Print 22 comment(s) - last by Aprime.. on Sep 14 at 12:47 PM

Quarterlife's social networking site/promotional webpage  (Source:
Two award winning TV producers felt slighted when their new show was canceled by a major television network in 2005--now they get even by ditching the TV and taking their work online.

Marshall Herskovitz has produced major big screen hits, such as Traffic and Blood Diamond.  He feels confident that he can produce a solid piece of cinematography.

He and frequent collaborator Edward Zwick had a hand in many television successes as well, including “thirtysomething” and “My So-Called Life.”

So when their new show "Quarterlife" was cancelled in 2005 by ABC after the pilot, Herskovitz and Zwick didn't let their dream die--they just put in on hold, while they found the right home for it.

Now the show is back at last, and it will shock many that this pair of successful television producers chose not to release their content via television, but have made a switch to the internet.

The pair has signed an exclusive contract with to distribute 36 episodes of the show, beginning November 11.  There will be two episodes a week, each a bite-sized 8 minutes long.

So far one hour of material has been shot, or about 6 to 7 episodes

Revenue from ads and product placement will be shared between MySpace and the producers.

The show is not the first to come to  Former Disney head Michael Eisner released a 80-episode, teenage drama series, titled Prom Queen, earlier this year.  However, MySpace claims that Herskovitz and Zwick's show is the first to have television production values.

MySpace might not want to get to cozy with "Quarterlife"--interestingly, the show is creating a promotional social networking site called

While it is yet to be seen whether the show will reach television-scale viewership, the announcement is certainly an intriguing one as the internet and television further mix and mingle.

For more on television's future and how it relates to the internet, read DailyTech blogger Nuno Cudeiro's articles: Digital Television and Communication in the 21st Century: Part 1 and Digital Television and Communication in the 21st Century: Part 2.

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By michal1980 on 9/13/2007 10:05:26 AM , Rating: 2
no one watched them on tv. and now they will watch them on the net. hmm.

RE: so
By on 9/13/2007 10:12:38 AM , Rating: 3
I think the point to take from all this is: TV is getting less relevant, and the Internet is getting more so. Unspoken from this particular article is how TV costs are going up while viewership is going down, meaning clever niche shows are having harder times surviving if they're not a monster hit immediately.

They don't need to worry about drumming up and cramming $2-million worth of advertising into a web show. So, despite being on a smaller scale it might turn out to be a success.

RE: so
By peldor on 9/13/2007 11:24:50 AM , Rating: 3
TV is not getting less relevant, but the big networks are. With 100+ channels a common occurance, chances are one of the 96+ 'other' channels is going to be tuned in instead of ABCNBCCBSFOX.

TV viewership was higher in 2006 than 1996, and the average home now has more TVs than people.

RE: so
By Polynikes on 9/13/2007 12:18:43 PM , Rating: 2
This would also help a lot of shows that don't make it stay "on the air" longer. Jericho would've died had it not been for a massive fan mobilization, but a lot of shows get canned that still have strong, though not quite fanatical interest.

RE: so
By michal1980 on 9/13/2007 12:44:04 PM , Rating: 2
Your missing the big picture.

And while this will allow some shows to continue, the audience is going to shrink more and more.

first you have network tv audience (very large)
Then Preimum cable audience (large)
Then mainstream calbe. like TNT (still large, not as much so)
Then the current popular cable channels like food network. (medium audience)
Then the other cable channels,like G4 (small audience)

Under that you have the internet...

The problem is the money. How much money can you milk off net users? a group that will steal the show, post it for free, watch close to 0 ad's etc. And be small. I'm sure theres a few actors that will work for next to nothing.

But everyone needs to eat. And as you move up the food chain you get more money.

The internet is right now not going to replace tv.

The more channels you have the quality of the programing doesn't improve, more choice does not equal better choices.

RE: so
By Polynikes on 9/13/2007 10:01:02 PM , Rating: 2
It seems you caught me in a rare moment of optimistic weakness.

RE: so
By danskmacabre on 9/13/2007 10:18:44 AM , Rating: 2
I stoppped watching TV a long time ago anyway.
Alhough I quite like this webcast idea, but I doubt I will watch these programmes.

RE: so
By Alexstarfire on 9/13/2007 11:27:13 AM , Rating: 2
Well the net can take all the crap that's produced on TV. The countless drama and reality shows are getting very annoying. American Idol became pointless after Season 1 since I doubt anyone could name all the people that have won since then. Yet I'm sure that 90% of the population knows who won Season 1.

I say good riddance.

