An Education TV Show Idea? Pitch It to the TV ME! Contest

What if ‘Waiting For Superman' met the weekly drama of Desperate Housewives or the throwback intensity of Mad Men? The Sarasota County Film & Entertainment Office (SCFEO) has announced a call for entries for the 2012 TV ME! Contest, a nationwide innovative writers' competition seeking fresh, creative content ideas for television programming.

"Last year's inaugural TV ME! Contest surpassed all of our expectations," says Jeanne Corcoran, director of the SCFEO, which is a division of the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County. "Our goal was to receive 100 entries from across an estimated 10 states to infuse the competition with a broad cross-section of creativity and content. We were excited and delighted to receive more than 250 entries from a total of 28 states."

Contest prizes for the first place winner in each of three specific categories include trophies, cash awards and gifts from sponsors, and the SCFEO will submit those first-place winning concepts electronically to executives and decision-makers in the television industry for consideration. One grand prize winner is chose for the best entry across all categories, who receives all of the prizes won by the three category first place winners, plus the grand prize of an escorted trip to Los Angeles, California to pitch in person to a select group of industry professionals. All of these winners are invited to be present at a press conference announcing their achievements followed by an awards luncheon.

The grand prize winner of the 2011 TV ME! Contest was Austin McKinley of Sarasota, Florida. McKinley was escorted to one-on-one meetings in Los Angeles to pitch and promote his concepts and talent, and met with executives from SYFY Channel, ABC Television, USA Networks, CBS, Disney, Sony Pictures Television, and other notables.

"The trip was fantastic," says McKinley. "I was floored by how many meetings we eventually got, and the quality of the people. It was really a best-case scenario. I look forward to sending everyone we met there a link to my short film as soon as it's ready!"

Unlike competitions that require submission of full-length screenplays for movies, scripts for television, or manuscripts for novels — which can range from 90 pages to 350 pages — the TV ME! Contest requires only 5-to-15-page pitches of a concept for television programming.

"It's a variation on the idea of a fast and forceful ‘elevator pitch' where you give the strongest and most concise summary possible," says Corcoran. "This contest seeks condensed knock-their-socks-off impact. Powerful brevity is key."

TV ME! 2012 promises to be an equally dynamic experience for creative contestants who believe they have the next new, bold, bright or off-beat idea for television, Corcoran says. This opens up a world of opportunity to great ideas without the necessity of voluminous scripts.

Individuals and creative teams can compete for awards and prizes in three different categories: scripted series, unscripted/partially scripted, and one-offs.

For more details, visit or send email to request information: [email protected]. Entries may be submitted through December 30, 2011.

Matthew Tabor

Matthew Tabor

Matthew is a prolific, independent voice in the national education debate. He is a tireless advocate for high academic standards from pre-K through graduate school, fiscal sense and personal responsibility. He values parents’ and families’ rights and believes in accountability for teachers, administrators, politicians and all taxpayer-funded education entities. With a unique background that includes work in higher education, executive recruiting, professional sport and government, Matthew has consulted on new media and communication strategies for a broad range of clients. He writes the blog “Education for the Aughts” at , has contributed to National Journal’s ‘Expert’ blog for Education , and interacts with the education community on Twitter and Google+.
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