The NYTVF welcomed thousands of independent creators, industry professionals, and TV lovers to its 13th Annual New York Television Festival on October 23-28, 2017. From an organizational standpoint, this was the NYTVF’s biggest year ever -- 85 events, almost 300 Official Artists, more than 600 facilitated meetings, and representatives from 77 networks, studios, platforms, agencies, production companies, and other TV decision-makers. The week-long event included panels, happy hours, pitches, meetings, special screenings, and a Creative Keynote series that included the women of HBO’s The Deuce, TBS Executive Vice President of Original Programming Brett Weitz, and showrunner Shawn Ryan (The Shield, S.W.A.T.), among others. Additionally, the 13th Annual Festival hosted the first ever NYTVF Writers Room, a day of panels devoted to all aspects of writing for TV. The Festival concluded with an Awards Reception announcing category winners and deals between industry partners and NYTVF Official Artists.



13th Annual New York Television Festival: By The Numbers


  • 52 Projects screened in-competition as part of the thirteenth annual Independent Pilot Competition
  • 94 Total projects selected for this year’s Festival
  • 289 Official Artists attended the Festival
  • 77 Networks, studios, and agencies participated in NYTVF Connect
  • 600+ Meetings facilitated through Executive Access
  • 53 Pitch meetings scheduled through NYTVF Pitch
  • 7 Happy hour mixers for Official Artists, Executives, and Passholders
  • 23 Development Chats between Industry Partners and NYTVF Official Artists
  • 11 Festival-facilitated Development Deals

NYTVF 2017: Press Highlights




Now in its thirteenth year, NYTVF Primetime brought a line-up of panels, screenings, live events, and red-carpet premieres for creators, industry, and fans.


Monday, October 23:




NYTVF 2016 kicked off with a panel of some of today’s top producers, writers, show runners, and performers in television. Presented in partnership with Screen Actors Guild Foundation and Writers Guild of America East, this primetime event gave attendees insight and advice from people working in front of and behind the camera. Panelists included M. Blair Breard (Executive Producer, Louie, Better Things, Horace and Pete, Baskets), Mike Jackson (Executive Producer, Underground, La La Land, Southside with You), Jorge Zamacona (Writer and Producer, Quantico, The Last Ship, Homicide: Life on the Streets), and Amirah Vann (Actress, Underground, GIRLS). The panelists were joined by moderator Margaret Lyons of The New York Times.



Creator and star Amy Sedaris invited fans to celebrate the launch of her new truTV comedy series, At Home with Amy Sedaris, with a screening and talk-back alongside guest star Cole Escola and writer/producer Jodi Lennon ahead of the show's network premiere.



OPENING NIGHT EVENT: TBS Presents the Season Two Premiere of SEARCH PARTY

From its roots as an independent pilot, through its ground-breaking first season, Search Party on TBS broke all the rules of traditional TV comedy -- and garnered universal praise for its engaging debut season. NYTVF and TBS hosted a screening of the first episode of season two and a panel with stars Alia Shawkat, John Early, Meredith Hagner, and John Reynolds, as well as co-creator and executive producer Michael Showalter.




Tuesday, October 24:



COMEDY FOR CHANGE - Artist Keynote: A Conversation on Writing with Lena Waithe

Presented in partnership with the Writers Guild of America, East

On the heels of her groundbreaking Emmy win for Master of None, Lena Waithe sat for the Comedy for Change Artist Keynote, offering her unique take on the writer's role in TV, building a comedy brand, and ways in which humor can bridge socio-political divides and change the hearts and minds of millions.



WORLD PREMIERE: Sony Pictures Television Presents S.W.A.T.

One of the fall's most buzzed about dramas, S.W.A.T., debuted at the NYTVF before its premiere on CBS. Fans enjoyed an exclusive premiere screening of the pilot episode followed by a talk-back featuring stars Shemar Moore and Lina Esco, with executive producers Shawn Ryan and Aaron Rahsaan Thomas.



COMEDY FOR CHANGE: The Crossroads of Journalism and Comedy

Presented in partnership with the Writers Guild of America, East

Comedy for Change provided a platform to discuss the phenomenon of journalism/comedy cross-pollination and how leaders in the space are impacting the dissemination and consumption of the news. This exclusive event featured Ashley Nicole Black (Full Frontal with Samantha Bee), Dina Gustovsky (Late Night with Seth Meyers), Zhubin Parang (The Daily Show with Trevor Noah), Opus Moreschi (Late Show with Stephen Colbert), and moderator Jason Zinoman (The New York Times).



