New York Television Festival and Comedy Central Partner on Pilot Competition

10:49 AM PST 09/22/2011 by Marisa Guthrie
Comedy Central

The winner will get a development deal with the network.

NEW YORK -- The New York Television Festival (NYTVF) and Comedy Central are partnering on a short pilot competition that will give the winner a development deal with the network.

The actual cash value of the prize is modest: $7,500. But the initiative is designed to give independent producers and writers – who may not yet have a list of credits or an agent – access to development executives.

“While it may seem like a generous gesture of support to an emerging generation of creators, we are really hoping to find something compelling for very cheap,” Kent Alterman, Comedy Central’s head of original programming and production, said in a statement.

The contest is timed to the 2012 NYTVF. Completed entries will include a four-to-eleven minute first act of an original comedy pilot accompanied by a 10-to-25 page shooting script. An NYTVF screening committee will narrow the pool of entrants down to 25 finalists, which will be presented to Comedy Central development executives. One winner will be selected by Comedy Central, but the network may elect to enter into development agreements with additional finalists. Additionally, all 25 creators will be invited to participate in the 2012 NYTVF as “official artists,” which means they’ll be able to pitch to network executives participating in the festival.

Comedy Central is currently looking to develop the midnight slot after The Colbert Report, noted Lisa Leingang, senior vp of development and original programming at Comedy Central.

In January, the network will bow MadTV alums Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peel’s still untitled sketch comedy show in the enviable time-slot after Tosh.0, said Leingang. And The Nick Kroll Show – which will have The League and Children’s Hospital star doing his well-known characters – is likely to bow next spring. Kroll is an alum of the 2006 NYTVF.

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