'Harvard,' 'Gauntlet' win NYTVF nods

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NEW YORK -- The New York Television Festival concluded Sunday with the unscripted pilot "The Gauntlet" and the drama "Dear Harvard" taking home top honors.

"Gauntlet," a reality show about workplace rivalries, won the MSN-sponsored artistic achievement award and also was named best nonscripted pilot. As the winner of the award, creator-producer-writer-director Scott Patterson will get a development deal with Microsoft's MSN, including $10,000 funding for a new project.

"Harvard," a teen drama about a young girl at an elite private school, won three awards, including the TV Guide Audience Award, which is voted by popular choice. The Anne Jarmain-produced pilot also won for best drama, and Ella Rae Peck was named best actress.

"Split the Difference," the winner of last year's audience award, was purchased by NBC Universal Television Studios (now Universal Media Studios), and the 2005 winner, "Off the Hook," was on the Comcast-owned Versus channel last year.

"Apartment 413," a sitcom featuring puppets, won the award for best comedy. The show was produced by Josh Cohen, Tamra Malaga and Tony Colon.

Jack Piccone was named best writer for the supernatural drama/comedy "The Agency"; Ali Farahnakian won best actor for his role in the workplace comedy "Video Shmideo"; and Grant Weiss and John Paul White took best directing honors for the supernatural drama "Sacrifice."

In all, 28 shows competed in the Independent Pilot Competition in the third version of the NYTVF. There were more than 2,000 submissions to the competition.

Later this week, the winners of the first NYTVF Fellowships will be announced. The four winning writer-directors will be paired with industry veterans Mitch Hurwitz ("Arrested Development"), Phil Rosenthal ("Everybody Loves Raymond"), Tom Fontana ("Oz," "Homicide: Life on the Street") or Michael Davies ("Who Wants to Be a Millionaire") for mentoring on their next TV project.

In addition to its goal of opening a channel for independent television, the festival also screened the first episodes of ABC's "Pushing Daisies," NBC's "Chuck" and Fox's "New Amsterdam."

The festival began Wednesday and was held at New World Stages in Midtown Manhattan.
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