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New York TV Festival Selects Record 63 Independent Pilots For Its 12th Annual Event

Some of the creators include Steve Dildarian ("The Life and Times of Tim"), Keith Powell ("30 Rock"), and Liz Astrof ("2 Broke Girls," "King of Queens," "Last Man Standing").

Keith Broke His Leg

“Keith Broke His Leg”


Today, the NYTVF announced the Official Selections for its flagship Independent Pilot Competition. A record-high 63 original television and digital pilots and series will be presented for industry executives and TV fans at the 12th Annual New York Television Festival, including 42 world festival premieres. The event takes place from October 24th through 29th at The Helen Mills Theater and Event Space, with additional Festival events at the Tribeca Three Sixty° and SVA Theatre.

READ MORE: New York Television Festival Receives Record High Submissions

The slate of in-competition projects make up the largest pool of pilot submissions ever. Festival organizers note that the selections are representative of creative voices across diverse demographics, with 59 percent having a woman in a core creative role and 43 percent including one or more persons of color above the line.

“We were blown away by the talent and creativity of this year’s submissions – across the board it was a record-setting year and we had an extremely difficult task in identifying the competition slate,” says Terence Gray, founder and executive director of the NYTVF. “As the TV landscape has evolved and become more competitive over the last decade, we’ve endeavored to complement that growth by cultivating new voices; engaging the industry; and creating a pipeline of opportunities on all sides of the episodic spectrum to maximize the potential of the indie TV community.”

This year’s IPC Official Selections will be vying for a chance to join recent NYTVF alumni currently enjoying TV development success. Past NYTVF projects and creators recently in the news, which include “Animals,” the 2013 Best Comedy winner which recently aired its first of two guaranteed seasons on HBO, a season order for NYTVF alum-written CW series “No Tomorrow,” a FOX pilot presentation of 2015 NYTVF-JFL winner “That’s My Bus,” and more, along with dozens of NYTVF alumni who are currently part of staffs on broadcast, cable, and digital series.

In addition to being part of the annual independent television showcase, IPC selections will compete in a variety of categories by a jury comprised of the NYTVF screening committee and the emerging television executives selected for the NYTVF-HRTS Next Generation Committee, with winners being announced at a closing night awards reception. As Official Artists, the creators of these pilots qualify for a chance to receive a development deal from one of the NYTVF’s Development Partners – networks and studios which have guaranteed they will offer at least one deal to independent artists this year.

READ MORE: 2015 New York Television Festival Announces Competition Winners and Development Deals

The 2016 Official Selections also feature a number of names, faces, and voices recognizable to TV fans, including projects created by Steve Dildarian (“The Life and Times of Tim”), Keith Powell (“30 Rock”), and Liz Astrof (“2 Broke Girls,” “King of Queens,” “Last Man Standing”). Individual projects star or feature Kate Flannery (“The Office”), Horatio Sanz (“Saturday Night Live”), Beth Grant (The Mindy Project), Paul F. Tompkins (BoJack Horseman), among others.

Below is a full lineup of all 63 pilots. For individual trailers, check out the festival’s YouTube playlist.


“30, Debt-Free, and Far From Happy” [World Festival Premiere]: Two self-centered, successful women living in Los Angeles desperately seek to fill the voids in their lives with all the wrong men, often leading to disastrous and hilarious consequences. Created by Ellyn Daniels and Ri Versteegh – Los Angeles, CA. Featuring Mark Valley (“Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce,” “Boston Legal”).

“Angry Black Women” [World Festival Premiere]: This satirical series follows two black women working in Hollywood as they reconcile the ways black women are perceived in society with the unique ways they perceive themselves, poking fun at an openly- biased entertainment industry. Created by Dahéli Hall and HaJ House – Los Angeles, CA. Created by and starring Dahéli Hall (“MADtv”).

“Anne and Jake” [World Festival Premiere]: When a young, headstrong woman from 1814 London time travels to present-day Los Angeles, she finds herself in the apartment of a quirky physicist responsible for her journey. Created by Victoria Bullock – Los Angeles, CA. Starring Matt Dallas (Kyle XY, Baby Daddy, Eastwick).

