Faced with Facebook’s exponential growth, MySpace hopes to keep its users onside with what it says is the first network-quality television series produced directly for the internet. The social network announced today it had secured the exclusive international distribution rights for Quarterlife, a new series from Emmy award-winning producers Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick. Quarterlife, which will premier in seven languages on MySpace’s global sites on November 11, delves into the lives of six people in their 20s and charts their “coming of age as a part of the digital generation”. The show was unashamedly written to appeal to today’s tech-savvy youth – the central character, a young woman named Dylan, is a blogger whose video diary divulges a few too many of her friends’ closest secrets.
It purports to be a “truthful depiction of the way young people speak, work, think, love, argue and express themselves”. To that end, Herskovitz and Zwick – the force behind My So-Called Life, thirtysomething, Legends of the Fall and Blood Diamond – will invite their audience to participate in the ongoing development of the series “through writing and video submissions”. There will be 36 episodes in total and the producers plan to create a mini social network around the show through a website, quarterlife.com. It will also have its own profile page on MySpace, which MySpace says will include bonus content such as character profiles, behind-the-scenes video footage and storyline secrets. Herskovitz and Zwick said the fact Quarterlife was an independent project meant they had full “creative autonomy”, which isn’t always possible when producing shows for traditional TV networks. Is this the beginning of TV 2.0?