The New York Television Festival has rounded out its list of industry partners set to offer development deals to winners of the fest’s various competitions.
MTV and Red Arrow Entertainment are back in the mix, while Conde Nast and H2, sibling of History, are on board for the first time.
The new additions lift the number of partners to 20, with guarantees for each to present at least one development deal to the festival’s competitors. A record total of 32 deals will be offered as a result of the fest, which runs Oct. 20-25 at various venues.
“I had always dreamed that we would get to this level,” says NYTVF founder Terence Gray. “We’ve been very fortunate to get great support from the industry, and our producers and writers have done such a great job. Networks and studios really want to be in there to identify these great new voices.”
Now in its 10th year, the festival offers writers and producers the chance to attend as “Official Artists,” competing for the various development deals that have the potential to reach the pilot stage at the networks. The quality of pilots this year, says Gray, is “unbelievably good,” making the process of not only choosing winners, but competitors from thousands of submissions, very challenging.
“It’s a challenge artistically that a lot of organizations face,” says Gray. Thankfully, “we have a great programming team who knows exactly what to look for, but that process gets tougher and tougher every year. The number of submissions grows each year and the quality grows each year.”
Prior to the festival each year, networks offer the NYTVF creative briefs on the direction of their programming slate in order to assist talent planning on submitting their work. The networks talk about “what they’re looking for, how they like to be pitched, and it’s something that is super valuable to the producers in the festival,” says Gray.
While many of the winning works have not made it to air, Gray says the core reward is in the networking and employment opportunities the festival provides to artists. Many alumni of the program have gone on to secure agents, or even positions as staff writers for the various networks.
“Having all of the partners that we’re honored to have, it’s a real beacon for all those producers to say ‘I’m going to make something and try to get it into the festival.’”
In addition to this year’s competition, the NYTVF will offer 10 special events in honor of its anniversary, including keynotes and panel discussions featuring Carlton Cuse, Jenni Konner, Beau Willimon and others.
Previously announced partners include A&E, the U.K’s Channel 4, Comedy Central, Fox, FremantleMedia North America, FYI, History, Investigation Discovery, Lifetime, Lionsgate/Sea to Sky, National Geographic, SundanceTV, The Orchard, Travel Channel/ulive, truTV and WE tv.