Founded in 2005, the New York Television Festival (running this year from October 22-27) strives to do for the medium of TV what film festivals often do for cinema -- to provide a platform for independent work and, perhaps, in this case through network deals, a way to get it seen by a larger audience.
One of the primary ways that the festival does this is through its annual Independent Pilot Competition, in which original, independent television pilots are presented for industry execs and TV fans. Winners in a variety of categories are chosen by a jury, and in addition to those awards four networks -- IFC, MTV, Syfy and VH1 -- have signed on to offer their own prizes, each of which consists of cash and some type of development deal.
The NYTVF is free and open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis. The comedy show "Bunk," which wrapped its first season on IFC last week, was discovered by the network at the 2010 festival, becoming the first comedy pilot from the festival to be greenlit to series. Another pilot from the 2010 festival, "Hard Parts: South Bronx," was picked up by and premiered on SPEED earlier this year.
Below is a list of the 51 pilots in the 2012 official selection, which are divvied up by the festival into animated, comedy, drama and non-scripted categories.
4 Motorheads (Reality Competition)
Created by: Frank Mosca, Lenny Mitchel, and Will Vetter – City Island, NY
Four “motorheads” and best friends set out to take on unique, bizarre, and outrageous automotive events across the country.
Actors Anonymous (Comedy)
Created by: René Ashton – Studio City, CA
Actors are rehabilitated to life-after-acting with the help of a 12-step program and a load of self-restraint. Starring René Ashton, Sally Kirkland (Anna, Days of Our Lives), Lorenzo Lamas (Falcon Crest, Renegade), and Brian Krause (Charmed).
Actualized (Single-Camera Comedy)
Created by: Scott Eckert, Chris Grace, Chris O’Brien, Rich Hollman, and Nate Williams – New York, NY
John, a disgraced self-help guru, secretly hires a failed regional theater actor to be the public face of his life coaching business. Starring Dan O’Brien (Whitney), Matt Oberg (Onion News Network, Ugly Americans), Kevin Meaney (Dr. Katz) Kurt Braunohler (Bunk, Delocated), and Grace Helbig (Attack of the Show!, Daily Grace).
American Viral (Sitcom)
Created by: Shandor Garrison, AnnaRose King, and Jennifer Suhr – New York, NY
Year’s after the fame of his son’s viral video hit (“My Balls, My Balls”), a father uses any means necessary to recapture America’s heart… even if that means kidnapping his own child. Starring Michael Showalter (Stella, Wet Hot American Summer), Zandy Hartig (Childrens Hospital, Wainy Days), Griffin Newman (Political Animals), and Daniel Flaherty (Hope Springs, Skins).
Anyone’s Guess (Sketch Comedy)
Created by: Two Trick Pony – Berkeley, CA
Short films and sketch comedy combine to form the next step in the evolution of modern comedy. Scratch that: A step.
Black & White (Action Dramedy)
Created by: Gregory Storm and Maryam Storm – Burbank, CA
Half-brothers Shawn Black and Keith White work outside the law to bring positive outcomes to their clients’ bad situations.
Created by: Joe Webb – Los Angeles, CA
After their father’s death, two estranged brothers have to move back into their childhood home and find a way to pay off their dad's debt to the mob.
Bounty Hunters (Crime Comedy)
Created by: David Spates – Los Angeles, CA
David and John are bounty hunters, tracking down the baddest of the bad and meanest of the mean…that is, if they can resist killing each other along the way.
Breaking the News (Workplace Sitcom)
Created by: Matt Evans – New York, NY
News Action News is the lowest-rated local news station in Westchester, but, with a ‘can do’ attitude and a commitment to excellence, they just might make it to second-lowest. Starring Miriam Tolan (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart), Brian Stack (Conan, 30 Rock), Dave Pasquesi (Strangers With Candy, Boss), and Christine Walters (Beavis and Butt-Head, Sesame Street).
Captain Cornelius Cartoon’s Cartoon Lagoon (Animated Puppet Comedy)
Created by: Manny Galán – New York, NY
Join Captain Cornelius Cartoon, Wet Willy Jones, and Axel Rodd McGee on their undersea quest aboard the Manta Ray as it plumbs the depths of Cartoon Lagoon in search of the best and the worst cartoons ever made. Starring Chris Phillips (Team Umizoomi) and the puppeteer work of Noel MacNeal (Bear in the Big Blue House), Michael Schupbach (Sesame Street), and Frankie Cordero (The Daily).
Control (Sci-fi Drama)
Created by: Josh Bernhard and Bracey Smith – Astoria, NY
Control explores political, social, and interpersonal challenges in the pressure-filled mission control center of a manned space mission.
The Dangerous Wanderings of C. Philip Montgomery (Animated Comedy)
Created by: Ash Louis and Evan Morgenstern – New York, NY
In the early 1900's, a crew of dysfunctional, entitled, alcoholic explorers led by C. Philip Montgomery race around the world to show up a rival Canadian exploration crew.
Darla (Dark Comedy)
Created by: Kelly May – Santa Monica, CA
This sunny, California-set, wicked comedy follows absent-minded trivia aficionado Darla as she spends her days exterminating local girls who have failed to live up to her "standards of social order."
The Dody Show (White Trash Mockumentary Web Series)
Created by: Carrie Preston – New York, NY
Dody (a strong, sexy, trashy chick) and her brother Willie have to deal with the fallout when an X-Tube video of her husband and best friend goes viral. Created by and starring Carrie Preston (True Blood, The Good Wife).
From Adam (Comedy)
Created by: Stephen Soroka and Will Bozarth – New York, NY
When Adam has no choice but to return to his hometown after his seemingly perfect, “big city” life crumbles around him, he’s forced to answer questions that he’s struggled with his entire life. Starring Leslie Collins (VH1’s Best Night Ever), Henry Zebrowski (Girls, Michael and Michael Have Issues), and Kurt Braunohler (Bunk, Delocated).
Funemployment (Comedy Web Series)
Created by: Kevin Burke – Los Angeles, CA
Three 20-something friends deal with day-to-day adventures in a world where being young and jobless is the norm.
Galaxy Comics (Musical Workplace Comedy)
Created by: Jacey Heldrich – New York, NY
At a small, struggling comic book shop, fans and employees turn nerd culture into a heartfelt, musical adventure.
Gary Teaches Guitar (Sci-fi Comedy)
Created by: Tony Zaret, Stephen Levinson, Andrew Lin, Dave Croatto and Ed Mundy – Brooklyn, NY
Gary and (alien) Grizmore only care about making their guitar tutorial web series, even when they're surrounded by government conspiracies, alien invasions, and murderous clone soldiers.
Guitar God (Webcam-based Sitcom)
Created by: Matt Kenchington – Brooklyn, NY
Guitar God is trying to live out his (perhaps delusional) guitar fantasies all while egregiously disregarding his real-world responsibilities. Will he be able to make enough money to stay in his brother’s attic, or will he be relegated to the garage?
Gymratz (Workplace Comedy)
Created by: Hunter Phillips and JD Arnott – Los Angeles, CA
Self-generated chaos and idiocy is the norm at a suburban Chicago gym, where the trainers and staff are just as crazy as the clients. Starring Mindy Sterling (Austin Powers, iCarly), Ryan McCann (Visioneers), Jill Alexander (The Middle.), and Cathy Shim (Reno: 911, MADtv).