NBC Entertainment will produce two original pilots from emerging writers Kassia Miller (Imaginary Friend) and Adriano Valentini & Aaron Colom (Sunset PPL), the winners of the network’s first national grassroots comedy initiative, NBC Playground. The announcement was made today during the TCA Summer Press Tour by NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke.
Kassia Miller’s Imaginary Friend is a comedy about an intelligent yet unmotivated woman who discovers a special and unexpected way of dealing with her mediocre life. Originally from Virginia, Miller is a writer and actor in New York City. Sunset PPL, from Aaron Colom and Adriano Valentini, a comedy about a group of millennial friends who struggle with their own made-up rules for personal and professional success. Los Angeles-based Colom and Valentini have collaborated on numerous short films and web series.
“NBC is excited to bring these innovative new works from such fresh comedic talents to the television audience,” said Salke, who conceived the idea of “NBC Playground.” “The first cycle was a tremendous success and the originality of the ideas and diversity of the new voices that were elicited through this initiative were truly inspiring. We could not have succeeded in finding such an incredible group of aspiring writers had we not had the help of an awesome Advisory Board — a real A-list group of comedy producers, writers and performers who were as eager as we were to find the next comedy superstars.”
Miller, Valentini and Colom came out on top out of more than 2,100 applicants nationwide. Winners were selected by the all-star comedy Advisory Board, whose members were 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.
Five remaining finalist presentations have been posted to the NBC Playground website (www.nbcplayground.com) where the public can vote for their favorites. The one receiving the most votes will then be developed as a digital show.