RE: so
By theapparition on 9/14/2007 8:25:39 AM , Rating: 2
American Idol became pointless after Season 1 since I doubt anyone could name all the people that have won since then.

As much as it pains me to say this, ratings disagree with you as they have pretty much increased each season. The sheeple just love their made-up stars.

Is it any wonder I hardly watch network programming anymore?

Poor Title Choice
By themadmilkman on 9/13/2007 11:07:40 AM , Rating: 2
Given the competition between YouTube and MySpace for video generation, referring to television as "The Tube" is somewhat confusing.

RE: Poor Title Choice
By JasonMick (blog) on 9/13/2007 11:29:54 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry if you think so.

"The tube" is still a colloquialism for TV last I checked. I don't refer to YouTube as "The Tube"...I call it "YouTube".

Besides, if you were interested in a story about Myspace as the headline indicates, you would get a story about Myspace.

And if anyone was left in the dark about what exactly the horribly complex title meant, I'm sure if they actually read the article that might clarify things for them.

I hope you found the story interesting at least.

RE: Poor Title Choice
By Icepick on 9/13/2007 11:42:18 AM , Rating: 3
Based solely upon the title I initially thought the article was about a TV network that ended a deal with YouTube and engaged MySpace instead.

As you stated, after I took time to read the article the story became clear. :)

RE: Poor Title Choice
By Jedi2155 on 9/13/2007 11:03:03 PM , Rating: 2
The same happened to me, I had the exact same thought when I first read the title. Maybe if you took off the capitilization for the Tube, and instead just said the tube, it wouldn't be as easily confused.

I also think there is a typo in the bold intro description.

Shouldn't it be Award instead of Awarding ?

yeah but its still Fox
By Shadowmaster625 on 9/13/2007 2:33:10 PM , Rating: 2
whats the difference if its Fox on tv or Fox on the internet? (Rupert Murdoch)

RE: yeah but its still Fox
By Aprime on 9/14/2007 12:45:44 PM , Rating: 2
One's on-demand (usually), the other one isn't.

Unless you're a Tivo maniac.

RE: yeah but its still Fox
By Aprime on 9/14/2007 12:47:22 PM , Rating: 2
One's on-demand (usually), the other one isn't.

Unless you're a Tivo maniac.

By killerroach on 9/13/2007 9:40:23 AM , Rating: 2
While both shows have a bit of a cult classic, it's a bit of a stretch to call "My So-Called Life" a success... it lasted nineteen episodes, after all.

The format switch is interesting, however, and it'll be worth noting how the experiment pays off for them. Don't quite get the financials behind it, but, when you're faced with some money for your work or no money, you take what you can get and run with it...

On a final note, considering ABC's treatment of "My So-Called Life", the fact that the producer went back to them in the first place for "Quarterlife" is kinda the Hollywood equivalent of going back into an abusive relationship... don't quite get that.

RE: Successes?
By xsilver on 9/13/2007 10:07:40 AM , Rating: 2
lol about the abusive relationship thing...
think of tv networks as the last 4 men on earth, each uglier and more abusive than the next. You gotta sleep with one of them, pick your poison :P

By Icepick on 9/13/2007 11:39:24 AM , Rating: 2
Distributing TV shows solely to the Internet and bypassing the traditional television networks seems like the next natural step in the evolution of these shows. Take the series, "Jericho" for example. I watched every episode of that show on the Internet at and never on the TV. I only watched it at my home PC on my own schedule. It was actually nice because the frequency of commercial breaks was much less and each commercial break only contained one advertisement. This led to less wasted time watching commercials I didn't care about. I switched over to watching "Survivor" only on too.

The benefits are:
1. Watching the show when I choose to.
2. less wasted time on annoying advertisements without using an antiquated VCR or paying to rent a TIVO or buidling a home theater pc :).

By StillPimpin on 9/13/2007 12:24:13 PM , Rating: 2
So correct. I too have switched to watching my favorite shows online as well for the exact reasons previously stated. And as soon as I get a PVR, I'll probably watch more television shows but with far less commercials.

By on 9/13/2007 10:07:32 AM , Rating: 2
What I find most interesting is how the format change from TV to the 'Net also allows them to brings other changes, like the show length. They aren't trying to fill an hour spot replete with commercials, so they don't need as much filler and fluff just to fill out an episode. Just a few minutes a week to keep costs down and keep folks interested. They can be arbitrary length, instead of a set-in-concrete 42 minutes (sans commercials, credits) like TV would require.

The 30-minute and 60-minute TV timeslot is looking more and more like a dinosaur.

By oTAL on 9/13/2007 10:32:06 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the reference Mick.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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