TV Insights, Observations and Obsessions from the NYTVF


Check out our Q&A series with Fest Founder Terence Gray (and others), designed to provide submitting artists and TV fans with insight to the current development landscape. If you're thinking about submitting to the NYTVF, this is for you.



Insights from the intern bullpen


TessaAs part of our expanding intern program, we are looking at the hopes, dreams, and experiences of the students and recent grads who help make the NYTV F run smoothly (and will one day rule the world). For the second of these interviews, we asked Tessa Strelow, a grad student at New York University, to tell us why she watches television, what she's looking for in the growing diversity of the television landscape, and where she fits in that glorious tapestry.


So, tell us a little about yourself. What's your educational background, and what do you love to look for on television?

My name is Tessa Strelow and I am a graduate student in the Media, Culture & Communication program at NYU. My interest in media studies was sparked in a sociology class as an undergraduate at Connecticut College, during which I began to study the misrepresentation of women and minority groups in film and television. Having worked at the Fusion Film Festival at NYU this year, which focuses on women in film, television, and new media, I am particularly interested in the changing roles of female screenwriters, producers, directors, and actors in the industry. I think that major gains are being made for women in television, as is demonstrated by female producers and writers on shows such as Orange is the New Black, Nurse Jackie, and Masters of Sex.


What makes a great television series, and what goes into making a stellar pilot?

Growing up, I watched a lot of female-centric as well as family-centric shows on the (former) WB channel, such as Gilmore Girls, Felicity, and Everwood. I think that the key components of a great pilot are compelling characters, a well-established setting, and quality writing. In my opinion, ABC’s Brothers and Sisters had an excellent pilot because it introduced viewers to many intriguing characters, their world, and ended on a suspenseful cliffhanger. In a similar vein, Parenthood on NBC is an example of current narrative programming that I believe exemplifies great television. This show has engaging, relatable characters that span multiple generations. Their problems and interactions are realistic, and their dialogue is smart and funny.  


Where do you see your career heading? What are you pursuing?

In the future, I would love to do programming and development in the festival world or at a television network.


What Tessa's Reading:

For the latest news in the industry, I like to read the Women & Hollywood blog on Indiewire as well as Vulture.




Check out previous downloads here:

Insights from the intern bullpen - 7/24/14 | Rory Covey of My Damn Channel's Honchos - 4/10/14 | Drama advice from Siobhan Byrne O'Connor - 4/3/14 | NYTVF Alum Danny Abrahms - 3/21/14 | Drama Advice - 3/13/14 | Advice from Chicago - 3/10/14 | Unscripted LA Panel - 2/25/14 | Drama Development - 2/20/14 | MSN Development - 2/12/14 | Casting - 2/5/14 | The Network Development Process - 1/29/14 | History Development - 1/15/14 | Comedy Formats - 3/18/13 | A&E Pipeline - 4/3/13| Fox Script Contest - 4/10/13 | From Film to TV - 5/17/13 | Lifetime Unscripted - 9/4/13


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

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