February 27, 2008 / 11:18 PM / 11 years ago

NBC bombs with "quarterlife" premiere

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The debut of NBC’s new series “quarterlife” marked the network’s worst time-period performance in at least 17 years and has thrown the show’s fate into imminent jeopardy.

Premiering Tuesday night at 10 p.m., “quarterlife” pulled in just 3.1 million viewers. It came in a distant last place in the hour despite having a relatively strong lead-in from “The Biggest Loser” (8.1 million).

Though no official cancellation has been announced, sources say the series is expected to be yanked after a single airing — a rare event that previously occurred when Fox axed “Anchorwoman” last summer.

NBC Entertainment co-chairman Ben Silverman said “quarterlife” was “so worth the try.”

“The web site traffic went up a huge amount and we continue to try new things and new models,” Silverman said. “It’s very inexpensive but we hoped for higher ratings.”

The series made headlines when NBC picked up “quarterlife” in November after it debuted on MySpace, with producers Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick making an unprecedented deal to retain ownership of a network series. NBC has noted that “quarterlife” was an opportunity to pickup a scripted series with online following during the uncertain writers strike.

Since “quarterlife” already ran online, and MTV aired the show earlier on Tuesday, the show’s target audience may have been tapped out before the network premiere.

Otherwise, Fox won the night once again, thanks to a 90-minute “American Idol” that averaged 29 million viewers.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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