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quarterlife: NBC Cancels Web Series After Single Episode

quarterlifeTo no surprise to anyone, NBC has cancelled quarterlife after a single episode on the air.

The series was conceived by Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick, the creative team behind shows like thirtysomething, Once and Again, and My So-Called Life. The show follows the life of online writer Dylan Krieger (Bitsie Tulloch) and her friends. The rest of the cast includes Kevin Christy, Scott Michael Foster, Michelle Lombardo, Maite Schwartz, Barrett Swatek, and David Walton.

The quarterlife series began as a group of eight-minute episodes that debuted online via MySpace.com. During the writers strike, NBC made a deal to group several segments together and run them in primetime as hour-long episodes.

The series kicked off on NBC with a special preview episode on Tuesday night. Unfortunately, few cared or watched — quarterlife attracted a dismal 3.1 million viewers and a 1.3 rating/4 share with the 18-49 demographic. This represents a 17-year low in the 10pm timeslot for the peacock network.

The drama was scheduled to begin its regular run on Sunday nights beginning March 2nd but NBC has now cancelled it. They’ll be filling the timeslot with Deal or No Deal, Law & Order, and as well as repeats of USA Network’s Monk and Psych.

After ratings like that, quarterlife’s cancellation comes as no big shock to anyone, particularly Herskovitz. As part of a speech at the Harvard Business School on Wednesday, Herskovitz said that the show about a twenty-something blogger is “too specific” for network television and predicted that the series would “probably end up on cable.”

Earlier today, Hershovitz said, “We’re deeply grateful for NBC’s efforts to make quarterlife a success on network television. However, I’ve always had concerns about whether quarterlife was the kind of show that could pull in the big numbers necessary to succeed on a major broadcast network. He continued, “We live in a media world today where many shows are considered successful on cable networks with audiences that are a fraction of those on the Big Four. I’m confident that quarterlife will find the right home on television as well.”

NBC’s co-chair Ben Silverman believes that putting the web series on network TV was worth the attempt, saying, “The website traffic went up a huge amount and we continue to try new things and new models. It’s very inexpensive but we hoped for higher ratings.”

It turns out that Hershovitz’s projections were correct and quarterlife will move to NBC’s sister cable outlet, Bravo. The series will also continue to made available online via MySpaceTV.com and likely NBC.com. Stay tuned! TV Series Finale home page

 

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

kristen March 16, 2008 at 2:51 pm

ilove quaterlife watched from 1st episode cant wait 2 watch it on bravo nbc should start thinking about picking promqueen up its really juciy and trust me will get lots of ratings. iwatched all of it ready for next season. and nicki and chad need 2 be together. courtney and ben also lauren and that other guy that has crazed dainica.

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Um No March 13, 2008 at 1:15 pm

Ugh. Good riddance. A bunch of whiny, amoral twentysomethings complaining about every minute of their spoiled existence. What utter garbage. It restores a small bit of my faith in the American viewing audience that they stayed away in droves. Sadly, Bravo decided to pick it up. Here’s to hoping it dies a quick, painful death on the cable network as well.

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Jamie February 29, 2008 at 7:32 am

No surprise that it didn’t do well. No one seemed to know about it. I started watching the episodes online but then decided I’d wait to catch them on TV. That is, if NBC would ever actually announce a premiere date. Once it announced the premiere date NBC then turned around and rescheduled it for another date. I didn’t get the actual date and time of it until I found it in the TV Guide listings for this week. Lucky me.

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Will February 28, 2008 at 3:22 pm

Too much of a gickmick. Despit everyone thinking that the internet and television now to be one, the truth is that at the end of the day, people still just want to watch a damn show.

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