Friday, February 29, 2008

A Fraction of "quarterlife"

I'm indebted to for any and all factual information in the following. I don't like facts.

After exactly one airing, NBC has cancelled its online-spawned series "quarterlife." Having seen several "webisodes" of the show, I can tell you it was a whiny bore about some twenty-somethings with nothing to complain about doing a lot of complaining.

Another self-pitying pile of tripe from Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz -- the "creative" minds behind the dreadful "thirtysomething" (they like their lower-case letters, don't they?) and the wildly overrated "My So-Called Life," "quarterlife" could not have been more annoying. Frankly, I'm surprised viewers didn't flock to it, given most of the highly rated shows these days. And especially considering NBC kindly crammed its logo in our faces all through the primetime line-up. Maybe that strategy doesn't work so well.

So after garnering NBC's lowest rating in 17 years, "quarterlife" limps into TV history alongside some other shows that got exactly one episode. This exclusive club includes:

"Co-Ed Fever": a 1979 effort that attempted to cash on on the success of Animal House. It starred Heather Thomas and David Keith who, I'm sure, would prefer I not remind you of it.

"Dot Comedy": a series on the cheap. In 2000, ABC tried to cash in on online content with this jumble of viral clips hosted by Annabelle Gurwitch and the grating Sklar brothers.

"Emily's Reasons Why Not": another ABC bomb, this one from 2006. Starred Heather Graham. Rumor has it that ABC execs bought the show without looking at the pilot. Lesson learned?

"Lookwell": Conan O'Brien, then a writer on "Saturday Night Live," scripted this spoof of TV detective shows about an actor who plays a gumshoe, then stumbles into a real case. The irony of Adam West playing an actor was genius. A very funny 1991 show that never got picked up but after several insiders clamored for it, the pilot finally got a look from NBC. Shame that's all they aired.

"South of Sunset": after excessive promotion during the World Series, CBS aired this stinkfest starring Eagle Glenn Frey exactly one time. The remaining episodes were later farmed out to VH1.

This year's previous early axing champion, "Viva Laughlin," actually lasted for two episodes before being mercifully put down, not that anyone noticed. So bid farewell to "quarterlife" and celebrate the joyous fact that NBC now has yet another slot for more "Deal or No Deal."

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