In September, Siege gave us the scoop on Quarterlife, a web series from Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick, the creators of My So-Called Life. The series stars Bitsie Tulloch and Michelle Lombardo (Girltrash!) as young artists. It debuted Nov. 11 on MySpace.
I’ve watched a few episodes, and for the most part I find it witty and endearing. Maybe it’s not quite up to Angela Chase standards, but it has its moments. And apparently NBC thinks so too: The network has picked up the series for rebroadcast on TV. Instead of 36 eight-minute episodes (the web format), NBC will air six one-hour episodes beginning in early 2008.
Because I’m not a fan of watching things on my computer, I’m much more likely to see the whole series now. But it’s a curious transition: One of the best things about Quarterlife is the associated networking site that allows users to post their own video content and interact with other artists. Will the whole concept lose something in the translation to TV?
And what about the business side of things? This deal goes right to the heart of the issues that led the WGA to strike. Say you have a brave new development model: Shows start out on the web and get picked up by the networks. But then what — do they go back to the web? If so, will the writers ultimately lose money? NBC does plan to stream the one-hour versions of Quarterlife on nbc.com, so it’s a perfect test case. Here’s how The Hollywood Reporter explains it:
Hmm. It will be interesting to see how this all turns out. I wonder what a virtual strike would look like?
Here’s the Quarterlife trailer. Full episodes are available on MySpace.