“Brooklyn Sound” [World Festival Premiere]: This musical mockumentary follows Lucy, the second-generation owner of Brooklyn Sound, and Joel, the studio’s head engineer, as they try to save their legendary recording studio and keep their struggling business afloat. Created by comedy duo Julia Mattison and Noel Carey, who play the studio’s owner and head engineer as well as the musical artists seen recording at the studio.

“Bucksport For Life!” [World Festival Premiere]: Since barely graduating from Bucksport High School in 2002, 34-year- old ‘party animal’ Henry Galecki has kept the good times rolling, making him a legend in his own mind – and a loser in everyone else’s. Created by Mike Camerlengo and James Manzello – New York, NY

“Craigslist Therapist” [World Festival Premiere]: Facing divorce and financial ruin, failed burrito-truck owner Steven Wellish steals his ex-wife’s identity in an attempt to mount a successful therapy practice. Created by Dean Cates – Los Angeles, CA. Starring Robyn Cohen (“Gravity”), Azita Ghanizada (“Alphas,” “General Hospital”), Mike Still (“College Humor Originals,” “UCB Originals”).

“Curfeud”: Two kooky-but- loving parents try to keep tabs on their endless supply of curfew-breaking adult children in this improv-friendly series featuring a who’s who of Chicago comedy. Created by Jeff Murdoch and Jo Scott – Chicago, IL. Guest Starring Claire Mulaney (writer – “Saturday Night Live”), TJ Jagodowski (“TJ and Dave”), Katie Rich (writer – “Saturday Night Live”), Steve Waltien (“The Jamz, The Improvised Shakespeare Company”)

“Don’t Tell Larry” [World Festival Premiere]: Two co-workers go to extreme lengths in order to keep big secrets away from their emotionally unstable colleague, Larry. Created by Greg Porper and John Schimke – Los Angeles, CA

“Door on the Left”: Five female friends are stuck in a blank, purgatorial hellscape and are making the most of their strange and horrifyingly hilarious existence. Created by Kati Skelton – Brooklyn, NY

“F’d”: This apocalyptic comedy follows three people living together in a RV who discover that the end of the world is tough, but living together is just hell. Created by Ryan Gowland – North Hollywood, CA. Guest Starring Craig Cackowski (“Community,” “Veep,” “Drunk History”), Amanda Lund (“Fresh off the Boat,” “Ghost Ghirls”), Eric Peterson (“Kirstie,” “Shrek the Musical”)

“Fransis” [World Festival Premiere]: In a world where humans and puppets coexist, a troubled and furry latchkey kid crosses paths with an inexperienced child therapist. Fransis and Jackie soon find that they lead different but equally lonely lives, and they both could use a little help. Created by Mickey Dwyer – Louisville, KY

“Geeta’s Guide to Moving On” [World Festival Premiere]: After her Indian-American Prince Charming dumps her, heartbroken Geeta Gidwani moves back in with her parents and learns to move on with the help of her family and her friends. Created by and starring Puja Mohindra (“All My Children,” “Three Rivers”) – Chicago, IL

“Gemma & The Bear!”: This whimsical series about finding love and growing up introduces us to Gemma, a neurotic 30-something woman, and The Bear, her fly-by- the-seat- of-his- pants gay, black man alter ego, who awakens in Gemma’s place each night. Created by Kevin R. Free and Eevin Hartsough – New York, NY. Starring Debargo Sanyal (“Sita Sings the Blues”)

“Hart of America”: Alcoholic bigfoot, sex-crazed teens, and a hard-nosed murder detective cross paths in the Georgia woods as they each search for what they believe will bring them fulfillment. Created by Arlen Konopaki and Kevin Gillese – Atlanta, GA. Starring Amber Nash (“Archer,” “Frisky Dingo”).

