FX finds Space for unusual approach

MySpace users get chance to launch pilots

FX is looking for good shows, no matter where they come from.

Speaking Tuesday at an industry luncheon presented by the Museum of TV & Radio, FX prexy-general manager John Landgraf touted returning comedy “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” as a happy surprise that came in on spec from a struggling actor.

That success propelled execs to launch a search online for new talent. FX just wrapped the first phase of a contest inviting MySpace users to submit short comedy pilots for actual pickup consideration. Net receives some 3,000 entries, of which 20 are currently up on MySpace.com/SunnyFX for viewers to vote on. Cabler will give the winner $50,000 to shoot a full pilot.

“There are lots of aspirants, filmmakers, actors, etc., on MySpace,” said Landgraf, adding that the contest is both a development tool and a way to highlight the unconventional manner in which “Sunny” made it to FX’s schedule. “It all comes down to creativity. That’s what we’re always looking for with potential shows.”

Topper stressed the need for original ideas in the crowded TV landscape. “I don’t think anyone comes to FX to see something they can see elsewhere.” Clips from the cabler’s hit dramas “The Shield,” “Rescue Me” and “Nip/Tuck” were shown as examples of such unique offerings.

Second season of “Sunny,” a slacker comedy about four friends who own a bar, debuts June 29.

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