NBC is adding to their comedy pilot slate with two projects from emerging writers who were discovered as a result of the NBC Playground comedy initiative, which aims “to open the door for new creative voices by discovering and nurturing fresh cutting-edge comedy talent”.
The two projects that won the first year of the initiative and have now scored pilot orders at the network are Imaginary Friend from Kassia Miller and Adriano Valentini & Aaron Colom’s Sunset PPL. Both projects are set up at NBC’s sister studio Universal Television and will be under consideration, alongside the just ordered The Good Place, for a spot on the network’s 2016-2017 schedule.
From Kassia Miller, Imaginary Friend is a comedy about an intelligent yet unmotivated woman who discovers a special and unexpected way of dealing with her mediocre life. While Aaron Colom & Adriano Valentini’s, Sunset PPL is a comedy about a group of millennial friends who struggle with their own made-up rules for personal and professional success.
Both pitches came out of a pool of some 2,100 applications from aspiring comedy writers from across the United States. The process involved submitting video samples of their pre-existing work, along with their pitches, describing a unique show idea. Eight finalists were the selected by the NBC Selection Panel and the network provided funding for each finalist to create a presentation based on their original pitch. The winners were then chosen by an all-star comedy Advisory Board, in consultation with NBC.
“NBC is excited to bring these innovative new works from such fresh comedic talents to the television audience,” said NBC President of Entertainment Jennifer Salke, who conceived the idea of NBC Playground. “The first cycle was a tremendous success and the originality of the ideas and diversity of the new voices that were elicited through this initiative were truly inspiring. We could not have succeeded in finding such an incredible group of aspiring writers had we not had the help of an awesome Advisory Board — a real A-list group of comedy producers, writers and performers who were as eager as we were to find the next comedy superstars.”