NBC CREATES GROUNDBREAKING COMEDY INITIATIVE, "NBC COMEDY PLAYGROUND," AND OFFERS ON-AIR COMMITMENT IN NATIONAL GRASSROOTS COMEDY CAMPAIGN
ADVISORY BOARD INCLUDES AZIZ ANSARI, JASON BATEMAN, ROBERT CARLOCK, SEAN HAYES, MINDY KALING, JASON KATIMS, JOSH LIEB, EVA LONGORIA, ADAM MCKAY, SETH MEYERS, TODD MILLINER, WILL PACKER, AMY POEHLER, CRAIG ROBINSON, MAYA RUDOLPH, MIKE SCHUR, ADAM SCOTT AND MIKE SHOEMAKER
PASADENA, Calif. - April 8, 2014 - 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. The announcement was made today at a press conference in Pasadena, Calif.
An all-star comedy Advisory Board comprised of A-list talent, including Aziz Ansari, Jason Bateman, Robert Carlock, Sean Hayes, Mindy Kaling, Jason Katims, Josh Lieb, Eva Longoria, Adam McKay, Seth Meyers, Todd Milliner, Will Packer, Amy Poehler, Craig Robinson, Maya Rudolph, 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.
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NBC Entertainment develops and schedules programming for the network's primetime, late-night, and daytime schedules. NBC's quality programs and balanced lineup have earned the network critical acclaim, numerous awards and ratings success. NBC has earned more Emmy Awards than any network in television history. NBC's roster of popular scripted comedies includes the critically acclaimed "Parks and Recreation" and "Community," as well as new series "About a Boy" and "Growing Up Fisher." NBC's drama slate is highlighted by "The Blacklist," veteran series "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," "Parenthood," "Grimm," second-year series "Chicago Fire" and "Revolution" and its most recently added dramas "Chicago P.D.," "Believe" and "Crisis."
Unscripted series for NBC include the Emmy Award-winning musical competition hit "The Voice" as well as "The Biggest Loser," "Hollywood Game Night" and the perennial #1 most-watched summer series, "America's Got Talent."
In late night, NBC regularly delivers #1 broadcast results with "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," "Late Night with Seth Meyers," "Last Call with Carson Daly" and "Saturday Night Live." NBC Daytime's "Days of our Lives" consistently ranks among daytime's top programs in the valuable women 18-34 category. The five-time, Emmy Award-winning NBC.com streams full episodes and provides original content for NBC entertainment shows online and through apps for mobile and tablet devices. NBC recently launched NBC Kids, a new Saturday morning programming block designed specifically to address the developmental needs of preschool-aged children. Programmed by the kids' experts at Sprout, the nation's first 24-hour preschool television channel, this new three-hour block will feature educational series that promote active, healthy lifestyles for younger children.