Author: Sean L. McCarthy

Kevin Smith helps launch Rivit TV with his “Hollyweed” pilot

First came Channel 101. Screening 5-minute shorts, and asking audiences to vote for their favorites to return for new episodes since 2003. Then came Amazon Prime, which started making originals by allowing consumers to view all of the potential pilots first and weigh in with votes and comments. Now comes Rivit TV, a new TV platform allowing viewers to decide which all-new TV pilots they’d like to greenlight to series, and how much they’d be willing to spend per episode should that happen. The more people who decide to pitch in, the more likely the show gets made and the...

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“Hammerhead” takes top honors at 2018 New York Television Festival

A hotbed for independent pilots and development deals, the first-ever summer edition of the New York Television Festival wrapped over the weekend, with Hammerhead taking top honors as both Best of the Fest and winning the NYTVF Critics Award. Just in time for Shark Week, too! Hammerhead isn’t that kind of TV show, though. Created by New Yorker Dean Imperial, the independent TV pilot follows “an ambitious, driven, and deceptively cunning young man with a deformed forehead (who) leaves his father’s home after graduate school determined to climb the ladder of success in New York City.” And in the...

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Patton Oswalt on responsibilities and apologies

Patton Oswalt sat down last month with Washington Post reporter Elahe Izadi (a comedian herself in her spare time) for a spirited conversation about what it means to be a comedian in 2018. Izadi asked Oswalt how he navigates the line in a time when every Tweet is scrutinized, and comedians are taken to task or even fired over them. “There’s not a line anymore. The line just shifts every day,” he said. Ironically, today, almost a month after this conversation, the Twitter trolls are attacking Oswalt over an experiment he launched five years ago to trap people trying...

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The Jeanne Robertson Humor Competition

Jeanne Robertson has 166,000 YouTube Subscribers and many years of experience speaking at corporate events and conventions. Now she’s challenging you out there to see if you’re funny enough to join her onstage. The Jeanne Robertson Humor Competition is seeking YouTube entries by Aug. 6, 2018, for a chance at $1,000 in cash plus the opportunity to perform your winning comedy material in front of a live audience during one of Robertson’s shows. Yep, just send her your email with a YouTube clip between 3 and 10 minutes long of your “family-friendly” funny stuff, plus $35 entry fee. Runners-up...

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Getting the facts from Go Fact Yourself host J. Keith Van Straaten

J. Keith Van Straaten, host of the live game show and podcast for Maximum Fun, Go Fact Yourself, met up with me earlier this summer while scouting locations for taking his game show on the road to New York City. Live shows of Go Fact Yourself are happening this weekend (July 21-22) at Caveat, with special guests Stacy London and Scott Rogowsky on Saturday; Ophira Eisenberg and Charles Busch on Sunday. Van Straaten’s first big gig as a game show host came in 2001, when he presided over the first season of Beat The Geeks on Comedy Central. But...

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