MSN, CW Seed Hand Out Digital Development Deals at NYTVF

/ Oct 26, 2013

Photo: Lauren Caulk/NYTVF

The ninth annual New York Television Festival came to a close tonight with the organization unveiling the recipients of 20 development deals from an array TV and digital network and studio partners. In total, the NYTVF says 31 development deals were handed out in 2013, up from 26 in 2012 and 15 in 2011.

Within the digital sphere, here were the notable winners:

Guy Georgeson of Toronto, Canada won the MSN Short-Form Storytellers Challenge, which tasked creators to come up with a micro-series idea (each episode can be longer than two minutes). Georgeson’s “Coolest Thing I’ve Ever Made” was picked by MSN on Friday night to receive the development deal, which gives Georgeson $75,000 to produce 12 episodes of the series.

The CW Network’s digital-only studio, CW Seed, handed out two $5,000 “Festival Development Deals” (guaranteed option deals), the first to John Thibodeaux and Kevin Walsh of Chicago, and the other to Jim Garvey and Stian Hafstad, from Los Angeles and Norway, respectively. CW Seed’s creative brief requested web series submissions adhering to “CW values” like being “smartly provocative, culturally current, emotionally authentic, uniquely individual, and social.” More specifically, CW Seed said it was looking for comedy (scripted and reality), “personality-based,” or fantasy programming targeting adults ages 18-34.

The IFC handed out its “Out of the Box” Award, another official Festival Development Deal, to “Incognito,” a pilot created and written by Alison Rich and Andrew Law. The TV pilot is based on a web series of the same name, which was independently produced and distributed on YouTube last year. The IFC, which was looking for an “alternative” narrative-comedy pilot, handed out $25,000 to the filmmakers. Rich also won the Best Actress Award at the Independent Pilot Competition for her role in “Incognito.”

Speaking of the Independent Pilot Competition, the program handed out its Best Web Series Pilot Award to “Escape from Brooklyn,” which was created by Sue Galloway (“30 Rock”) and Megan Neuringer.

If you want to see the full list of winners, fret not, I’ve copied and pasted the full announcement below:

2013 Development Deals

MSN Short-Form Storytellers Challenge

Announced on Friday, October 25 following a live pitch event featuring five finalists, the winner of the first-ever MSN Short-Storytellers Challenge received a $75,000 production budget from MSN to create an original short-form series for the Microsoft video platform.

– “Coolest Thing I’ve Ever Made” by Guy Georgeson (Toronto, ON, Canada)

Other Previously-Announced 2013 Development Deal Winners

Earlier in 2013, the NYTVF announced winners of the Comedy Central Short Pilot Competition and the NBC Voice and Vision Drama Challenge, as well as finalists in the A&E and HISTORY Unscripted Development Pipelines, with each receiving a development deal from the network.

NYTVF Pitch – Announced Today

In 2013, the third installment of this initiative welcomed back Pitch Partners, Sundance Channel and BIO Channel, along with new additions Gannett Broadcasting and National Geographic Channel. Each partner provided a creative brief, which was shared with NYTVF’s Official Artists. Artists were invited to submit specific pitches for each partner and the top ideas were identified by the NYTVF for the chance to pitch during the Festival.

Each Pitch Partner guaranteed one development deal for an artist participating in NYTVF Pitch, with the following coming out on top:

– BIO Channel: Anre Garrett (Miami, FL)

– Gannett Broadcasting: David Guthrie and Nick Nelson (Toronto, ON, Canada)

– National Geographic Channel: Justin Lamb (New York, NY)

– Sundance Channel: Alex J. Mann (New York, NY)

FOX-NYTVF Comedy Script Contest – Announced Today

For the sixth consecutive year, FOX partnered with the NYTVF on the annual FOX-NYTVF Comedy

Script Contest, inviting aspiring television writers to enter their scripts for original half-hour comedy

TV pilots for the opportunity to win $25,000 and a development deal with the network. Twenty-five finalists were selected to be evaluated by FOX, and the winner is:

– “We’re Not Your Parents” by Erin Cardillo and Richard Keith (Los Angeles, CA)

A&E, HISTORY and Lifetime Unscripted Development Pipelines – Announced Today

Launched in 2011 with A&E, adding Lifetime in 2012 and HISTORY in 2013, these programs sought original unscripted television concepts (including a short video and treatment) focused on individuals or small groups that represent unique points of view for each network. In each initiative, a selection of semi-finalists advanced to the corresponding network for consideration with five finalists receiving development deals. Winning producers received $10,000 and the opportunity for future development with the partnering network.

