Have an idea for a TV show?
Something ground-breaking and fascinating? Perhaps a re-imagining of a classic series, or some kind of Scandal meets Parenthood meets New Girl? If only you could be stuck in an elevator with a powerful studio executive or producer, you would have just enough time to make them see its potential immediately! ATX Television Festival and Final Draft, Inc. are hoping to give you that chance with our annual Pitch Competition. We’re giving you ninety seconds to sell us (and some of television’s higher-ups) on YOUR great idea. Pitch any kind of show you want: a ½ hour sitcom, an hour drama for cable, a hybrid for original online content. The only guideline is that it must be a scripted (non-reality) series pitched in 90 seconds or less.
ATX Television Festival will screen all submissions and choose TWENTY-FIVE (25) semi-finalists to advance to the second round. Semi-finalists will then be given 10 DAYS to submit a required writing sample of 5-10 pages before being judged by our panel of industry professionals — including Kyle Killen (Creator/Executive Producer), Scott Pennington (Chapter Eleven Executive, and former VP, Scripted Programming at AMC), and Keith Redmon (Anonymous Content Manager & Producer) with additional judges being added throughout the submission process — who will narrow the 25 semi-finalists down to TEN (10) finalists. All writing samples must be a narrative piece of fiction (script, short story, portion of a longer story, etc.) to qualify for advancement to the final round. The writing sample does not have to be related to your pitch submission. (As you only have 10 days to submit, we do encourage you to have your writing sample prepared prior to our semi-finalist announcement in case one of them happens to be you!)
The TEN (10) finalists chosen by our industry professionals will compete at ATX Television Festival in June by pitching live with twice the amount of time. Individuals or teams will get 3 MINUTES to pitch before a live audience to our panel of industry judges, who will choose a single winner that day.
“In my experience, every human being who’s ever watched television has a brilliant idea for a show. The pitch competition provides an utterly unique opportunity. Not only do you get to battle test that idea, the winner gets the opportunity to present it directly to the people who actually turn ideas into television. If there’s another competition that puts you in that position or offers a learning experience half as valuable, I haven’t heard of it.” – Kyle Killen
2014 Pitch Competition Winner: Ally Kornfeld – “The ATX Television Festival pitch competition was such an incredible experience. Not only did we get invaluable feedback from the a panel of industry judges as finalists, but I got to work closely with former VP of Comedy Development at Sony Pictures, Dina Hillier to bring the pitch to Fox, Sony, Happy Madison and Comedy Central. I not only gained insight into the development process, but found the experience inspiring and incredibly fun as well. I highly recommend entering this comp!”
** Ally Kornfeld pitched to Sony Pictures Television, Happy Madison Productions, and FOX
2013 Pitch Competition Winner: Marc Muszynski – “The pitch competition was eye opening and door opening all at once. We got to see pitches for nine other amazing shows and watch what and how they connected with the industry judges. Then, with the help of our incredible mentor, Dina Hillier, we got to work our idea into a full-length pitch. That process was invaluable for learning the artistic and business demands for a TV show. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, we got to take our pitch to showrunners and execs at studios, broadcast and cable networks!”
** ** Marc Muszynski pitched to Sony Pictures Television, Comedy Central and NBC Take a look at the first year pitch competition’s finalists: Wonder how to Submit? Maybe what NOT to do…see Matt Lauria (Parenthood) and Arielle Kebbel’s (The Vampire Diaries) demonstration…For more videos check out our video page here
How to Submit:
1) Have an idea. Got it? Good.
2) Film your 90 second pitch, and then upload it as an unlisted video on YouTube (See – What is an unlisted YouTube video). This can be as simple as recording yourself on your iPhone OR as elaborate and high production value as you want to go. It’s your call — just keep it under 90 seconds (anything over will be disqualified and non-refundable).
3) Click the payment button below to submit your $25 submission fee. You will be redirected to the Pitch Submission form where you will enter your information, accept the terms & conditions and enter your unlisted YouTube link. Click Submit on the form, and you’re done! If you are selected to advance to the next round, you will be given instructions on how to submit your writing sample at the time of the semi-finalist announcement.
Good luck!** You will get a confirmation email from firstname.lastname@example.org. If you don’t, please email the same address with your information for details.
ALL ENTRIES will receive a discount code for 32% off the latest version of FINAL DRAFT (retailing at $249). Use it to write your treatment or pilot with the best writing software on the market. Courtesy of our sponsor, FINAL DRAFT, INC.
In addition, all entries will receive a $25 coupon code off any level of ATX Television Festival Season 4 badge.
These two discounts/coupons more than pay for the $25 submission processing fee!
** Codes will be distributed when semi-finalists are announced and will be good for 2 weeks from the date of receipt. Festival badges subject to capacity. If badge is purchased and contestant makes SEMI-FINALS, ATX Television Festival will refund the purchase price. All FINAL DRAFT, INC. purchases are final.
FIFTEEN (15) runners-up (from the 25 semi-finalist group) will receive Weekend badges to the Festival, allowing them to attend any panels and screenings, including the Final Pitch Competition. Normal capacity and Fast Pass rules for venues apply. Please see official Buy-a-Badge page for details.
TEN (10) finalists will pitch live at ATX Television Festival (June 4-7, 2015) in Austin, TX [NOTE: travel not included] before the panel of judges! Individuals or teams will have three minutes to convince judges in front of a live audience that they have the best TV show idea.
The TEN (10) finalists will each receive a Weekend badge to the Festival, plus two tickets to our closing night premiere screening and after-party, PLUS the most recent copy of FINAL DRAFT, thanks to our competition sponsors, Final Draft, Inc.! Take your pitch that got you in the top ten and write the treatment and pilot script using the best writing software on the market.
Our panel of judges will choose ONE winner after hearing the 10 live pitches. This winner will receive a meeting with one of our judges (based on the show’s genre/judges’ availability) to explore the idea of his/her series and gain notes to better develop the series. After the pitch is honed, the winner will then get a pitch meeting in front of one of our studio/network partners (again, dependent on the show’s genre and style) to try and sell his or her pilot for production. Past winners have pitched to Comedy Central, NBC Universal, Fox Studios, Happy Madison Productions, and Sony TV Pictures*.
*No specific studio/network is guaranteed to hear pitch.
Submission Fee: $25
- Competition Launch: December 5, 2014
- Submissions End: January 16, 2015
- 25 Semi Finalists Announced: February 27, 2015
- 10 Finalists Announced: April 17, 2015
- Finalists must confirm attendance: May 1, 2015
- Kyle Killen — Creator/Executive Producer of Awake, Lone Star, Mind Games
- Scott Pennington — Chapter Eleven Executive, and former VP, Scripted Programming at AMC
- Keith Redmon — Anonymous Content, Manager & Producer
- Jenny Bicks — Executive Producer/Writer of Sex and the City, The Big C, Men in Trees
- Additional Judges added throughout submission process, so check back!
Information on competition sponsor:
Final Draft, Inc.
For over 20 years, Final Draft, Inc. has published Final Draft® software – the number-one selling screenwriting application in the world. Final Draft software paginates and formats your script to industry standards allowing the story to be the writer’s main focus. Our other resources for writers include the BigBreak Contest – an annual screenwriting contest designed to launch careers; the Insider View Webinars – in-depth interviews with industry professionals; and ScriptXpert coverage services. The recently launched Final Draft Writer and Final Draft Reader mobile apps for iPad allow you to write, edit, read and annotate FDX files easily anywhere, anytime. To learn more visit www.finaldraft.com