Comedy Central launches short pilot competition with New York TV Festival

As the 2011 New York Television Festival hits its own homestretch this weekend, it has announced a new initiative with Comedy Central that seeks original comedy pilots and scripts, with the top submission receiving a $7,500 development deal from the network next year.

“The NYTVF is thrilled to partner with Comedy Central on this new development initiative and open industry doors for our community of independent artists” said NYTVF Founder and Executive Director Terence Gray.  “As television and new media continue to take chances and push the boundaries of comedy, this is an exciting time for great comedic voices to get their shot. The NYTVF has a solid tradition of finding great talent and we look forward to sharing the best, weirdest, wildest, most hilarious and off-the-wall selections with Comedy Central.”

“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,” said Kent Alterman, Comedy Central’s Head of Original Programming and Production.

How it’ll work:

  • It’s open to U.S. residents 18 and older who aren’t currently under contract or in development with another network, studio or production company — which would prevent them from an exclusive deal with Comedy Central.
  • Your entry will include the first act of an original comedy pilot (four to 11 minutes), along with the 10-25 page shooting script for the full episode.
  • Entries can be submitted from October 2011 through January 2012.
  • An NYTVF screening committee of will narrow the pool to 25 finalists to be presented to Comedy Central development executives. Comedy Central will pick one winner, but also may enter into development agreements with additional finalists and all 25 selected creators will be invited to participate in the 2012 New York Television Festival as Official Artists.
  • Official contest rules here:

The 2011 festival includes its own independent pilot competitions, featuring a Fox Comedy Script Contest, A&E Unscripted Development Pipeline, as well as the Independent Pilot Competition’s category awards and sponsored awards from FX/Apostle, IFC, MTV and Syfy.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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