New York TV Festival Unveils Official Selections For Its Scripts Competition

The New York Television Festival has selected 21 scripts for its third annual NYTVF Scripts Competition. The 13 half-hour comedies and eight hour-long dramas will be showcased to industry executives before and during the 14th Annual New York Television Festival, which runs July 14-20 in Manhattan.

This year’s NYTVF Scripts Official Selections join the 59 pilots and series in the Festival’s Independent Pilot Competition.

Of the 21 selected scripts, 62 percent are credited to a female writer or co-writer, and 30 percent are credited to a person of color, according to competition organizers. More than half of the selected scripts come in to the festival without representation, and five of the scripts are written as animated or potentially animated.

The slate includes scripts penned by Fox News/Fox Business Network’s Melissa Francis (Fake News), NY Magazine writers Jesse David Fox and Halle Kiefer (The Curse) and Granted, written by Alison Barton (Friends from College) and Bonnie Dennison (Third Watch).

All of the competing writers will also 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 which 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.

“This is a slate of projects that embodies the range and diversity of the best episodic programming being developed today, stemming from a collection of writers uniquely positioned to bring authenticity, voice, and points of view to the worlds they’ve created,” said NYTVF Founder and Executive Director Terence Gray. “We are thrilled and honored to share them with the Fest’s industry participants and look forward to making connections for them with development executives, agents and others in the business who will help to take their TV writing careers to the next level.”

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

2018 NYTVF Scripts Official Selections

COMEDY (half-hour)

Age Appropriate[Live-Action]
Written by Stephanie Bencin – New York, NY
After getting knocked up during their freshman year of college, empty-nesters Jess and Eric McConnell look to make up for lost time when their own 18-year-old daughter leaves for school.
Representation: Epicenter

Bad Business [Live-Action/Animated]
Written by Ele Woods and Jessica Haymond – Los Angeles, CA
Sharon is a corporate work horse. Elaine killed a horse once. There’s no reason the two women should be friends. But when their sexist boss forces them to work together, they realize they have a lot more in common than a shared desire to get to the top of the corporate ladder.

Beauty Be With You[Live-Action]
Written by Natasha Vaynblat – New York, NY
After Tory, a small-time con artist, is denied employment at Kelly Rose Cosmetics, she resolves to wage war against the ‘feminist’ makeup company with sinister intentions.
Representation: Innovative Artists and Brillstein Entertainment Partners

Big Times
Written by Chris Mast and Logan Leikam – Los Angeles, CA
A thirty-year old, overachieving ghostwriter from San Francisco and an awkward fourth-grader from Oakland pair up through a mentorship program.

Bury the Lede[Live-Action]
Written by Michela M. Smith – New York, NY
As Nellie Cruz and her ragtag student newspaper staff struggle to investigate a murder in their small town, they fight fake news and propaganda to expose the ‘truth.’

The Curse [Live-Action]
Written by Jesse David Fox and Halle Kiefer – New York, NY
Alex has the perfect life on paper: a cool new job in New York, awesome friends, and, most importantly, a mature long-term relationship. In other words, it’s just about the worst time to find out that her family is under a century-old sex curse.

Fake News [Live-Action]
Written by Melissa Francis – New York, NY
Fake News takes viewers inside the world of political cable news to witness the insecurity, insanity, and insensitivity that is all too real. Follow news anchor Cate Champion as she fillets lying politicians and tracks an incomprehensible Presidential administration, all while avoiding the traps laid by bloviating, blown-dry anchorman Roy Rogers.

Written by Alison Barton and Bonnie Dennison – New York, NY
Annie, an insecure astronaut, mistakenly summons a genie (named Jinnie) whom she can’t stand. The two are bound to each other until Annie can find true fulfillment or Jinnie can find true love. Two nearly impossible tasks… even with unlimited wishes.
Representation: Artists First (fka Principato Young)

Iso Ball [Live-Action]
Written by Mark Kramer – Astoria, NY
An antisocial college basketball recruit with a penchant for trash talk on the court earns unwanted attention as the university’s first Asian-American star – much to the disappointment of his immigrant parents.

Oak Ridge Patrol
Written by Nnamdi Ngwe and Amechi Ngwe – Los Angeles, CA
Exploring a fresh and unexpected side of African-American relationships, Oak Ridge Patrol follows two best friends and stay-at-home dads taking the law into their own hands as they create their very own neighborhood watch.

Space Family
Written by Brian Cross and Ethan Reed – Los Angeles, CA
When a loving-but-bumbling family discovers that they are the last surviving humans in the universe, they begin a hapless journey through space to restart civilization.

Welcome to the Conspiracy [Animated]
Written by Zack Phillips – New York, NY
In this ‘reverse X-Files,’ two agents – a millennial couple with the gift of gab – are tasked with finding conspiracy theorists and convincing them they’re wrong…even though they’re not.
Representation: Brillstein Entertainment Partners

Written by Marie Cheng – Los Angeles, CA
This heartfelt family comedy follows an insecure teen and her Asian-American, immigrant mother struggling to challenge societal norms, as flashbacks to the mother’s life in the 1970’s intertwine with her daughter’s life in the present.

DRAMAS (hour-long)

Written by Christian Lybrook – Boise, ID
Rudy Strom, a disgraced state trooper, is pulled into the murder investigation of a prominent ranching family when their cattle are mysteriously found skinned alive and clues from the scene point to a case from his past.

Written by Kate Thorman – London, England
When Layla Mahmoud’s childhood best friend unexpectedly returns to their East London neighborhood after running away to Syria to join ISIS, the 16-year-old hacker decides to find out just why her friend has come home.

In Chambers
Written by Carolyn Kras – Los Angeles, CA
The brilliant young clerks of the Supreme Court work with Justices to rule on our nation’s most important Constitutional cases. These hotshots wield immense power and influence, even as they struggle to keep their personal lives intact.
Representation: Original Artists and Code Entertainment

In Chrysalis
Written by Nelson Downend – New York, NY
Clinical psychologist Dr. Jackie Winters has hit rock bottom. But when a plea for help from a former patient brings her back on the job, she’s thrust back into the world of crime and into a dark world of delusion, scientific experimentation, and murder.

Written by Mike Diaz – Los Angeles, CA
As civilization crumbles, Sam Willings must escape the clutches of a violent fundamentalist preacher who’s taken over a small Arizona town and return home to his young son trapped in New York City.
Representation: Abrams Artists Agency

Written by Jeremy Nielsen and Connie O’Donahue – Riverton, WY
In a future where people sell years off the end of their lives for money and corporations decide who lives and who dies, a rule-following paramedic and his impulsive partner struggle to save society by overthrowing the system.
Representation: Myra Model Management

Written by Sarah Kraus – New York, NY
In a fundamentalist Hasidic community in Brooklyn, a family struggles to stay on their restrictive religious path when they face temptations from the outside world.

White-Shoe U
Written by Beanie Barnes – New York, NY
Four Ivy League students build an illegal drug operation to orchestrate their own social power. As their influence accumulates, they find it harder to not become pawns in a game of their own making.
Representation: Circle of Confusion

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