NBC Needs Help Finding The Next Great American Sitcom
Following in Amazon's footsteps, the network is launching a Web site where the public can submit pitches for future comedy shows. The best will be filmed as pilot episodes for possible future series.
What's the Latest Development?
Scheduled to launch tomorrow (May 1), NBC Comedy Playground is a Web site that will welcome new ideas for sitcoms from anyone in the US who's willing and able to upload up to two video samples and up to two video sales pitches. After sorting through the submissions, a board of advisors will choose 10, each of which will be filmed as pilot episodes. Of those, the network will select two to develop into television series, while a third, chosen by the public, will appear as a digital series.
What's the Big Idea?
Simply put, the Peacock's not as funny as it used to be: Despite its best efforts, NBC hasn't had a true comedy hit since The Office premiered in 2005. Meanwhile, the Internet has merrily rolled along, producing content that's generating millions of views. Just last month, Amazon greenlit six new original series based in part on feedback from its customers. Writer Jason Lynch says that even if the NBC Comedy Playground doesn't produce great fruit right away, its very existence "shows that [the network] is trying to be innovative by admitting that its current development system is broken."
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