Development Deals FAQ

What is a Festival Development Award?


A Festival Development Award is a guaranteed option deal offered by a Festival Development Partner.


NYTVF Festival Development Partners provide a creative brief outlining the development objectives for projects, including pertinent goals, audience information and additional points for consideration by submitting creators. Producers and content creators are eligible for the Festival Development Awards by having their pilot named an Official Selection of the New York Television Festival’s (NYTVF) Independent Pilot Competition (IPC) or as a semi-finalist or finalist in all other Festival initiatives, including sponsored initiatives.


2014 Festival Development Awards

    The Orchard

    Award: Six-episode series order

    Genre: Scripted

    From The Orchard:


    The Orchard, an independent film/TV and music distribution company, that will award a guaranteed, six-episode series order to an outstanding selection from this year's New York Television Festival. The winner of the Orchard GO Project will be identified from the Festival's Official Artists and will produce their series in partnership with The Orchard and NYTVF.  


    About The Orchard

    The Orchard is a pioneering music, video and film distribution company and top-ranked Multi Channel Network operating in more than 25 global markets. With a holistic approach to sales and marketing combined with industry-leading technology and operations, The Orchard amplifies reach and revenue across hundreds of digital, physical and mobile outlets around the world. The Orchard streamlines content owners' business complexity with an intuitive client dashboard, comprehensive rights management and tailored client support. Founded in 1997, The Orchard empowers businesses and creators in the entertainment industry. For further information, please visit

    The Lionsgate/Sea to Sky  - Channel 4 Drama Co-Development Award

    Award: $45,000 Script Development Deal

    Genre: Scripted Drama

    From Lionsgate/Sea to Sky and Channel 4:


    Channel 4 and Lionsgate have teamed up to find the next great drama series and writer(s) from among NYTVF’s 2014 slate of Official Selections.


    NYTVF is bringing an international co-development opportunity to independent TV writers. In partnership with Channel 4, Lionsgate and Sea to Sky, its joint venture with Frank Giustra’s Thunderbird Films, the NYTVF is launching the “Lionsgate/Sea To Sky – Channel 4 Drama Co-Development Award,” guaranteeing that the writer(s) of an outstanding drama project will receive a $45,000 script development deal from the studio and broadcaster.


    Channel 4 and Lionsgate/Sea To Sky are partnering with the NYTVF to find the next generation of great drama writing talent. They are looking for highly original, authored ideas with scale and ambition that can speak to audiences on both sides of the Atlantic.


    To qualify for the Lionsgate/Sea To Sky – Channel 4 Drama Co-Development Award, independent creators must enter a drama project into the NYTVF's annual Independent Pilot Competition (IPC), which is now accepting independently produced television and digital pilots in all genres until June 27. In addition to the IPC component, in order to be considered for this Award, writers must submit the Pilot Script and the Series Synopsis (not more than 5 pages arcing the trajectory of the series) of the drama project submitted. Projects named “Official Selections” in 2014 will be eligible for consideration by Lionsgate/Sea To Sky and Channel 4 for theAward. . As the Award is a script deal for the writer(s), it should be underscored that the greatest weight of assessment will be placed on the creative strength of the Pilot Script and Series Synopsis. In order for an “Official Selection” to opt in for consideration for the Award, the writer(s) will be required to sign a Script Commitment Agreement and Submission Agreement detailing amongst other things that the writer(s) hold and control all of the right, title and interest in and to the Official Selection Project, Pilot Script and Series Synopsis.  


    How Do I Submit?

    For more information, submission rules and entry guidelines, click here.

    Drama submsissions to the IPC can be:

    • hour or half hour-long drama pilots that have been cut down to fit within the submission guidelines (max 22 minutes)
    • the first act or acts of an hour or half hour-long drama
    • the pilot episode of a digital drama series (min 2 minutes)

    What is the Award?

    The winning writer(s) of the Lionsgate – Channel 4 Drama Co-Development Award will be awarded a $45,000 script deal.

    Comedy Central Development Deal

    Award: $7,500 development deal

    Genre: Comedy



    The New York Television Festival and Comedy Central have re-teamed to offer emerging TV writers and producers the opportunity to win $7,500 and a development deal with the network.


    Comedy Central is looking for fun, fresh points of view that fit into the network's brand of comedy. The following scripted-comedy formats would apply: sketch, narrative/single-camera sitcom, animated and "late night" comedy (game shows, panel shows, etc.).


    To qualify for the Comedy Central Development Deal, independent creators must enter a comedy project into any one of the NYTVF's 2014 initiatives, including the annual Independent Pilot Competition (IPC), which is now accepting independently produced television and digital pilots in all genres until June 27. Projects named "Official Selections" in 2014 will be eligible for consideration by Comedy Central.


    How Do I Submit?

    For more information, submission rules and entry guidelines, click here.


    What is the Award?

    The winning creator will be awarded $7,500 and the opportunity to enter into a development deal with the network.

