An Animated Talent Search

Dec 15, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Seeking new ideas for animated series, Fox Broadcasting Co. recently put out a casting call for aspiring sitcom writers and animators to meet with development execs at a “Pitch-O-Rama.” Fox enlisted a group of 20 assistants from various departments-a k a the Rock Squad-to cull through more than 1,000 applicants. Sixty-five were invited to meet with Fox execs in L.A. Those from out of town came on their own dime. “The focus was solely to meet a lot of writers who we wouldn’t get a chance to be exposed to, but specifically to pitch animation-the thought being the next guy like a Seth MacFarlane [who created “Family Guy”] isn’t going to just show up on our doorstep,” said Jeremy Gold, Fox’s senior VP of comedy development. “We have to go out and find them.” Pitches ranged widely in quality, including an amazing illustrator who also is a steel worker in Portland, Ore. “We heard a handful of promising ideas,” Mr. Gold said. “I can’t say that, ‘Wow, we got our next hit animated show out of that.’ But there are a couple we are going to move forward on.”