NBC Creates Open Call Contest for New Comedy Talent, Shows

NBCU stars and producers will serve as advisors for “NBC Comedy Playground,” which will result in three winners

NBC is casting a wide net in search of its next batch of comedies with a new initiative called the “NBC Comedy Playground.”

During an NBCU press day in Pasadena on Tuesday, NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke explained that the initiative is designed to find new comedic talent and foster them through the process from pitch to broadcast.

“In our quest to break new comedy at the network, we wanted to open up another avenue for talent and to find original voices,” Salke said. “I really felt it was time to push forward on what was going on on the internet and at the network.”

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At the end of the process, two individuals will have their show broadcast on NBC in Summer 2015, with a minimum of 6 episodes — and one individual’s idea will be produced as a digital show.

“We’re thrilled we’ll have our traditional process, but also this process to play with,” Salke added.

Beginning May 1, aspiring comedy writers can submit their ideas for both digital and network comedy shows. Submissions can include up to two video samples (5-10 minutes each) of their pre-existing work, along with up to two video pitches (2-5 minutes per pitch) with original ideas.

Entries can be submitted and the contest rules can be found at nbccomedyplayground.com. Ten finalists will be chosen.

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Included in the selection process will be an Advisory Board comprised of comedic talent, including Aziz Ansari, Jason Bateman, Robert Carlock, Sean Hayes, Mindy Kaling, Jason Katims, Josh Lieb, Eva Longoria, Adam McKay, Seth Meyers, Todd Milliner, Will Packer, Amy Poehler, Craig Robinson, Maya Rudolph, Mike Schur, Adam Scott and Mike Shoemaker.

Those presentations that don’t become finalists will be posted on the NBC Comedy Playground website where the public’s votes will determine one presentation that will be produced into a digital show.