    Travel Channel and ulive Development and Series Deal

    Award: Guaranteed Digital Series

    Genre: Unscripted/Lifestyle


    About Travel Channel:
    TRAVEL CHANNEL ( is a multiplatform travel lifestyle brand with the core mission of providing inspiring and compelling programming that takes viewers beyond their everyday destinations, making the unfamiliar familiar, whether it's around the world or around the block. A dual feed network that is also available in HD, Travel Channel is the world’s leading travel media brand, and is available in over 94 million U.S. cable homes. Owned and operated by Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI), Travel Channel has offices in Chevy Chase, MD, and New York, NY. Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI) also owns and operates HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Great American Country.

    About ulive:
    ulive is a digital lifestyle video brand for today’s busy consumer. Owned and operated by Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. (NYSE: SNI), ulive expands on the Scripps Networks lifestyle promise: to bring the best videos to viewers wherever and whenever they want. At the center is, a premium video portal, home to lifestyle videos from brands you know and trust – including Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, Cooking Channel, DIY Network and Great American Country – as well as premium third-party videos and more than 80 original series from beloved TV stars and hot new digital talent. The ulive Lifestyle Network (ULN), ulive’s accompanying video distribution arm, delivers premium video content across a curated ecosystem of lifestyle publishers. With videos covering food, home, travel, parenting, wellness, beauty and fashion, ulive entertains and informs to help you make the most out of life. Whatever you live for, find great videos about it on ulive.

    FremantleMedia North America

    Award: $5,000 Development Award

    Genre: Digital Series- Unscripted; Game Shows and Talent/Performance

    From FremantleMedia N.A. Original Digital Content Department:

    FMNA is partnering with the New York Television Festival to discover original ideas in digital programming.   FMNA’s Original Digital Content Department is looking for new, unscripted formats in the game show and performance/talent show genres, with a skew toward teen/millennial target demographics.  Content should inherently lend itself to digital and mobile consumption – a (relatively) contained production, easily sharable, scalable and to be enjoyed by mass audiences worldwide.  Skip the tried and true formats as seen on TV.  We want something different – fun, fresh, out–of–the–box and truly multi–platform in concept.  All ideas are to live on online, with budgets ranging from $1,500 - $5,000 per minute.  

    ABOUT FMNA: FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) is the U.S. production division of global media giant FremantleMedia. Based in Burbank, California, FMNA produces entertaining and innovative programs for network, cable, syndicated and online platforms, including the Emmy-nominated musical/reality phenomenon American Idol (FOX), The X Factor (FOX), America’s Got Talent (NBC), Family Feud (SYN), The Price Is Right (CBS), Let’s Make A Deal (CBS), Total Blackout (Syfy), Married to Medicine (Bravo), The Pet Collective (BlipTV), Perfect Score (The CW), The Tomorrow People (The CW) and Psychic Tia (A+E). 

    Investigation Discovery

    Award: TBA

    Genre: Unscripted

    About Investigation Discovery

    Investigation Discovery (ID) is the leading mystery-and-suspense network on television and America's favorite "guilty pleasure." From harrowing crimes and salacious scandals to the in-depth investigations and heart-breaking mysteries that result, ID challenges our everyday understanding of culture, society and the human condition. One of our nation's fastest growing cable networks, ID delivers the highest-quality programming to nearly 85 million U.S. households and is available in both high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD). For more information, please visit,, or Investigation Discovery is part of Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the world's #1 nonfiction media company reaching more than 2 billion cumulative subscribers in 220 countries and territories.


    Award: TBA

    Genre: Unscripted

    About truTV

    truTV takes viewers on a fun ride that surprises and entertains. It delivers a dynamic mix of action, comedy and competition, featuring engaging characters and compelling new worlds that pull you in and leave you wanting more. Currently seen in 92 million U.S. households, truTV features such popular original series as Impractical Jokers, The Carbonaro Effect, Motor City Masters, Hardcore Pawn, Lizard Lick Towing and South Beach Tow, as well as the upcoming series Friends of the People, Way Out West, How to Be a Grown-Up, Fake Off, Hair Jacked, Jokers Wild, Local News (working title), Branson Famous (working title), Kart Life, Hack My Life and The Shake Up. In addition, truTV is a partner in airing the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship.


    Award: TBA

    Genre: Unscripted

    About FYI:

    FYI(tm) is a contemporary lifestyle network set to debut in July 2014. For your inspiration, for your imagination or for your innovation, the network embraces an adventurous, personalized and non-prescriptive approach to lifestyle content. From our viewer's taste, space, look, journey and more - FYI covers a range of experiences that reflect how people actually live their lives today, not defined by one passion or interest. FYI is a division of A+E Networks, a joint venture of the Disney-ABC Television Group and Hearst Corporation.


