Yuppie-angst storytellers Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick (Once & Again, thirtysomething) are back on television – only this time, they’re tackling 20-somethings. The Emmy-winning duo have sold their unique Internet series quarterlife to NBC, which will debut the drama on Feb. 18. The series, which originally began on MySpace on Nov. 11 and www.quarterlife.com a day later, tells the story of six creative 20-somethings who are coming of age in a generation consumed by new media. The main character is Dylan, played by Bitsie Tulloch (Lonelygirl15, Lost, Cold Case), who video blogs the deep, dark secrets of her closest friends: filmmakers Danny (Heist’s David Walton) and Jed (Greek’s Scott Michael Foster), actress/bartender Lisa (Medium’s Maite Schwartz), nerd Andy (Love Don’t Cost a Thing’s Kevin Christy), and Debra (Entourage’s Michelle Lombardo). Barrett Swatek (7th Heaven) also stars as Brittany.
The weekly series’ 36 webisodes each premiered on MySpace before heading to quarterlife.com the following day. They will be edited together into six one-hour episodes for NBC.
Production of quarterlife marked the first time a network-quality series (using a network-sized budget) was produced directly for the Internet. Though Herskovitz and Zwick hired union actors and writers, the series was able to continue production after the strike began Nov. 4 because the WGA’s reach doesn’t extend to online shows. “There will be the whole question of whether the kind of ambitious Internet productions that are signatories to all the guilds will be allowed to keep functioning by the guild,” Herskovitz told EW in November. “I’m sure they have some concern that Internet production will be snapped up by TV and therefore represent a way for TV to go around the guilds. This is all just clouded in mystery right now and we’ll have to see what happens.”