“#Hashtagging”: This #snackable series follows the trials and #tribulations of a #millennial couple trying to navigate the (kinda) #real world and deal with not-so-real-world #problems. Created by Diana Wright – Los Angeles, CA

“Inappropriate Jane Austen”: A gaggle of Regency ladies explore what Jane Austen left out about female friendship, engagements, motherhood, and anal sex. If Jane Austen hadn’t been so appropriate, she’d have been…Inappropriate Jane Austen. Created by Alex Trow and Katie Gibson – New York, NY. Guest Starring Laurie Kennedy (“Law & Order,” “Homicide: Life on the Streets”).

“Instanews” [World Festival Premiere]: The team at Instanews is tasked with one thing: getting clicks in an increasingly clickable world. Will the Instanews crew be able to find the next Grumpy Cat to get the attention they deserve, or will they be shut down due to lack of interest (and lackluster listicles)? Created by Pearson Jenks – Brooklyn, NY.

“Jana & Shasta” [World Festival Premiere]: After winning a radio contest for two round-trip bus tickets to New York City, simple-minded young couple Jana and Shasta leave their hometown of Kissimmee, Florida for the first time ever and head out to the Big Apple. Created by Tynan Delong, Ryan Bennett, and Ana Fabrega – Brooklyn, NY

“Julius” [World Festival Premiere]: Lovable, well-meaning service advisor Julius Smith is an unusual selection to be the star of a new reality TV show about his life. Created by Nnamdi Ngwe – Chicago, IL

“Keith Broke His Leg” [World Festival Premiere]: After an accident strips him of his ability to walk without aid, Keith is forced to see the world in a new way when his wife, his friends, and especially his agent don’t make life easy for the incapacitated. Created by and starring Keith Powell (“30 Rock”) – Los Angeles, CA. Featuring Malcolm Barrett (“Better Off Ted”), Leonard Robinson (“Wild ‘N Out”), Tracey Wigfield (“The Mindy Project”), Alexandra Krosney (“Last Man Standing”), and Fiona Gubelmann (“Wilfred”).

“Last Will & Testicle”: Inspired by true events, a gay man diagnosed with testicular cancer has to tell his quirky friends and family, cope with treatment, and deal with his walking and talking lump of cancer. Created by Byron Lane – Los Angeles, CA. Guest Starring Beth Grant (“Pushing Daisies,” “The Mindy Project”) and Drew Droege (“Chloë Sevigny”).

“Late Bloomers”: This comedy follows a young woman who wants to follow her dreams, and a fanny-pack- clad Indian father hoping that she will follow his. Created by Uttera Singh – Los Angeles, CA. Starring Brian George (“The Big Bang Theory,” “Seinfeld”).

“Murder She Joked” [World Festival Premiere]: Standup-detective Gina Palamano uses her skill at early-90’s-style observational humor to solve murders. Created by Jared Jeffries – Brooklyn, NY.

“The Next Four Years” [World Festival Premiere]: Recent college graduates Phil and Ana try and fail to “make it” in the real world, forcing them to redefine their idea of success in the process. Created by Hunter Arnold and Nick Blaemire – New York, NY.

“On the Bright Side” [World Festival Premiere]: When sad-sack Ben inherits his uncle’s LA home, his opportunistic best friends take advantage of the unfortunate circumstances, and together they endeavor to seek out the silver lining of their somewhat grim existence. Created by Adam Weinstock, Andy Jones, Alex Whittington, Robert Stephens, and Ben Greene – Los Angeles, CA.

“Poor Todd” [World Festival Premiere]: A self-proclaimed “low maintenance” pediatric dentist and her long-suffering, under-earning menschy husband deal with everything from humorous daily minutiae to major life struggles like money, career, life insurance, and kids…potentially. Created by Liz Astrof (“2 Broke Girls,” “King of Queens,” “Last Man Standing”) – Los Angeles, CA. Starring Todd Aronauer (producer – “Supernatural”), Lindsey Kraft (“Getting On,” “Grace and Frankie”), and Adam Shapiro (“Sense8,” “Cristela,” “1600 Penn”), Camille Chen (“Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip”), Nelson Franklin (“New Girl,” “Veep,” “Traffic Light”), Jolie Jenkins (“Body of Proof”).

