The NYTVF welcomed thousands of independent creators, industry professionals, and TV lovers to its 11th Annual New York Television Festival on October 19-24, 2015 at venues throughout the Chelsea and Tribeca areas of Manhattan. Over 300 Official Artists, representing 103 projects, attended the Festival for exclusive artist and industry NYTVF Connect events, including: panels, happy hours, pitches, general meetings, special screenings, and an Artists’ Keynote by AMC and Sundance TV’s Joel Stillerman. The Festival concluded with an Awards Reception announcing deals between industry partners and NYTVF Official Artists.




11th Annual New York Television Festival: By The Numbers

  • 50 Projects screened in-competition as part of the eleventh annual Independent Pilot Competition
  • 103 Total projects selected for this year’s Festival
  • 333 Official Artists attended the Festival
  • 60+ Networks, studios, and agencies participated in NYTVF Connect
  • 367 Meetings facilitated through Executive Access
  • 40+ Pitch meetings scheduled through NYTVF Pitch
  • 7 Happy hour mixers for Official Artists, Executives, and Passholders
  • 20 Development Chats between Industry Partners and NYTVF Official Artists
  • 20 Festival-facilitated Development Deals
  • $0 Cost for Official Artists to attend all NYTVF Connect events

NYTVF 2015: Press Highlights



Now in its eleventh year, NYTVF Primetime brought red-carpet, star-studded debuts of the hottest new and returning shows and intimate conversations with the artists who create them.


Monday, October 19

Industry Keynote: Joel Stillerman

The NYTVF kicked off with an exclusive artist-only Industry Keynote from Joel Stillerman, President of Original Programming and Development for AMC and SundanceTV. Stillerman was joined by Moderator Terence Gray, Founder/Executive Producer of the New York Television Festival.



Pivot presented a special, artist-only screening and talkback of their hit show Please Like Me, with series creator and star, Josh Thomas, and series co-writer and star, Thomas Ward, hosted by Entertainment Weekly’s Melissa Maerz.


Pivot sponsored the NYTVF kick-off Happy Hour and Opening Night Party following the screening event.

Season Two Celebration of WGN America’s MANHATTAN

The NYTVF Opening Night Special Event featured the debut of an episode from the second season of WGN America's Manhattan, produced by Lionsgate Television, Skydance Television, and Tribune Studios. After the jaw-dropping season 2 premiere, audiences were eager to ask their burning questions of what’s to come on The Hill at a talkback featuring cast members John Benjamin Hickey, Rachel Brosnahan, Ashley Zukerman, Michael Chernus, Katja Herbers, and Mamie Gummer. Joining them on the dais was creator, writer, and executive producer Sam Shaw along with director and executive producer Thomas Schlamme.


Seeso Special Launch Event featuring Dan Harmon

NYTVF welcomed NBC Digital Enterprises Vice President Evan Shapiro and Community creator Dan Harmon for the announcement of the new NBC Universal original content platform, Seeso. Attendees got a sneak peek of the platform’s highly anticipated series Cyanide and Happiness, based on the hit comics, along with a live performance of Harmonquest, featuring Dan Harmon and Dave Ahdoot and Ethan Fixwell (Dave and Ethan: Lovemakers).

Tuesday, October 20

Running The Show: A Big Picture Conversation on Creating for the Small Screen

NYTVF teamed with the Screen Actors Guild Foundation and the Writers Guild of America East to welcome showrunners/executive producers Courtney Kemp Agboh (Power), Blair Breard (Louie), Barbara Hall (Madam Secretary), Anya Epstein (The Affair), Michelle King (The Good Wife), Stephanie Laing (Veep, Vice Principals), and moderator Margaret Lyons (New York Magazine / for the Festival's annual Creative Keynote panel. The power producers discussed the creative process of showrunning in the modern television landscape, from the ideal season length to the pros and cons of different television media and platforms. The conversation highlighted the significant differences between broadcast, cable, and digital distribution as well as diversity and how it can revolutionize the future of the medium.

CNN Presents: An Original Take on the Stories of Now

CNN, the network that invented the 24-hour news cycle, is championing a new generation of storytellers through original non-fiction programming that delivers an immersive and thought-provoking experience for viewers. To that end, CNN Original Series hosts Lisa Ling (This is life with Lisa Ling), Morgan Spurlock (Morgan Spurlock Inside Man), Kamau Bell (United Shades of America), and Bill Weir (The Wonder List with Bill Weir) joined Brian Stelter (Reliable Sources) to discuss the opportunities and challenges in making high-quality docuseries for a channel known for breaking news and what they’ve learned by traveling the world. NYTVF audience members learned about the difference between reporting breaking news and exploring the deeper issues of subcultures around the world and how the docu-series format is changing the cable-news medium.

Thursday, October 22nd

truTV Sneak Peek of Original Comedy THOSE WHO CAN’T

truTV brought a first-look screening of their new original comedy Those Who Can’t, from creators/executive producers Ben Roy, Adam Cayton-Holland, and Andrew Orvedahl. The series, set to premiere early next year, stars the creators as three dysfunctional high school teachers who are about as screwed-up as the kids they teach. The exclusive talkback, moderated by comedian/director Bobcat Goldthwait, featured Roy, Cayton-Holland, and Orvedahl as well as actress Maria Thayer (Eagleheart) and executive producer/showrunner Dean Lorey (Arrested Development, The Crazy Ones).

