'Quarterlife,' 'Roommates' taking off

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NEW YORK -- "Quarterlife" and "Roommates," two original series that recently debuted on MySpace, have seen early successes, with the former garnering nearly 2 million views on the Web and the latter being reupped for a second season.

"Quarterlife," created by veteran TV and film producers Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz, debuted Nov. 11 on the News Corp.-owned social networking site, and it has registered an average of 250,000 views for the first eight eight-minute webisodes -- adding up to nearly 2 million overall views, reps for the duo said. MySpace said it has accounted for nearly 750,000 total views of the show, which will run for 36 episodes.

In addition to MySpace, "Quarterlife," which focuses on the travails of a group of creative twentysomethings, runs on seven other sites including Google's YouTube, Bebo, Facebook and Quarterlife.com.

"Breaking the traditional television distribution model by developing a show specifically for the Web has been surprising and challenging at every turn, but we couldn't be more pleased about the level of interest we've already garnered," Herskovitz said.

"Quarterlife" won't stick around the Web too much longer, though, as last month it was revealed that the show would run on NBC after its initial run concludes in early 2008. The network will air the 36 webisodes as a six-episode hourlong drama.

At the UBS Global Media Conference on Monday, Fox Interactive Media chief revenue officer Michael Barrett also talked up the success of MySpace's "Roommates," the first original series co-developed by the site, and said that it has been reupped for a second season.

The lighthearted show, which revolves around eight female former college roommates living in Los Angeles, premiered in October and has an initial run of 45 three-minute episodes exclusively on MySpace ending Dec. 21. Since its debut, MySpace said "Roommates" has gotten more than 5 million plays.

"Roommates" features product integration from Ford, and Barrett said his company has renewed with the auto giant and several other marketers for more shows. Further details on the new "Roommates" episodes were not available, but Barrett said it was just one of "many many" more projects that would be coming for MySpace.

"It's an area that's a sweet spot for us," Barrett said. "Advertisers can't get enough."

In addition to these two shows, MySpace has provided the platform for the Vuguru-produced "Prom Queen," the finale of "Lonelygirl15" and the sci-fi series "Afterworld."
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