    Award: TBA

    Genre: Unscripted

    About WE tv

    WE tv’s popular slate of fresh and modern unscripted original series includes the hit shows Braxton Family Values, Mary Mary and Marriage Boot Camp, among many others. WE tv will debut its first scripted series, The Divide, from Richard LaGravenese and Tony Goldwyn, this July. Audiences connect to WE tv online at, on demand and in social media. WE tv is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc., alongside its sister channels AMC, IFC and SundanceTV, and is available in over 85 million U.S. homes and across all platforms.

    Channel 4

    Award: TBA

    Genre: Unscripted Formats


    What is Channel 4 looking for?
    A whole range of bold new noisy and irreverent formats.

    The Channel 4 Entertainment department is currently looking for a whole range of bold new noisy and irreverent formats. Our headline priorities are Game shows and Reality.

    Game shows need to be high-concept with a distinct hook. They need to have scale and a ‘Channel 4’ twist. For example, contestants on The Million Pound Drop start with a Million Pounds and just have to try and hold on to it. They took a traditional quiz show and turned it on its head. This show also demonstrates the success and need for an interactive element. Game shows should embrace digital innovation and explore new ways to use second screens. In particular we are looking for a big physical game show with a definitive framework.

    Reality shows should also be ambitious. We are looking for breakthrough events that can be stripped across a week or two, involve celebrities or not and either be live or building up to live. They should demonstrate a departure from Big Brother but, following the success of shows such as Tool Academy, we’re open to elimination shows with a funny premise. CHANNEL 4 - ABOUT THE NETWORK
    Channel 4 exists to offer something different – to surprise, to challenge established orthodoxies, to pioneer fresh approaches. In a world of increasing homogeneity we aim to bring originality and innovation, and breathe life into new ideas. Our distinctiveness on-screen stems from the ethos of creative diversity that lies at the heart of everything we do.


    Channel 4 is a publicly-owned, commercially-funded public service broadcaster in the UK. We do not receive any public funding and have a remit to be innovative, experimental and distinctive. Channel 4 works across television, film and digital media to deliver our public service remit, as outlined in the 2003 Communications Act and most recently the 2010 Digital Economy Act.

    Channel 4 was launched on 2nd November 1982 with a unique business model, under the Broadcasting Act 1981. We are funded predominantly by advertising and sponsorship, but unlike other broadcasters such as ITV, Channel 4 is not shareholder owned. Channel 4 is a statutory corporation, independent of Government, and governed by a unitary board made up of executive and non-executive directors, who are responsible for ensuring that Channel 4 fulfils its remit and delivers its financial responsibilities. Non-executive directors are appointed by OFCOM in agreement with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. This system ensures our not-for-profit status; that we are held accountable and that all profit generated by our commercial activity is directly reinvested back into the delivery of our public service remit.

    In addition to the main Channel 4 service, which is available on all digital platforms as well as through traditional analogue transmission, our portfolio includes E4, More4, Film4 and 4Music, as well as an ever-growing range of online activities that includes, Channel 4's bespoke video-on-demand service 4oD and standalone digital projects. Through its film arm Film4 Channel 4 is also a key supporter of British film making talent.

    As a publisher-broadcaster, Channel 4 is required to commission UK content from the independent production sector. We are a major investor in the UK's creative economy, working with around 300 creative companies from across the UK every year and investing significantly in training and talent development throughout the industry.

    National Geographic Channel

    Award: TBA

    Genre: Unscripted Formats


    Coming Soon.

    Sundance TV

    Award: TBA

    Genre: Unscripted Formats

    About SundanceTV:

    SundanceTV is making and celebrating television as distinctive as the best independent films. Working with today's most remarkable talent, SundanceTV is attracting viewer and critical acclaim for its original scripted and unscripted series.



In addition Festival Development Partners, all Official Selections are shared with all NYTVF industry partners in the weeks prior to the Festival, including NYTVF Pitch Partners. No matter what you're producing – scripted, non-scripted, comedy, drama, animation or children's programming – there is a home for you and your work at the NYTVF.

Previous NYTVF Pitch Partners

Sundance Channel BIO Nat Geo Gannett

Channel 4 Hasbro Studios Logo SevenOne RedArrow


NYTVF Pitch is a closed initiative hosted on-site at the New York Television Festival that is open ONLY to Official Festival Artists. Each Pitch Partner offers a guaranteed deal for an outstanding pitch, but you can ONLY participate if you are named an Official Selection.


For more information about NYTVF Pitch, click here.

For additional information about the NYTVF Artist Experience, click here.






The NYTVF is a pioneer of the independent television movement, connecting its community of artists with leading networks, studios, agencies, production companies, and brands.

Industry Partners



"Upon winning at the festival, we were able to secure representation and have our pilot shopped at HBO, NBC and Lionsgate television. Eventually it would be sold to Viacom. This created a number of new relationships that continue today."

Stephen Anderson, Executive Producer – Studio 6 Productions

"Winning the MSN Short-Form Storytellers challenge has allowed me to not only fully fund my web series, but jump start my web producing career while working with one of the best digital brands in the industry."

Guy Georgeson, Winner – MSN Short Form Storytellers Challenge 2013