Monday, January 07, 2008

A Quarterlife Deal

On December 18th, the day I had my hand surgery, the Los Angeles Times reported on an important media event.

"The first television series that originated on the Internet and then got picked up by a major broadcast network, Quarterlife, will premiere on NBC on February 18, the network said Monday."

The series was created by Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick, the creators of thirtysomething, an American television drama that ran on ABC for four seasons, beginning on September 29, 1987. thirtysomething was an Emmy Award winning show about a group of friends in their thirties living in Philadelphia.

Quarterlife--as you might guess from the title--is about a group of friends in their twenties. It began life on the MySpaceTV platform on November 11th. The show runs in eight-minute episodes on and on the site. A social networking site is also connected to the show for viewers.

The lead character, a wannabe writer named Dylan Krieger tells the stories through her blog.

Less than a week after the show debuted, the New York Times announced NBC's "first-of-its-kind deal to acquire the talked-about new Internet and social network series Quarterlife for distribution as an hourlong drama series on the NBC network after it has first played" on the Internet.

Network television shows have been available on the Internet for some time. This is the first time a show originating on the Internet has gone the other direction to television.

The writers' strike will not affect the show's debut on NBC in February.

The episodes will always appear on the Internet first.

The New York Times said: "The idea originated more than a year ago when Mr. Herskovitz and his longtime partner, Ed Zwick, decided they had to find a way to create entertainment that would be free of corporate ownership — and creative interference."

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