Just a few months after the bomb that was NBC's Quarterlife appeared to kill the idea that the Web could foster TV development, the broadcast networks have effectively stayed the execution of the concept by announcing plans to appropriate popular Internet series for their prime-time schedules.
Last week, ABC announced plans to pick up for midseason In the Motherhood, a mom-targeted series produced by MindShare Entertainment for MSN. Meanwhile, CBS inked a partnership with EQAL, the indy production firm behind the ubiquitous viral video series lonelygirl15.
Those moves could signal the start of a trend, as cost-conscious broadcasters look to reduce their reliance on pricey pilots by tapping inexpensively produced shows that have already built an audience online.
"We've always talked about the potential for online to be a proving ground," said Gayle Troberman, global general manager, branded entertainment at MSN.
That seemed to be the motivation behind moving Quarterlife