The New York Television Festival and MSN Announce “MSN Artistic Achievement Award” and Development Deal Prize at 2006 Indie TV Festival

NEW YORK, NY –Aug. 3, 2006 –New York Television Festival (NYTVF) joined with Signature Sponsor MSN® today to announce that a development prize will be awarded to one winning artist in the Festival’s 2006 Independent Pilot Competition. The second annual contest will showcase twenty-two original pilots during the Festival, held in midtown Manhattan from September 12th through September 17th. As part of the MSN Artistic Achievement Award, MSN will provide the producers of one outstanding pilot in the competition a $10,000 development deal to use as seed money for a future project. The winner will also be given the opportunity to participate in a development meeting with executives from MSN Originals. The MSN Artistic Achievement Award is a far-sighted attempt to encourage emerging talent to explore creating cutting-edge programs specifically for emerging content platforms.

“The MSN Artistic Achievement Award establishes a pipeline for a pilot-maker to become a full-fledged TV producer virtually overnight,” said NYTVF Founder Terence Gray. “The NYTVF is proud to provide opportunities to artists who would otherwise struggle to get their work seen by the right people.”

“At MSN, we’re passionate about bringing a new generation of storytelling online through the MSN Originals initiative,” said Rob Bennett, general manager of Entertainment and Video Services for MSN. “We’re thrilled to work with the New York Television Festival to provide this opportunity for aspiring television creators.”

The NYTVF and MSN have also joined forces to establish an online community of independent television producers, writers, and directors via Windows Live™ Spaces on MSN. By establishing a customized page in this community, the pilot-makers behind the 2006 Official Selections will be able to collaborate, create a blog of their experiences at the Festival, and network with other artists. As the community grows, it will facilitate the production of independent television around the country.

“Viewers can visit our Pilot-maker Pages on Windows Live Spaces and meet the creative teams behind this year’s selections,” said NYTVF Festival Director Ned Canty. “It is the start of an online community of artists and TV lovers whose interaction will be an incubator for new ideas and innovative stories.”

The NYTVF announced the full slate of pilots in competition at the 2006 Independent Pilot Competition. The 2006 NYTVF will present twenty-two pilots in competition in the following categories: comedy, drama, educational, reality, and animation. Submitted by a wide variety of producers, writers, and directors from all over the country, the pilots showcase new talents in a variety of TV formats from sitcoms and workplace dramas to self-help and children’s programming. As a group, the Official Selections comprise a diverse slate of innovative shows appealing to both men and women of all ages. The pilots will also be available to view on the Internet via MSN Video starting September 13th.

“We are witnessing an encouraging trend in this year’s group of submissions,” said NYTVF Director of Programming Brent Burnette. “Last year, we received a large number of cut-down independent films and repurposed shorts. This year, we saw a significant increase in the number of television pilots shot specifically for the NYTVF. Artists have begun to see the potential in producing independent television, and the Festival is a primary force behind that.”

TV fans will be impressed by the collection of talent featured in the 2006 Official Selections. Actors from shows such as “ER,” “The Drew Carey Show,” “Joan of Arcadia,” and “Guiding Light” all have starring roles, and writers from programs such as “Malcolm in the Middle,” “Da Ali G Show,” and “The Colbert Report” are represented as well. Other presentations feature stars from a Tony-nominated Broadway production, Grammy-winning rock band Maroon 5, and a former Miss America.


  • A/V Club, produced by Rebecca Feldman and Sarah Saltzberg, (New York, NY)

  • The Calderons, produced by Dan McNamara, (Jersey City, NJ)

  • Free Love Forum, produced by Daniel Klein, (Astoria, NY)

  • Pizza Time, produced by Todd Holland, Ellis Loring, Aeden Babish, John Baumgartner, Phillip Vaden, and Steven Klein (Los Angeles, CA)

  • Split the Difference, produced by Mary Egan Callahan, Joe Narciso, and Bruce Hurwitt, (South Orange, NJ)

