New York TV Festival Lists Picks For Its Script Competition

New York Television Festival

The New York Television Festival is out with its list of 20 comedy and drama scripts that will vie in its second annual NYTVF Scripts Competition, which expanded this year to include drama pilot scripts from writers worldwide. The 13th annual NYTVF runs October 23-28 in Manhattan.

All of the competing writers and creators will enjoy designation as Official Artists, which qualifies them for a chance to receive a development deal from one of the NYTVF’s Development Partners – networks and studios that have guaranteed they will offer at least one deal to independent artists this year. These independent artists also have exclusive access to the NYTVF’s industry partners through the NYTVF Connect marketplace, which includes opportunities to meet, network and pitch some of the top network and studio executives in the business.

“For more than a dozen years of running the NYTVF, we’ve gotten spoiled by the level of talent that share their work with us, but this year the Scripts selections are really a cut above,” said fest founder and executive director Terence Gray. “Truly unique voices from established writers and unknowns, this slate embodies the breadth and scope of today’s dynamic television landscape. With embryonic TV events being launched by film festivals and other groups, it’s truly exciting for us that our core mission – to facilitate discovery, foster talent, and bring down barriers for storytellers – continues to propel the industry careers of so many creative individuals and companies year after year.”

Here are the scripts vying in the NYTVF Scripts Competition, with descriptions provided by the fest:


Area 51 [Live-Action/Animated]
Written by Josh Smooha – Los Angeles, CA
A secret force of government agents assigned to investigate alien happenings adjust to their new and overly emotional teammate: a super A.I. in a hunky new human body.

Blurs [Live-Action]
Written by Jonterri Gadson – Bloomfield, NJ
A women’s studies professor and her free-spirited, dysfunctional black family face the challenges of living in the type of town where all 80s/90s films with no black people could take place.

Cop Show [Live-Action]
Written by David Pasquesi and Tracy Letts – Chicago, IL
A half-hour, single-camera, off-beat comedy…that looks suspiciously like a cop drama.
Representation: Innovative Artists

Crime Boys [Live-Action/Animated]
Written by Bill DiPiero and Zach Goldbaum – New York, NY
Three hapless, small time crooks dream of being notorious criminals, but first they’ll need to prove to the world that they’re capable of pulling off even the simplest of crimes.

Doobie Jones: Latchkey Kid [Live-Action/Animated]
Written by Chris Hauser – Chicago, IL
13-year-old Doobie lives with his mom, but as she’s always working, he is locked out of his home each day after school. Doobie must forage for food and friendship in a neighborhood filled with agenda-laden characters from all walks of life.

Everything’s Fine [Live-Action]
Written by Hannah Klein – Brooklyn, NY
Gemma learns that she’s bipolar during her senior year of college and annoyingly, it doesn’t manifest itself in the cute, “manic pixie dream girl” way that it’s supposed to…but whatever, it’s fine.


The Hack [Live-Action]
Written by Daniel Furlong and Zach Posner – Los Angeles, CA
A quarter of the US population has just had every text, email, and picture hacked and leaked online. How does a newly-married couple keep life normal when the wife’s been hacked and the husband hasn’t?

Judge Jury & The Executioners [Animated]
Written by Burke Scurfield and Adam Lederer – Toronto, Ontario, CA
When the ultra violent “hero” Judge Jury attempts to stop an armed robbery, his ass-backwards attempts to impress his socially conscious teenage daughter end up pushing her into the arms of his enemy.

Maternal Instinct [Live-Action]
Written by Elizabeth Stamp – Brooklyn, NY
A serial killer turned suburban stay-at-home mom balances “family first” and “murder in the first” in this dark comedy.

One Small Step [Live-Action/Animated]
Written by Joe Rumrill and Lucas Gardner – New York, NY
A well-meaning idiot gets fired from his low-level NASA job and starts his own ramshackle space administration across the street, hoping to beat them to Mars as revenge.
Representation: Omnipop (Rumrill) and CAA (Gardner)

Side Chick [Live-Action]
Written by Matt McConkey – Los Angeles, CA
When an ex-stripper is outed as the “side chick” to a famous married couple, she finds herself at the center of a media firestorm. A comedy about slut-shaming, cyber-bullying, and the rise of an unlikely feminist hero.
Representation: CAA, The Gotham Group


Sliding Dorks [Live-Action]
Written by Stephanie Bencin – New York, NY
After a drunken mishap, best friends Meg and Jackie have to jump from parallel universe to parallel universe as they attempt to get home, meeting different versions of themselves along the way.
Representation: Epicenter

sMOTHER [Live-Action]
Written by Jamie Dennig – Los Angeles, CA|
MJ Walsh is a mother who is entirely too involved in her adult-children’s lives. While she has a handle on her kids’ physical whereabouts, she fails to notice the intimate secrets they are keeping from her.


American Bastards|
Written by Patrick Whistler – Toronto, Ontario, CA
This fast-paced anthology series tells the true story of the Lincoln County War, a bloody opera of power and politics that left dozens dead and created the most enduring icon of the American West…Billy the Kid.
Representation: Vanguarde Artists Management

Fragile State|Written by Andrea Janakas – Los Angeles, CA|
When a border patrol agent is recruited to work as a spy to help overthrow a country, he doesn’t realize that the country he enters is a parallel America on the verge of collapse.
Representation: Paradigm, IMI

Left Back
Written by Tijuana Ricks – Brooklyn, NY
When a failing, predominantly African-American elementary school in Brooklyn loses its beloved principal, a younger, white man steps in as her replacement. Regarded as the epitome of the gentrification problem that is draining this historically black community of its identity, he has just two years to turn the school around before it’s permanently closed by the State of New York.

The Masters of Business
Written by Homa Mojtabai – Boston, MA / Los Angeles, CA
A young woman from a humble background is unprepared for the rigor and cutthroat nature of the Wharton MBA program and must learn to adapt to the rules of this uncertain new world.
Representation: Heroes and Villains Entertainment

Sea Change
Written by Anya Meksin and William Gerrard – New York, NY / Los Angeles, CA
Story by Anya Meksin, William Gerrard, Rammy Park, and Rogin Kim
Set in an immediate future, this grounded sci-fi series dramatizes humanity’s imminent encounter with catastrophic climate change. All must rise to the challenge of forging a new civilization or be swept away by the sea.
Representation: Circle of Confusion

Swimming Uptown
Written by Cheryl L. Davis – New York, NY
An educated and affluent African-American woman must take in her ghetto-raised niece when her sister is put in jail.
Representation: Don Buchwald & Associates

Written by Todd VanDerWerff and Libby Hill – Los Angeles, CA
A fundamentalist Christian teenager wrestles with her racial and sexual identities in 1990s South Dakota.

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