site that will bring together the 18- to 34-year-olds around topics ranging from career to romance to the arts.
With the MySpace deal, Zwick and Herskovitz become two of the most established Hollywood producer-creators to try an Internet-only project. Their series will test most directly the Web 2.0 idea that with the right talent and partners, creators can circumvent traditional networks or studios.
"This come from a long-standing frustration with where the business of television has gone in the last 10 years," Herskovitz said in an interview. "Ed and I have a great interest in being independent, and for several years, we've realized the Internet offers that possibility."
More interestingly, the guys are NOT losing their creative control. That was one of the major deal points -- that the network will leave them the hell alone.
Have a taste below. I'm going to run what's available, which is the Trailer, and the first five (roughly 8 minutes each) episodes.
These people brought you My So-Called Life. They truly know how to tell a story. And no, I haven't seen all five episodes myself yet.
So why am I putting all five available episode up and telling you it is worth watching?
I trust these guys as story tellers. Enjoy.
*This paragraph has been corrected a couple of times since first published. First, NBC is airing quarterlife, not ABC. Second, it is not clear how the show is actually being produced at a technical level. Some reports have it that the show is being produced in one-hour format then made into web episodes. Other reports indicate the story arc is being broken in one-hour format, but the individual web episodes are being written in 8 minute web episode format. (Standard practice would be for as much shooting of the episode to be done at once as possible, to save costs.) Either way, it seems clear the web episodes will have to be re-edited from their current roughly 8 minutes each (8 minutes * 6 episodes = 48 minutes) to standard broadcast "one-hour" length of about 41 minutes plus commercials, for the show to air. GNB regrets the error/confusion. ABC was the original vehicle for the project several years ago, but they passed, leaving the producers free to take and adapt it as they would, which is how the project ended up being available for NBC.
quarterlife Part 1
quarterlife Part 2
quarterlife Part 3
quarterlife Part 4
quarterlife Part 5