Pop Season Two Sneak Peek of Original Comedy SCHITT'S CREEK

This NYTVF exclusive event featured a sneak peek at the second season of Pop's original series, Schitt’s Creek, created by and starring Eugene Levy and Daniel Levy. The Levys were joined by co-stars Catherine O'Hara, Annie Murphy, Chris Elliott, and Jennifer Robertson for a hilarious and amazing panel event.

WGN America World Premiere Screening and Talkback of THE OUTSIDERS

The world premiere screening of WGN America’s The Outsiders made a splash with NYTVF audiences. Executive Producers Paul Giamatti, Peter Mattei, and Peter Tolan and stars David Morse, Gillian Alexy, Kyle Gallner, Christina Jackson, and Ryan Hurst joined at the SVA Theatre to discuss this gritty drama, the 3rd original series from WGN America.

BAFTA Rocliffe New Comedy Showcase: Catch the Future of British Comedy

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and the NYTVF teamed up to bring the UK’s most promising comedy voices to New York. In this night of unique comedy, the winners of the BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum competition held debut readings of original sitcoms, with creative insight and feedback from the event's Industry Chair, Dan Pasternack (Big Beach). The selected scripts by Samuel Jefferson, Tom Moran, and writing pair Henry Dalton & Paul Cope were identified following a UK-wide competition hosted by BAFTA and the Rocliffe New Writing Forum.

Friday, October 23rd

StoryNEXT: Virtual Reality at the NYTVF

NYTVF partnered with Gannett and the James L. Knight Foundation for the first-annual StoryNEXT conference: a series of panels, exhibits and roundtable discussions dedicated to new frontiers in storytelling. The day long event featured virtual reality demonstrations from a variety of companies including HTC, Samsung, Google and others. Speakers included Wayne Billheimer (Executive Producer, Industrial Light and Magic), Sir William Sargent (Co-Founder, Framestore), Gregg Wilkes (CEO, Visisonics), Mike Woods (Founder and CCO, White Rabbit VR), Conal Byrne (Senior VP of Digital Media, Discovery Communications), Christine Cattano (Executive Producer, Framestore), Aaron Luber (Head of Partnerships, Google), and many more.

NYTVF Development Day - Saturday, October 24

The 2015 NYTVF Development Day offered aspiring creators and TV fans alike a day of free panels and events including both educational and inspirational insight into the creation of television.


Development Day Highlights Included:


$1K Challenge: Making Your Pilot Presentation on a Budget

Current and aspiring producers attended NYTVF’s annual $1K Challenge with seasoned producers Angie Gaffney, Kris Lefcoe, and Brandon Herman to learn how to stretch a dollar, make the most of your location days, and understand when “splurging” is worth it. The panel, moderated by Ian Thake (Director of Programming, NYTVF), tackled tangible production challenges and helped indie producers maximize the bang for their (production) buck. Tailored to indie producers looking to submit to the NYTVF or to produce a presentation tape to shop to networks, the panelists shared practical and real-world advice on how to apply a guerrilla style approach to stretching a meager budget and prove that you don't need big bucks to make a huge impact!


Vulture TV Podcast: Live Taping

The NYTVF welcomed New York Magazine TV Critics Matthew Zoller Seitz and Margaret Lyons and host Gazelle Emami (Vulture's Senior Editor) for a live taping of their popular, weekly Vulture TV Podcast. The TV experts discussed everything from the first shows that made them TV fans, series they binge watch, and shows they wish weren't canceled. Listen to the episode here!


CNN Presents: Docu vs. Reality - An Unscripted Producers' Primer

Jon Adler (CNN Originals), Amanda Culkowski (WE tv), and Producer Jonathan Partridge joined NYTVF Founder and Executive Director Terence Gray to discuss what makes a great documentary series and what the essentials are for a "reality" franchise? With thousands of hours of "unscripted" programming being green lit each year, this panel demystified the development process for "documentary" series to provide unscripted storytellers with the tools to succeed across the unscripted landscape.


Animation 101: De-mystifying Primetime Animation in the Digital Age

The team behind some of TV's biggest animated comedy hits, including Emmy® award-winning series Bob’s Burgers on FOX, Brickleberry on Comedy Central, The Awesomes on HULU, Bordertown (premiering on FOX in 2015), and the much anticipated Legends of Chamberlain Heights on Comedy Central, took the NYTVF audience from conception to completion of a primetime animation series! Funny, exciting, and informative, Bento Box’s Joel Kuwahara described the intricate process of animation production here and overseas.


Long Day's Journey into Late Night

This late night writing panel featured the comic forces behind New York's late night institutions: Amber Ruffin (Late Night with Seth Meyers), Luke Cunningham (The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon), and Travon Free (The Daily Show with Trevor Noah). The panelists shared stories on everything from the hundreds of jokes they have to write every day to how each host brings his unique persona to the show, making this panel full of laughs and valuable information for aspiring late night writers.


THE JAMZ - NYTVF Original Series Development Download

An Official Selection in the 2014 Independent Pilot Competition, The Jamz is the first scripted series to be produced by NYTVF Productions (NYTVFp) and The Orchard. NYTVF closed Development Day with producers Angie Gaffney and Ian Thake, director Ted Tremper, and co-creator, writer, and star Jim Kozyra in a discussion about the series from its beginnings, as a crowd-funded web series, to the latest stage in its development, moderated by NYTVF Founder/Executive Director Terence Gray.




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