NBC Kills 'Quarterlife' After One Episode
NBC Kills 'Quarterlife' After One Episode
There are many television shows that get yanked off the air before they get a chance to prove themselves.  Viva Laughlin was put out of its misery after two episodes.  The late, great Wonderfalls was canceled after only four episodes.  The classic My So-Called Life at least made it 19 episodes, but that still wasn't nearly enough.  Now we can add NBC's Quarterlife to the list of shows killed before their time.  The series, coincidentally created by the My So-Called Life team of Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick, debuted on Tuesday at 10pm to 3.1 million viewers.  That number just happens to be the lowest ratings NBC has had in that time slot in the past 17 years, which caused them to yank the show from the schedule immediately.  Quarterlife was supposed to continue its run on Sundays beginning March 2, but now it looks like that slot will be filled by Dateline NBC.

Though the decision is sure to upset fans of the twentysomething drama, series co-creator Marshall Herskovitz admits that he could see it coming.  In a speech at the Harvard Business School's Entertainment & Media conference, Herskovitz told a group that the drama about a blogger and her friends "never should have been a network show.  It's too specific."  The show was also a rather poor fit for NBC, which is more interested in promoting '80s retreads like American Gladiators and Knight Rider rather than sincere dramas.

It was likely a lack of promotion coupled with poor critical reviews that kept people away from the series.  TV Guide's Matt Roush, an avid supporter of previous Herskovitz/Zwick efforts like thirtysomething and Once and Again, called the series "an obsessively introspective scripted soap opera for an audience weaned on cheesy unscripted serials like The Real World and The Hills."

Of course this news isn't too crushing for Quarterlife fans, as the show originally found life on MySpaceTV.com.  The series is still airing on the web and currently has 33 episodes lasting five to ten minutes each, with more still to be produced.  Unlike most shows that get yanked by a network before their time, Quarterlife will have many more hours of content.  If anything, its lone network broadcast may draw in new fans, making this a winning situation for all involved.  Well, everyone except for NBC.

- Don Williams, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: TV Guide
(Image courtesy of MySpace.com)