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Quarterlife's Next Life...and Other Good News
November 20, 2007  | By David Bianculli
 
A week ago Monday in this blog, I raved about a new dramatic series by Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick called Quarterlife - available, at the time, only on the Internet (on MySpace and its own brand-new website, Quarterlife.com), presented twice weekly in eight-minute chunks. The next day, I reviewed Quarterlife on Fresh Air.

Yesterday, NBC snatched up the rights to Quarterlife, and plans to present it as a one-hour dramatic series in January.

Don't thank me. Thank the writers' strike.

And, in this case, do thank the strike, because Quarterlife most likely would not have gotten on television without it. It's the first example of the networks thinking outside the box to fill the box - and from the standpoint of the quality TV fan, anything that isn't another thrown-together reality show is cause for celebration.

The shows that are fun to watch right now are winding down, spinning out their final two or three (or, in some rare cases, seven or eight) episodes before there are no more scripts to film. The good shows that were supposed to come next, like 24 and Lost, are shelved or in jeopardy.

So we ought to be thankful for any good new stuff coming around the bend during these strike months, which are increasingly likely to be months.

RickyGervaisStephenMerchant.jpgNext month, for example, CBS launches the Larry McMurtry Lonesome Dove prequel Comanche Moon, Sci-Fi Channel presents its major Tin Man project, and HBO provides one of the biggest treats of the entire year: a movie-length special wrapping up the Ricky Gervais-Stephen Merchant comedy series Extras, just like the brilliant Christmas special that closed the book on their original, British version of The Office.

When those are over, Quarterlife will be next. And then what?

Eventually, new shows - written by writers, acted by actors, directed by directors, none of the on strike.

The sooner the better. And if you want better sooner, hope that next week's strike talks go somewhere fast.

 
 
 
 
 
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