The Emmy Award-winning writer-producer team of Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick have teamed up with MySpaceTV to distribute their new series exclusively online. “Quarterlife” picks up the mantle thematically of the team’s critically acclaimed “My So-Called Life” and “thirtysomething” by focusing on a crew of 20-somethings.
The first episode premieres Nov. 11 on MySpaceTV. The world’s biggest social networking site will run a fresh eight-minute episode twice a week for 18 weeks.
“Quarterlife” marks the latest show slated for the Web that has star power behind the scenes. Michael Eisner’s “Prom Queen” ran this summer on MySpace and other online venues and drew 15 million views. Also, “L.A. Law” producer Steve Bochco teamed with Metacafe in the spring to produce a series of “tell-all” videos.
The MySpace partnership follows the news earlier this week that Warner Bros. Television Group plans to produce 23 short-form series for broadband and wireless.
Both MySpace and the creators of “Quarterlife” said the new show will be network TV quality.
Mr. Herskovitz said he and Mr. Zwick produced and created the show on their own and then met with various distributors about carrying the show. They ultimately chose MySpace because the online site shared their vision for leaving creative control in the hands of the artists.
“The Internet gives you a freedom you can’t have in TV anymore,” Mr. Herskovitz said. “We own the show, we have creative control. It’s in the contract. MySpace is a distribution partner.”
MySpace did not pay a license fee for the show; the producers self-funded it, Mr. Herskovitz said. He declined to disclose the costs. However, he said MySpace and the production team will share ad revenue.
MySpace has begun talking to advertisers about the show, said Jeff Berman, general manager for MySpaceTV. “‘Quarterlife’ will be the highest-production-value serialized content ever produced for the Internet,” he said. “This has the look and feel of TV shows in terms of production value, the acting, the writing.”
MySpace reaches 110 million users worldwide. Mr. Berman said MySpace will market the show solely on its site, given the reach.