NBC is starting the “NBC Comedy Playground,” which the network says is a way to develop “new cutting-edge comedy” by allowing the public to submit show ideas in video-form presentations, reports the Los Angeles Times’ Show Tracker.
As many as 10 finalists will be picked, with NBC providing financing to each to produce a pilot presentation. Contestants can’t have had a show on air and can’t be an executive producer or a showrunner on a current television series, the piece adds.
“In our quest to break new comedy at the network, we wanted to open up another avenue for talent and to find original voices," NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke said at NBC's press day. "It pushes forward the marriage between what's happening on the Internet and what's happening on the network."
The contest will feature an advisory board filled with comedy stars, such as Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers, who will pick two winners out of the 10 finalists. Those two projects will be broadcast on NBC.
The competition comes as NBC has struggled with finding comedy hits, the publication notes.
“After rejiggering its Thursday comedy block last fall with three new series — ‘Sean Saves the World,’ ‘The Michael J. Fox Show’ and ‘Welcome to the Family’ — in an effort to broaden its base, the network canceled all three shows following low viewership,” the story says.