ATX Television Festival and The Black List are looking to bring a new wave of voices to TV writers’ rooms.
The Austin-set fest and Black List have partnered with USA Network, FX Networks, Sony Pictures Television, Bad Robot Productions and Carlton Cuse Productions on a writing program created to identify TV writers for staffing consideration across the participating networks, studios and production companies.
To be considered for the program, writers are asked to host their original pilots on The Black List’s website through April 15. The Black List will identify five to 10 of the strongest drama and comedy offerings and share them with the participants above. Finalists will be announced at the annual ATX Festival, set to run June 9-12.
“Our partnerships are vital to the growth and evolution of the ATX Television Festival, and we are thrilled to be able to work with [Black List founder Franklin Leonard] and the Black List to launch this new program by connecting outstanding writers with our studio, network and production partners,” said Emily Gipson and Caitlin McFarland, co-executive directors and founders of the fest. “ATX’s mission is to celebrate, inspire and create opportunities within the television community, and there’s no better way than by helping to discover the next generation of talented TV writers.”
“While the annual Black List and our website are normally associated with feature film, we’ve helped writers of original episodic pilots have their work evaluated and share it with the industry for a year and a half now,” said Leonard. “We’re big fans of the ATX Television Festival and are overjoyed to increase the visibility of the talented writers we discover through this partnership.”
The writing program comes amid “Peak TV,” where broadcast, cable and premium networks as well as streaming services have combined for more than 400 original scripted dramas. The demand for original scripted programming has put experienced showrunners at a premium and thinned the ranks of experienced writers.