Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Quarterlife--New Incubator For Programming?

Did you see the first episode of the new NBC series last night? If you’re anywhere close to my age, you probably didn’t unless you just stumbled upon it as I did. Actually, I knew that the first series to have originated on the web and move TO television was to be aired, so I stopped and took a look.

To me, while there was no obvious story line there was the usual navel-gazing andtwenty-something angst. It’s interesting, though, that the first episode prominently featured Dylan’s video blog as sort of a centerpiece of the social interaction.

For all of us who didn’t know, the webisode series debuted in November on MySpace. It got media attention because seasoned Hollywood producers were behind it. About the time it debuted on the Internet it was picked up by NBC for a broadcast series. The interplay between broadcast TV, Internet and the writers’ strike is interesting. The timing made the independent content attractive; how much pre-planning went into that I do not know.

The series had its own website, quarterlife.com. Here’s what it says about the series today. There’s lots of video, a community, and a dozen or so channels on which users can post UCG and discuss subjects ranging from art to love. The ones I looked at seemed to have active content.
With the debut of the TV series the show has a page on the NBC website where, among other things, you can watch full-length episodes.

The package has a clear target audience—young, creative professionals. It has interesting cross-promotion between web and television. What is says about the future of programming on both screens (until/unless they converge to become one) is less clear to me. It occurs to me that the Internet may prove to be a faster, lower-cost way to test story ideas. If television is first, will movies be far behind?

It’s an interesting new wrinkle in the already-chaotic new media world!
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2 comments:

basksetball goal man said...

I think that there will be, at some point, a convergence of TV and the Internet. However coming from the infrastructure side of the business I can tell you that that day is far into the future. Through Verizon has done some great work in getting Optic fiber to the curb is some locations, that is the exception, not the rule. I could see the demand far out-pacing the ability of the ISPs to provide a pipe large enough to handle all of the high bandwidth traffic. That short-fall might just be the foothold that network television needs in order to imagine how the future will look and how they might move to fit in.

Bryan Kilpatrick

Sam Lam said...

The show didn't do that well, it was quickly taken off air...

"The show was an outright bomb, with the Hollywood Reporter saying that it had earned the worst 10 p.m. time period ratings for the network in 17 years. NBC pulled the show immediately, announcing that it would finish its run on Bravo."