COMEDY FOR CHANGE: Comedy as Activism

Presented in partnership with the Writers Guild of America, East

In the final Comedy for Change event at the NYTVF, Comedy as Activism examined ways in which these movements are being expressed, explored, and fueled through comedy – and the visionaries that are leading the charge. Featured panelists included: Robin Thede (Creator/ Executive Producer / Host, The Rundown with Robin Thede), Jena Friedman (Comedian, Producer, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart), Randy Rainbow (Musical-Political Satirist), Aparna Nancherla (Comedian, Writer, Late Night with Seth Meyers), and moderator Jeffrey Jones (Executive Director, The Peabody Awards).



Wednesday, October 25:



STARZ World Premiere of Original Documentary NUDE

The new, feature-length documentary from The Chair producers Anthony B. Sacco and Josh Shader, which explores perceptions of nudity in art by chronicling the creative process of fashion photographer David Bellemere, debuted for the NYTVF 2017 audience, followed by a conversation with Sacco and Shader.



Thursday, October 26:



NYTVF Creative Keynote: A Conversation with THE DEUCE

Presented in partnership with HBO, the 2017 Creative Keynote cast the female gaze upon The Deuce and its candid depiction of the rise of the porn industry in 1970s New York. Series producer and star Maggie Gyllenhaal, executive producer and director Michelle MacLaren, executive producer Nina K. Noble, and Senior Vice President of HBO Programming Kathleen McCaffrey sat for a talkback. Catch a quick clip of their conversation on Twitter.




Before the November 1 return of IFC's hit comedy-horror series, fans were invited to an exclusive, behind-the-scenes panel featuring creator, executive producer, writer, and star Dana Gould, producer/star John C. McGinley, and star Janet Varney -- who offered an inside look at the second season with more monsters, deadlier demons, and the same Stan.




Exclusive to Official Artists, Industry, and Festival Passholders, the NYTVF Connect Keynotes and Event Series featured top development executives, showrunners, agents, and managers offering advice and insights on the current state of the TV industry.


Monday, October 23:



How Digital, Audio, and Television Content are Converging - A discussion led by Loeb and Loeb, LLP

NYTVF 2017 kicked off with an in depth assessment of the convergence of media platforms, and how those crossovers are impacting habits, discovery, and opportunity for both creators and consumers. The panel featured executives from Loeb & Loeb, LLP, RadicalMedia, Topic, and WNYC.



NYTVF Connect: First Impressions

From intros to pitch meetings to follow-ups, panelists CAA, Jax Media, Left/Right Productions, and truTV talked everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask.



NYTVF Connect: Industry Keynote Conversation with Brett Weitz

Brett Weitz, TBS Executive Vice President of Original Programming, sat down with NYTVF Founder/Executive Director Terence Gray to talk about the state of the industry, TV development and more.



Tuesday, October 24:



NYTVF Connect: Keynote Conversation with Shawn Ryan

Fifteen years after the debut of The Shield, the prolific writer, producer, and showrunner talked about his career and current projects, including the NBC drama Timeless and CBS drama S.W.A.T., offering advice for independent television creators.



The State of TV Comedy: What's now, what's new, what's next?

Presented in Partnership with Project 10

Project 10, the award-winning comedy production company, offered a lively look at the current state of TV comedy, with executives from Comedy Central, Fox, ICM, IFC and truTV.



Wednesday, October 25:



NYTVF Connect: Ask an Exec

NYTVF Official Artists had the opportunity to get all their burning questions answered, in this exclusive conversation with panelists from Gersh, Just For Laughs, and Back Roads Entertainment.



SundanceTV Presents: ROSEHAVEN: Meet the Creators

Passholders sat for an exclusive screening of the season two premiere and creator talkback with real-life best mates and comedians Celia Pacquola and Luke McGregor -- the creators and stars of the quirky small-town comedy series from SundanceTV.



Thursday, October 26:



NYTVF Connect: Industry Keynote Conversation with Amy Emmerich

Refinery29 Chief Content Officer Amy Emmerich sat for an exclusive interview with NYTVF Founder/Executive Director Terence Gray.



