To enter, leave a comment below before 5:00PM Eastern, Tuesday, September 9 simply telling us which of the premieres you most want to see. As always, we'll randomly choose four winners amongst the eligible entries. Some other details:
- To enter, leave a confirmed comment below stating which NYTVF premiere you'd most like to see.
- The comment must be left before September 9, 2008 at 5:00PM Eastern Time.
- You may enter only once.
- Four winners will be selected in a random drawing.
- Four winners will receive a full festival pass to the New York Television Festival (valued at $175).
- Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia who are 21 and older.
- Winners will be responsible for their own transportation to, from and within New York, and lodging.
Considering the pitiful pros passing as live action comedy on Fox these days -- Til Death, Back to You, Unhitched -- you might think this contest was an act of desperation. It's not.
If you've been following my posts from the New York Television Festival, you may remember my mentioning that I'd post details of the Chuck premiere the festival was going to hold on Friday. Well, that didn't really turn out as planned. The "premiere" turned out to be just a screening: no red carpet, no panel, no one involved with the show attending. So I decided to skip posting about that (though I enjoyed the pilot, which is one of the few I haven't seen) and move right along to the premiere for Pushing Daisies, which was held on Saturday night.
You've already read a little about it, as I had director Barry Sonnenfeld address stories about cost overruns on the show. But, as I also said, that wasn't the only thing I asked him that peeved him a little bit. More on that after the jump.
When I was at the premiere for Daisies at the New York Television Festival last night, my main purpose on the event's red carpet (pictures of and text about the event will be posted on Tuesday) was to ask Sonnenfeld to reply to that article. Luckily, the director of Get Shorty, Men In Black, and The Addams Family wasn't reluctant to respond. "You know, the writer of the piece hasn't written a lot about Hollywood, I think," said Sonnenfeld. "Almost every show after the pilot is over-budget, whether it's Bionic Woman, Chuck, last year's Ugly Betty... I suspect they're all over-budget." More after the jump.
When I spoke to Eben Russell, the NYTVF's main spokesperson, about how there seemed to be a lot of comedies this year, he mentioned that they wanted to judge the pilots being sent into the festival on their own merits, instead of shoehorning them into categories, like they did the first two years. "We adopted an approach taking the most outstanding pilots, regarding of genre. We have a large amount of comedies as compared to other genres," is what he told me in an e-mail prior to the festival.
The implication is that the other categories didn't have enough quality entries to justify their own categories. Judging by the uneven quality of the following pilots, it makes me wonder what the pilots that were rejected look like (you can view the pilots at MSN).
When we were offered to review pilots featured in the NYTVF, I not only jumped at the chance to finally see TV products with some substance this summer (due to the channels I get here, I was stuck watching mostly reality shows over the past 3 months) but also to experience something new. I offered to review one of the comedy DVDs but didn't request a specific one since I had no idea what I was in for.
Even if I had no expectations, I wanted the comedies to at least entertain me and make me laugh at least 2 or 3 times. Sadly, the pilots I reviewed didn't deliver the goods (you can view the pilots at MSN).
The third annual New York Television Festival is now taking place in the Big Apple. As we did last year, we will review each of the pilots in competition there. This is the first of those reviews.
Last year I decided not to review any of the pilots from the New York Television Festival, but this year curiosity got the better of me and I said yes.
I decided to review one of the comedy DVDs. More specifically, the one featuring a pilot with puppets. You know what I learned, Mable? I learned that if your plot is lame and contrived, having puppets as half your cast doesn't improve things at all. Let's get into it (you can view the pilots at MSN):
Microsoft and our friends at the New York Television Festival have struck a deal to co-sponsor a contest where contestants will create five to fifteen minute pilots suitable for the software company's Xbox Live, which allows Xbox 360 users to play online games and watch movies and TV on demand. The winner of the contest will receive $100,000 to produce six episodes, which will be made available to Xbox Live customers. Also, the pilot will be screened at the festival, which will be held from September 5-10 this year.
Animation or live-action pilots will be accepted. It will be interesting to see what will be produced for this contest, and ultimately what wins. Suffice to say, knowing the Xbox's audience, I doubt it will be something along the lines of Desperate Housewives or Ugly Betty. That is, unless those housewives or Betty are shooting down aliens or bending iron bars with their minds or something. The full press release is after the jump.
Split the Difference, which won both the comedy competition and the TV Guide Audience Award, is the first scripted pilot to be picked up in the two-year history of the festival, as well as the first to be picked up by a major network. It's a mockumentary-style comedy that revolves around the rivalry-filled and phony world of making television commercials.
I thought it was by far the funniest pilot in the comedy competition, but that the mockumentary format would have to change so it didn't look like The Office at an advertising firm. Good to see we'll get a chance to see how this show gets developed. You can see the full press release after the jump. And you can still see the pilot on MSN.
While my hard-working brother Joel has been
bothering television hotshots with his sitcom idea on the Spanish Inquisition covering daily activities at the New York Television Festival, he has provided me with four pilots from the Educational category to review. As a father of young children it's interesting to see what is in the pipeline under this category because, frankly, you can only watch Jeff falling asleep on The Wiggles Show so many times. With the future education of my children in mind, I have requested the assistance of my nearly six-year-old daughter Samantha to provide a child's eye review of these pilots to go along with my gruff, skeptical adult opinions.
By the way, if you want to follow along you can watch all of these pilots over at MSN. That being said, let's jump ahead to the pilots.
I didn't really know what to expect from these pilots. Well, I kinda did, but I thought they'd be...I don't know, a little better than this? There are four drama pilots (you can watch them here at MSN), and they range from very well done to amateurish.
Premise: It's about a small-time TV channel looking for a hit, and one of the workers (Bernie, so broke he's stealing money from his mother in the first scene) seems to have found one in a reality show that's (in his words) "a cross between America's Most Wanted and Survivor." A woman, Elizabeth Benton, has been missing for a while, and there are no leads, so why not have a reality show competition to see who can find her first? He convinces his boss Sam to put the show on the air, and soon it becomes a hit.
Fed, cooled-off by the Frappuchino, and now smelling sporty-fresh, I stationed myself near the red carpet for the premiere of ABC's new comedy The Knights of Prosperity. You've heard about the show by now; a group of down-on-their luck folks conspire to rob Mick Jagger in order to help them improve their dreary lives.
I was shuttled around a couple of times to make room for photographers with real cameras, so the pictures after the jump are taken from a couple of different areas. Outside, press and photographers were put in a pen, with barriers on three sides. I didn't want to stand inside the pen while waiting for everyone to go in, because it just felt a touch humiliating. As I pointed out to another reporter: barriers on two sides make a line, but barriers on three sides make a pen. Yeesh. More pictures after the jump.
Reviewed here: End of the Line, Squid Dragon Legend and Strange Transmissions.
Because this is such an interesting concept, we're going to have extensive coverage of the festivities. Pilot screeners in each of the five categories (Comedy, Drama, Animation, Educational and Reality) will be reviewed by various TV Squadders; the review posts will go up starting on Thursday. And I'll be a roving reporter, trying to attend some of the bigger premieres, panel discussions, and other events, bringing you pictures and maybe even a quote or two from the stars who are attending parties for Kidnapped, The Knights of Prosperity, and Standoff. So, look for our daily posts from the festival and for the reviews of the pilots. I'm looking forward to this...
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