The New York Television Festival (NYTVF) today announced the lineup for its fifth anniversary Festival highlighted by its Primetime Series, which will host the premieres of ABC’s “Cougar Town,” “Modern Family” and “FlashForward”; FOX’s “The Cleveland Show”; NBC Universal’s “Short Cuts”; ION Television’s “Durham County”; and a special panel with the writers of CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman.”
This year’s Festival will also feature the signature Independent Pilot Competition, the People’s Choice Award and the new Fox Television Studios’ “FtvS 15 Gigs of Fame” award. Daytime events and panels will include the NATPE Industry Day featuring keynote speakers Bonnie Hammer, President of NBC Universal Cable Entertainment and Universal Cable Productions; Rick Rosen, Head of Television, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment; and Rick Feldman, President and CEO of NATPE, as well as the second annual Digital Day sponsored by Microsoft’s MSN.
“The fifth annual New York Television Festival promises to be our biggest and best event yet,” said NYTVF founder Terence Gray. “This milestone anniversary reinforces our belief that the independent television movement is not only here to stay, but also that it will play an increasingly influential role in serialized content development going forward.”
The fifth annual New York Television Festival will take place from September 21-26, 2009 at the New World Stages and the Times Center in Midtown Manhattan.
The NYTVF Primetime Series offers Festival audiences a sneak peek at the networks’ most highly anticipated fall premieres and an inside look into returning favorites on ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and ION Television. This year’s Festival will kick off at the Times Center in the New York Times building on Monday, September 21 with a red carpet premiere and exclusive preview of ABC’s fall comedies “Modern Family” starring Ed O’Neill, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Sofia Vergara, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Eric Stonestreet; and “Cougar Town” starring Courteney Cox-Arquette, Busy Philipps, Christa Miller, Dan Byrd, Josh Hopkins, Ian Gomez, and Brian Van Holt. “Modern Family” and “Cougar Town” will premiere back to back on Wednesday, September 23 beginning at 9:00 PM ET/PT. ABC will also host a special screening of the exciting new drama “FlashForward” starring Joseph Fiennes, John Cho, Jack Davenport, Zachary Knighton, Peyton List, Dominic Monaghan, Brian F. O’Byrne, Courtney B. Vance, Sonya Walger, and Christine Woods at the New World Stages on Wednesday, September 23 prior to the show’s Thursday, September 24 premiere (8:00 PM ET/PT.)
Tuesday evening’s NYTVF Primetime event at the Times Center will feature the writers of the CBS top-rated “Late Show with David Letterman.” Head writers Eric Stangel and Justin Stangel will host a special evening panel to discuss the challenges of creating a topical and funny talk show on a daily basis.
The laughs will continue the following evening as NYTVF and NBC Universal have partnered for their fourth consecutive year to co-present the “Short Cuts” diversity film showcase. The best shorts submitted by filmmakers from across the country will be featured at this free screening. The winning participants will be granted an NBC Universal Talent Holding deal for the Best Actor, a pilot script deal, executive meetings, and a special international directing assignment from the Syfy Channel for the Best Filmmaker.
FOX’s new animated comedy “The Cleveland Show” will premiere on Thursday, September 24 with a red carpet event and screening at the Times Center. NYTVF audiences will be among the first to see the “Family Guy” spin-off that follows the always-hilarious character, Cleveland Brown. Co-creators and executive producers Rich Appel and Mike Henry (the voice of Cleveland) are scheduled to appear, along with additional voice talent Sanaa Lathan and Kevin Michael Richardson. “The Cleveland Show” premieres Sunday, Sept. 27 (8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. To close out the Festival’s Primetime Series, ION Television will premiere “Durham County,” a police drama debuting this fall starring Hugh Dillon, Helene Joy, and Laurence Leboeuf, for audiences at New World Stages on Thursday evening.
Independent Pilot Competition
The Festival’s signature component, the Independent Pilot Competition, will screen official selections from Thursday, September 24 – Saturday, September 26. Launched in 2005 as the foundation of the Festival, the IPC gives independent television creators the chance to present their work to executives at broadcast networks, cable networks, and online content providers. This year’s 37 original television pilots submitted by independent producers from around the world represent a diverse slate of talent and innovative series concepts featuring a number of names and faces recognizable to TV fans such as Ice-T, Tom Arnold, Kenan Thompson (“Saturday Night Live”), Lea Michele (“Glee”), Dan Lauria (“The Wonder Years”), Jonathan Katz (“Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist”), Tia and Tamara Mowry, Bob Balaban, and Tony Hale (“Arrested Development”).
The IPC will culminate with the NYTVF Awards Ceremony sponsored by Microsoft Zune to close out the Festival on Saturday evening. In addition to the People’s Choice Award for the audience favorite, category awards will be announced and Fox Television Studios will present the “FtvS 15 Gigs of Fame” award and Fox Broadcasting Company will announce the winner of the FOX-PGP Comedy Script contest.
The Festival will partner with the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) to present the second annual Industry Day discussion series. Held on Tuesday, September 22 at the Times Center, this year’s Industry Day will feature some of the biggest names in the television business, including Bonnie Hammer, President of NBC Universal Cable Entertainment & Universal Cable Productions; Rick Rosen, Head of Television, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment; and Rick Feldman, President & CEO of NATPE, examining the current state of the television business.
The NYTVF has once again partnered with MSN to present its second Digital Day, a free series of panels and screenings focused on Web television on Wednesday, September 23. Special guest speakers will include Illeana Douglas (“Easy to Assemble”), Douglas Sarine (“Ask a Ninja”), Miles Beckett and Greg Goodfried (“LonelyGirl15”), and Sean Tice (“Wallstrip”). Digital Day will also host a series of Web screenings in the evening featuring the premiere of the third season of the award-winning “You Suck at Photoshop” with creators Troy Hitch and Matt Bledsoe, a special showing of “Channel 101: NY,” a showcase of Streamy-nominated Web series, the fifth iteration of “Ignite NYC,” and a sneak peek at season two of “Easy to Assemble.”
The Festival’s Development Day will be held on Saturday, September 26 to offer aspiring producers, writers, and directors insight on structuring their storytelling and developing new scripted or non-scripted television show ideas. Designed as a “how to” for those aiming to take their television careers to the next level, Development Day is free and open to the general public and provides attendees with insights on breaking into the business with a focus on opportunities available via independent television.
Festival Passes and Tickets
All-Access Passes and Industry Packages are currently available at www.newyorktelevisionfestival.com <http://www.newyorktelevisionfestival.com/> by selecting “Box Office.” The NYTVF is supported by sponsors including Procter & Gamble Productions, People’s Choice, MSN, and WME Entertainment. Official Network Sponsors for the 2009 NYTVF include ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and ION Television. The NYTVF works in conjunction with the Mayor’s Office of New York City. For tickets or more information on the NYTVF, please visit www.newyorktelevisionfestival.com .