The winner of the first-annual HISTORY Unscripted Development Pipeline, which was selected from the five finalists announced earlier this year:

– Rick Dobbis for his project, “Fire Bombers” (New York, NY)

The winner of the third-annual A&E Unscripted Development Pipeline, which was selected from the five

finalists announced earlier this year:

– Nathan Stoll for his project, “Dirt Track Outlaws” (New York, NY)

Finalists in the second-annual Lifetime Unscripted Development Pipeline (winner to be announced at a later date):

– Jake Greene for “JR – Style by Fire” (Los Angeles, CA)

– Sue Mowris for “LumberJill” (Madison, WI)

– Harold Abrams for “Miss Vivian – the Funeral Lady” (Virginia Beach, VA)

– Bill Herndon and Brett Gay for “Sisters of the Game” (Baltimore, MD and Fresno, CA)

– Soreyrith Um for “Wrestling Hollywood” (Nashville, TN)

2013 Festival Development Awards – Announced Today

In 2013, seven NYTVF Festival Development Partners offered guaranteed development options to the NYTVF community. Festival Development Awards go to producers and content creators from among the New York Television Festival’s 2013 class of Official Artists. (Official Artists are those who either had their pilot named an Official Selection of the Independent Pilot Competition (IPC) or was a semi-finalist or finalist in any other NYTVF initiatives.)

– BET Networks Development Deal: Joseph Gerbino (West Palm Beach, FL)

– Channel 4 Development Deal: Scott Eckert (Brooklyn, NY)

– CW Seed Digital Development Deals (2): John Thibodeaux and Kevin Walsh (Chicago, IL) and Jim Garvey and Stian Hafstad (Los Angeles, CA and Bergen, Norway)

– MTV Comedy Development Deal: Sydney Nikols and Julia Mattison (New York, NY)

– truTV Development Deal: Ramiro Castro Jr., Andrew Rollins Dewitt and Mike Bridenstine (Los Angeles, CA)

– VH1 Development Deal: Brona C. Titley and Tony Cooke (London, England)

Additionally, for the fifth consecutive year, IFC is awarding the “Out of the Box” Award to the pilot that the network identifies as the most innovative or genre-expanding pilot in competition.

– IFC “Out of the Box” Award: “Incognito” created by Alison Rich and Andrew Law (New York, NY)

Independent Pilot Competition – Announced Today

– Best Comedy Pilot: “Animals” created by Phil Matarese and Mike Luciano (New York, NY)

– Best Drama or Dramedy Pilot: “Hereafter” created by Johnny Kenton (London, England)

– Best Web Series Pilot: “Escape from Brooklyn” created by Sue Galloway and Megan Neuringer (New York, NY)

– Best Unscripted Pilot: “Anything You Can Do” created by Omar Kenawi and Martina Kabelkova (London, England)

– Best Actress: Alison Rich for “Incognito” (New York, NY)

– Best Actor: (tie) Peyton Brown, Brian Hurwitz, Josh Segovia, and Tyler Smith for “Exquisite Corpse” (Chicago, IL)

– Best Directing: Todd Bieber for “Engaged” (New York, NY)

– Best Writing: “Disenchanted” written by Justin Neufeld, Mark Spacek, Galen Church and Bill Wise (Austin, TX)

– NYTVF Critics Award: “Killer Moves” created by Ben Hillyar and David Mayes (Beconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England)

– NYTVF Audience Award: “Re:Verse” created by Stephen Soroka and Nic Rad (New York, NY)

– NYTVF “Best of the Fest”: “Re:Verse” created by Stephen Soroka and Nic Rad (New York, NY)

Descriptions and trailers for these and all IPC selections can be found at:

Header Image: Lauren Caulk/NYTVF

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