Independents invited to compete for A&E pilot


A&E Network has teamed with the New York Television Festival (NYTVF) for a competition seeking original unscripted television treatments from independent artists and production companies. The winning entry will be produced as a pilot.

According to A&E and NYTVF, artists should focus on treatments that center on individuals or small groups that represent unique points of view. The top treatments will be reviewed by the network and the winning producer’s concept will be produced as a pilot in partnership with A&E Network and production partner, Left/Right. A&E has committed to fund the production of the winning concept.

“We are excited to partner with the NYTVF and Left/Right to offer talented independent television producers the opportunity to have their ideas brought to life,” said David McKillop, Executive Vice President of Programming, A&E.

“The NYTVF is thrilled to be expanding our relationship with longtime partner A&E on this new groundbreaking content development initiative,” said NYTVF founder Terence Gray.  “That an independent producer can pitch a great idea and through this initiative see their concept come to life by being made into a network-supported pilot, is truly phenomenal.”

The initiative is open to US residents age 18 and over who do not have any contractual commitments preventing them from entering into an exclusive development deal with A&E. Unscripted formats not currently under development at a network, studio or major production company and meeting all other criteria in the Official Rules are eligible for the competition.

Official contest rules and dates can be accessed through the contest Web site located at The NYTVF will be accepting entries from June 20, 2011 through July 15, 2011.

A screening committee of NYTVF officials will narrow the pool of entrants down to 25 semi-finalists. These semi-finalists will be presented to A&E development executives, who will select five finalists, each of whom will receive notes on their projects and $2,500 to shoot short presentations, exploring their subject, under the guidance of production partner, Left/Right Productions. One winner will be selected by A&E, and he/she will participate in the production of the pilot, as well as enjoy a co-executive producer and co-creator credit on the pilot and any subsequent series. Additionally, A&E may elect to enter into development agreements with the remaining finalists and all of the 25 semi-finalists will be invited to participate in the 2011 New York Television Festival as Official Artists.

“Left/Right is thrilled to partner with A&E and the NYTVF to give talented independent producers a real chance to launch their careers and see their work on television,” remarked Banks Tarver, Co-Founder and Co-President of Left/Right.