By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act April 8, 2014 at 7:18PM
Content is king, as the age-old saying goes. And in today's era of platform-agnostic audiences, creating original hit content becomes of even more importance.
In an unprecedented effort to discover fresh comedic voices, NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke announced “NBC Comedy Playground,” a grassroots initiative designed to invest in new cutting-edge comedy through a groundbreaking national campaign that offers aspiring comedy writers from across the country the opportunity to take their concepts from pitch to broadcast.
An all-star comedy Advisory Board comprised of Will Packer, Craig Robinson, Maya Rudolph, Aziz Ansari, Mindy Kaling, Eva Longoria, Amy Poehler, Jason Bateman, Robert Carlock, Sean Hayes, Jason Katims, Josh Lieb,Adam McKay, Seth Meyers, Todd Milliner, Mike Schur, Adam Scott and Mike Shoemaker will help the network ultimately select two winners to create original shows intended for telecast during summer 2015 on NBC.
Through “NBC Comedy Playground,” the network aims to uncover additional sources of talent and open the door for aspiring comedy writers - reaching beyond the traditional talent labs of film schools and NY/LA comedy clubs - in a grassroots effort to find and nurture new creative voices and expand and enrich the traditional television development model.
“We are taking a bold, alternative approach in what we hope will uncover original comedy minds who are looking for a way to get into the television business,” said Salke. “We love that an incredible A-list roster of producers, writers and performers have jumped in to help us find that untapped talent.”
Beginning May 1, aspiring comedy writers are asked to submit their ideas to be considered for both digital and network comedy shows. Entrants may submit up to two video samples (5-10 minutes each) of their pre-existing work, along with up to two video pitches (2-5 minutes per pitch), each describing a unique, original show idea, to www.nbccomedyplayground.com.
The Official Rules, including all eligibility requirements, are available at www.nbccomedyplayground.com.
Up to 10 finalists will be chosen by the NBC Selection Panel, and NBC will provide funding for each finalist to produce a full pilot presentation based on his/her original pitch. Two winners will be selected by the all-star comedy Advisory Board, in consultation with NBC. Each of the winners will have their show broadcast on NBC.
The remaining finalist presentations that aren’t selected will be posted to the “NBC Comedy Playground” website where the public will vote for their favorites - and the one receiving the most votes will then be developed as a digital show.