  • Temps, produced by Jason Averett, Matt Nowosielski, and James Weber (New York, NY)


  • Blood Hounds, produced by Tom Zanca, (Ramsey, NJ)

  • The Hub, produced by Brian Neuls and Sharon Santos, (Boston, MA)

  • Rx, produced by Paul Mays and Torrance Hill, (Los Angeles, CA)

  • Viagra Falls, produced by Chris Debiec, Atil Singh, and Allen Wong, (Van Nuys, CA)


  • Critical Hours, produced by Jim Isler, Tom Isler, and Thomas Kail, (New York, NY)

  • Dave and Augie’s Home Movies, produced by Gregory Ciano, (Highstown, NJ)

  • Martti and Kim’s Story Of… [Abridged], produced by Cameron Roberts and Greg Jones, (Orlando, FL)

  • What’s Cooking with Waffles and Mousemeat, produced by Erika Thormahlen, (New York, NY)


  • 4-Track Radar, produced by Nicole Pope, (Nashville, TN)

  • On the Block, produced by George Collias and Matt Haddard, (Los Angeles, CA)

  • On the Set, produced by Dale Bosch, (Holmdel, NJ)

  • Poker Night, produced by Jeff Nimoy and Sam Mollo, (Studio City, CA)

  • Love in 90 Days Bootcamp, produced by Diana Kirschner, (New York, NY)


  • End of the Line, produced by Chris Dimino, Daniel Russo, and Joe Schraufnagel, (North Bellmore, NY)

  • Squid Dragon Legend, produced by Nick Cogan, (New York, NY)

  • Strange Transmissions, produced by Eric Bryant, (Brooklyn, NY)


  • The Guard Dog (Animation), animated by Bill Plympton (New York, NY)

  • Zak & Co., produced by Eric Schiff, (Los Angeles, CA)

The NYTVF debuted in 2005 as the industry’s first showcase for independent television. In April 2006, the Festival announced the first sale of a program that had premiered in the independent pilot competition to a major cable network. The comedy pilot “Criss-Cross” was purchased by A&E Television Networks and put into development under the working title “I Never Said That.” This announcement was followed in June by the sale of a second show, the TV Land Audience Award-winning pilot “Off the Hook,” to the OLN network. In addition to these two sales, “The Back Brace,” named Best Animation Pilot at the 2005 NYTVF, reached a distribution deal with a French film company to be shown in six European countries.

In its inaugural year, the New York Television Festival worked in partnership with the William Morris Agency and in conjunction with the Mayor’s Office of New York City. Announced sponsors for the 2006 Festival include MSN, A&E Networks and Rainbow Media (IFC, We Entertainment, AMC). The Festival has joined with MSN and Rainbow to present its first annual Pitch Contest in 2006, offering one winner the chance to win an $8,000 development deal from IFC for submitting the best pitch of an original idea for a TV show.

All Access Passes and Industry Packages are currently on sale by phone or over the Festival website. To order, call 1-866-GO-NYTVF (1-866-466-9883) or visit and click on “Box Office.”

About the New York Television Festival

The NYTVF was founded in 2005 as the industry’s first recognized platform for independent television. Held annually in the fall in New York City, the birthplace of modern television, the Festival unites artists, executives, industry figures, and fans together in one forum to celebrate the medium and to help shape its future. Along with the Independent Pilot Competition, the Festival features panel discussions, premiere screenings, and other special events designed to honor television as an institution and as an art form.

For more information on the NYTVF, please visit

About MSN and Windows Live

MSN attracts more than 465 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 42 markets and 21 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering compelling programmed content experiences to consumers and online advertising opportunities to businesses worldwide. Windows Live, a new set of personal Internet services and software, is designed to bring together in one place all the relationships, information and interests people care about most, with enhanced safety and security features across their PC, devices and the Web. MSN and Windows Live will be offered alongside each other as complementary services. Some Windows Live services entered an early beta phase on Nov. 1, 2005; these and future beta updates can be found at Windows Live is available at MSN is located on the Web at MSN worldwide sites are located at

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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