Topic Presents: SHE'S THE TICKET

Topic, the new entertainment studio and digital storytelling platform from First Look Media, presented an episode of their original documentary series She’s the Ticket, which captures the stories of five pioneering female candidates running for office in 2017 and 2018, followed by a discussion with members of the creative team on the production and its subjects.



Friday, October 27:



BritBox Screening and Launch Party for Premiere of FIVE BY FIVE Produced by Idris Elba

The NYTVF and BritBox, hosted a special screening and launch party in honor of the Idris Elba-produced short series, five by five.

NYTVF Writers Room - Friday, October 27



In its first year, this Passholder exclusive afternoon featured panels and events geared towards emerging and established writers looking to hone their craft and make headway in television.



So You Wanna Be A Showrunner?

This exclusive conversation with Soo Hugh (Executive Producer, The Terror, The Whispers) provided insights, advice, and guidance on all things showrunner.



Writers Who Work: Packets, Portfolios, and Specs (Oh My!)

This frank discussion covered how writers should best be preparing their writing packets for the highest chance at success. Moderator Dan Pasternack (Former Exec, IFC, Super Deluxe; NYU Adjunct Professor; Producer) sat with John Thibodeaux (Writer, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert), Nick Borenstein (Director, Content & Programming, Topic), Laura Schwartz (Manager of Development, New Form), and Lindsey McManus (Agent, WME).



In Partnership With: The Value of Mentors in Television

Presented by the Writers Guild of America, East

Showrunner – and mentor – Anya Epstein sat down with her mentee, Made in NY Writers Room Fellow Sarah Kraus, to discuss inclusion and diversity in the writer's room, the dynamics of a mentor/mentee relationship, and the many paths to successful writing careers.



Writing Comedy That Gets Noticed

Moderator Olivia Wingate (SVP, Scripted Development, Left/Right) sat with panelists Mackenzie Roussos (Talent and Literary Agent, UTA), Paula Szuchman (Vice President, On-Demand Content, WNYC Studios), Michele Ganeless (Former President, Comedy Central; Producer), and Ziwe Fumudoh (Comedian and Writer) to discuss creating comedy projects that get noticed.



NYTVF Alumni Keynote Conversation: Jordan Klepper and Laura Grey

The host and series correspondent for Comedy Central’s new The Opposition w/ Jordan Klepper headlined the Writers Room line-up. Jordan Klepper and Laura Grey are long-time comedy collaborators and multi-year alums of the NTYVF.




In addition to the larger panels, the NYTVF hosted small group sessions designed to spur conversation and action. These events were presented in partnership with the Writers Guild of America, East, the American Black Film Festival, and the Stony Brook Killer Films MFA Program.



NYTVF Development Day PRO WORKSHOP - Saturday, October 28



The ninth annual NYTVF Development Day wrapped up the Festival with the Pro Workshop, a slate of panels and events geared toward emerging/aspiring TV creators and professionals with a specific focus on job opportunities in TV.


Before the Cameras Roll: Pre-Production Pros

This panel will tackle practical advice and offer an entry point into fascinating and underexplored production jobs. Panelists included: Jill Katz (Executive Producer, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah; Get Paid Productions, Inc.), Erica Hart (Casting Coordinator, ABC Primetime - East Coast), and Patty Carey-Perazzo (Location Manager, HBO’s Divorce and Succession).



Light-Sound-Shoot: Production Pros

Attendees heard advice on the skills and experience required to make their mark in production and get ahead in the field. Panelists included: Tracy Ullman (Development Producer, OJ Simpson: Chasing Freedom; Field Producer, The Murder Castle), Tiffani Gray (Production Manager, AMC Studios), and Frank Lopez (Technical Manager, Left/Right Productions).



Off-Camera Work, On-Camera Results: Production Pros with NYWIFT

Presented in Partnership with New York Women in Film and Television

On this panel, the makeup artists, costume designers, and others who help build a TV series from the ground up told us their tips and tricks for taking a project from the script to the screen. Panelists included: Katie Irish (Costume Designer, The Americans), Anita Gibson (Makeup Department Head, Power and Royal Pains), Fredda Slavin (Art Director, Divorce, The Night Of and Eye Candy), and moderator Rosalind Murphy (VP of Programming, NYWIFT Board of Directors).



NYTVF 2016 Events
NYTVF 2016 Awards Show