“Popclick” [World Festival Premiere]: In this bite-size series, three hopeful-but- hapless aspiring journalists struggle to keep their third-rate gossip site afloat by any means necessary. Created by Quinn Beswick, Josh Margolin, and Samantha Martin – Los Angeles, CA.

“The Small Time”: A web series about struggling literary agent Ben Bernstein as he dredges the bottom of the barrel trying to find an author who can be the next big thing. Created by Jack Canfora and Andrew Rein – Los Angeles, CA. Featuring Jill Eikenberry (“L.A. Law”), Michael Tucker (“L.A. Law”).

“Special Forces”: A badass detective is forced to work with two lowly, bumbling, not-so- super-powered superhero cops to save the city from villains’ sinister plots. Created by Phil Bucci – Los Angeles, CA. Starring Mircea Monroe (“Episodes,” “Hart of Dixie”), Tania Gunadi (“Enlisted,” the upcoming “Graves”), Mort Burke (“Drunk History,” “Enlisted,” “The Mindy Project”)

“Textbook Adulthood” [World Festival Premiere]: Two SAT tutors wonder if the transitional job they started in their 20’s has turned into a sad career as they enter their 30’s. Created by Madeline Walter (“CollegeHumor Originals”) and Paul Welsh (“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”) – Los Angeles. Guest Starring Lennon Parham (“Playing House,” “Lady Dynamite”)

“Time Out with Yes Please Comedy”: From regretfully bad hook-ups to a Wikipedia page dedicated to foot fetishes, this series of comedic vignettes follows the lives of comedy partners and best friends Teresa and Jason. Created by Teresa Decher and Jason Nguyen – Los Angeles, CA.

“Tiny House” [World Festival Premiere]: After not speaking to each other since their mom’s death nine years before, three misfit siblings return home to squabble over their last remaining inheritance– the family home. Created by Owen Williams – Los Angeles, CA.

“Triffany & Briffney” [World Festival Premiere]: Triffany and Briffney are two hardworking assistants who, could they do anything, would do everything for their wretched bosses. Created by Kady Ruth Ashcraft, Alise Morales, and Geoffrey Stevens – New York, NY.

“Unmarketable” [World Festival Premiere]: A misanthrope comedian proves to be her own worst enemy when it comes to finding success. Created by Megan Koester and Steven Feinartz (Director – The Bitter Buddha) – Los Angeles, CA.

“The Vampire Leland” [World Festival Premiere]: Leland, an overweight, balding 35-year old is accidentally turned into a vampire by a melancholy, two- hundred-year- old blood-sucker named Marius, who hates his undead life. Created by Ken Ferrigni, Tony Manna, and Tijuana Ricks (the upcoming “Luke Cage,” “A Gifted Man”) – Brooklyn, NY. Featuring Ato Essandoh (“Vinyl,” “Believe,” “Girls”).

“The Worst Husband” [World Festival Premiere]: Vance Johnson is a decent guy who is newly married and new to the suburbs. Confronted by judgmental neighbors, conservative in-laws, and nosy co-workers, his good deeds somehow get twisted and misunderstood, and he comes across looking like the worst guy ever. Created by and starring Steve Dildarian (“The Life and Times of Tim”) – Los Angeles, CA. Also starring Janie Haddad Tompkins (“Comedy Bang! Bang!,” “Regular Show”), Ian Roberts (writer/creator – “The UCB Show,” writer – “Key and Peele,” actor – “Arrested Development”), Kate Flannery (“The Office”), Graham Wagner (producer – “Baskets,” “Portlandia”), John Levenstein (“Portlandia,” “Kroll Show,” Producer – “Silicon Valley”).

“Written Off” [World Festival Premiere]: The fashion section of The Chicago Truth is shutting down, rendering Keith and Liam jobless. These two best friends and cohorts have no choice but to reinvent themselves and put their journalistic talents to work. Created by Antoine McKay (“Empire”) and Margie Shabazz – Chicago, IL.

