If “Quarterlife” is to have a chance on TV, at least some of the MTV demographic is going to have to find its way to NBC. NBC Entertainment president Ben Silverman knows this, so instead of airing the premiere on a network in NBC U’s stable — Bravo, Oxygen, USA, etc — he gave it to Viacom’s MTV.
As a result, the first televised version of the web series will air on MTV during the afternoon on Feb. 26, the same day it premieres on NBC in the evening. Silverman explains to Reuters: “We are all vying to get our programs and ideas exposed. You hope to get shows seen in as many places as you can and having it sampled online or on a sneak peek on cable is great.”
The arrangement is unusual, but not unprecedented. A few years ago, ABC aired Touchstone’s “Monk” on the network after its first airing on USA Network.
NBC needs look no farther than CBS’s “Jericho” to realise that online buzz alone can’t make a show successful in network prime time. CBS brought back the once-cancelled show on Tuesday due clamoring from its rabid fan base on the Web. Ratings were 22% lower than last year’s premiere.
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