While writers are out striking for payment for work distributed via the Internet, NBC is looking for new programming ... on the Internet.
The network has discussed bringing the online show "Quarterlife" to over-the-air television. The show premieres on MySpace Sunday (and on its own dedicated site the next day), and NBC is considering repurposing it as backup if the writers' strike goes on for a while, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
One of the primary issues in the strike is the Writers Guild's demand to be paid residuals when shows are streamed or downloaded. "Quarterlife" could possibly flow in the other direction, beginning its life online and, if a deal shapes up, moving to traditional TV.
The show comes from "My So-Called Life" and "thirtysomething" creators Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick and grew out of a pilot they did for ABC a few seasons back. It centers on a group of friends in their mid-20s and their entangled relationships, made all the more complicated when one of them, Dylan (Bitsie Tulloch, whom web-video fans may recognize from the "lonelygirl15" saga), starts video-blogging about their lives.
"Quarterlife" also stars Scott Michael Foster ("Greek"), Michelle Lombardo ("Click"), David Walton ("Heist"), Maite Schwartz, Kevin Christy ("Seven Days," "For Your Consideration") and Barret Swatek ("7th Heaven").
The series is set to run for 36 eight-minute episodes. That would translate to about 13 half-hour episodes (with commercials) or seven one-hour installments on broadcast TV.