“Yidlife Crisis”: Chaime and Leizer, best friends and debating adversaries, tackle life, love, and lactose intolerance in this foodie centric series done entirely in their grandparents’ Yiddish. Created by Eli Batalion and Jamie Elman – Montreal, QC, Canada. Guest starring Mayim Bialik (“Blossom,” “The Big Bang Theory”).


“According to My Mother” [World Festival Premiere]: This modern take on the family series features a young, gay Korean-American living in New York and his disapproving, devout Christian mother who moves in with him…and changes everything. Created by Daniel K. Isaac (“Billions”), Cathy Y. Yan, and Devin Landin – Queens, NY.

“Distance”: This romantic comedy for the millennial age tells the story of a long-distance relationship from two perspectives – “his” and “hers.” Created by Alex Dobrenko – Los Angeles, CA. Starring Ashley Spillers (“Vice Principals”).

“Doomsday”: This episodic drama chronicles the daily lives and backstories of the members of an upstate New York cult, uncovering the gray area where youthful idealism evolves into deadly extremism. Created by Sonja O’Hara – New York, NY.

“The Failures” [World Festival Premiere]: A group of strangers have two things in common: they are failing miserably at life, and they’re part of a dark social experiment. Each episode takes a different journey as stories collide and intertwine, unknowingly driving towards a common endpoint. What if the key to success is a gun to the head? Created by Adam Parr – New York, NY.

“Floppy D” [World Festival Premiere]: When cyber-bachelor Dale Daniels realizes some rather ‘personal’ data has been stolen from his DateQuest account, he embarks on a journey to reclaim his identity in this hyper-realist future dramedy exploring relationships, privacy, and human connection in a technology-driven world. Created by Logan Leikam and Chris Mast – Los Angeles, CA.

“Getting In”: After losing his scholarship, Roger, a college student at one of the most prestigious universities in America, will go to any length to avoid being kicked out, including hacking the school’s tuition system to clear his bill. Created by Stian Hafstad and Robert Monk Davis – New York, NY.

“The Gigolo” [World Festival Premiere]: The world’s oldest profession and the world’s deadliest profession combine in this torrid game of cat-and- mouse as a young gigolo becomes a secret agent to find his one and only love. Created by Eliza Schroeder, Lloyd Morgan, and Antonia Pollak – London, United Kingdom. Featuring Jane Asher (“Death at a Funeral,” “Alfie”).

“Guidance”: A Catholic high school psychologist with a secret and a drinking problem struggles to keep his professional and personal lives separate and intact. Created by Josh Wolff – Chicago, IL.

“Her Story” [2016 Emmy Nominee]: This modern relationship drama follows Violet and Paige, two transgender women in Los Angeles, who have given up on love when chance encounters suddenly give them hope. Created by Jen Richards and Laura Zak – Los Angeles, CA.

“The Kama Sutra Club” [World Festival Premiere]: A sexually-repressed professor researches every position of the Kama Sutra in an attempt to scrub away the memory of his ex-wife. Created by Daniel Klein – Orange, CA.

“That’s My DJ” [World Festival Premiere]: From heartbeat to heartbreak, chasing dreams and chasing highs, it’s an unapologetic look at music, cliques and artists all trying to find their place within the new order of rave. Created by D.W. Waterson – Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Starring Kristian Bruun (“Orphan Black”), Emily Piggford (“Hemlock Grove”), Jade Hassouné (“Heartland,” “Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments”).

“Truth Slash Fiction”: Inspired by the real and burgeoning community of girls who write erotic gay fan fiction (“slash fiction”) about boybands, ‪Truth Slash Fiction‬ follows 16-year- old Emma Jacobs as she attempts to survive the sometimes painful, sometimes hilarious indignities of adolescence, and finds community in a writers’ group of likeminded outsiders. Created by Tim Rosser, Daniel Schloss, and Charlie Sohne – New York, NY. Starring Matt Doyle (“Gossip Girl”), Cady Huffman (Broadway – “The Producers,” “The Will Rogers Follies”; “The Good Wife”), Sarah Mezzanotte (“Royal Pains”), Yainis Ynoa (“Power”).

