That was quick. After pulling just over 3 million viewers in its initial runs, quarterlife is no more at NBC. The network pulled it after just one of the six episodes ordered, tying it with Emily’s Reasons Why Not as the shortest-lived network series ever.
Producer Marshall Herskovitz quickly issued a statement vowing to carry on:
I am happy to say that the reports of quarterlife’s demise are exaggerated. 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. It is important to remember that quarterlife has already proved itself as a successful online series and social network with millions of enthusiastic fans. 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.
And as much as I’ve picked on the show, I suspect he’s right. The real advantages of creating a show online are at least as much economic as artistic: Herskovitz and Ed Zwick own the show and presumably are able to keep the costs of production down considerably; there’s no reason it couldn’t work on a network that would be glad to get 3 million people tuning in for the observations of extremely earnest young videographers. May I suggest Current TV?