“The Union” [World Festival Premiere]: After being assigned to photograph a gruesome murder scene on a New York rooftop, Leah uncovers evidence of a dangerous underground cult that controls the city. This sets her on a harrowing path to unearth the cult’s secrets before they force her life to tumble out of control. Created by Jordan Riggs – Brooklyn, NY. Produced by Damon Dash (“Roc-A- Fella Records”)

“Urban Teach Now” [World Festival Premiere]: In this satirical dramedy, achievement-obsessed recent college grad Eunice reluctantly signs on to Urban Teach Now, a non-profit teaching program in New Orleans, as a means to boost her hireability and pad her resume. Six months in, Eunice is right where she started – ill-equipped with only her B.S. in Business and unflagging entitlement. Created by SJ Son and Ginny Leise – New York, NY.


“Click Bait” [World Festival Premiere]: Comedians face off in a series of outrageous online assignments in this web-centric prank show. Created by Shawn Bowers and Colin Hogan – Chicago, IL.

“Comedy Digs” [World Festival Premiere]: In this twist on the home improvement genre, “SNL” writers-room alum Shelly Gossman helps her fellow comedians turn their grungy pads into homes suitable for grownups as they sort through comedic oddities and tackle tricky DIY projects. Created by and starring Shelly Gossman (“Saturday Night Live”) – Los Angeles, CA. Also starring Mike O’Brien (“Saturday Night Live”). Featuring Sam Richardson (“Veep”).

“Heartstrings”: Jody Joseph Bongiovi isn’t your average music instructor. Bongiovi’s uncanny approach has turned her from professor to mentor, but that’s just the beginning. Created by Daniel Saulnier, Dom Del Russo, and Jody Joseph Bongiovi – Tonton Falls, NJ.

“Hello Future” [World Festival Premiere]: In this unscripted-meets- sketch comedy, two young women use themselves as test subjects to explore what it means to be “of the times” in 2016 and beyond. Created by Tessa Greenberg and Moujan Zolfaghari (“Thingstarter”) – New York, NY.


“E. Coli High” [World Festival Premiere]: A trio of unpopular-but- lovable bacteria navigate a surreal take on the hilarious high school social pressures we all know and hate… inside a stomach. Created by Kevin Barker and Ben Miller – Brooklyn, NY.

“Fired on Mars”: Jeff just got fired from his graphic design job. On Mars. And there’s no way for him to get home. Created by Nick Vokey and Nate Sherman – Los Angeles, CA.

“Limited Space” [World Festival Premiere]: In the wake of an impending population-density crisis, every household on Earth must send one member to live on The Ark: a shuttle sent into space never to return. Created by Tiffany So and Saba Saghafi – Los Angeles, CA.

“Night Can” [World Festival Premiere]: A crime-fighting trashcan and a bachelor cop team up to save their city from the clutches of organized crime and rampant bureaucracy. Created by Charlie Laud – Los Angeles, CA.

“Preditors (of Williamsburg)” [World Festival Premiere]: An animated comedy depicting the various misadventures of morally misguided "hipsters" who live and work at a production company in Brooklyn, NY. Created by Jakob Strunk – Brooklyn, NY.

“Superior Living” [World Festival Premiere]: Duncan Bagley and Marty Fudge, a pair of New York ‘liberal elites’ (completely oblivious to their designation as such), interact with the rest of the world. Created by Steven Kahn – New York, NY. Starring Paul F. Tompkins (“BoJack Horseman,” “Comedy Bang! Bang!”) and Horatio Sanz (“Scorpion,” “Saturday Night Live”).

“Tsunami Tuna” [World Festival Premiere]: While being pursued by a crazed Russian sea captain, Tsunami Tuna and RAD recruit a newly-released killer whale to stop mankind’s exploitation of the world’s oceans, only to discover the orca doesn’t care for life in the wild. Created by Jim Wilkie and Daryl Wilcher – Atlanta, GA.

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