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Banff World Media Festival: Turner Networks, Wattpad Partner on Talent Search

Turner channels TNT and TBS have partnered with digital entertainment company Wattpad to give Wattpad users the opportunity to have their stories adapted for the cable networks. The first project of the partnership will be TNT’s Tales from the Crypt horror block from M. Night Shyamalan.

Wattpad allows members to post content, such as their short stories or essays and offer feedback on each other’s work. It counts more than 45 million users.

"Our partnership with Wattpad is a perfect intersection of content and fan engagement, where fans actually have the chance to directly influence and, in some cases even have their material optioned and developed by our networks," said Justin Williams, senior VP of digital ventures at TNT and TBS. "We're especially excited to kick off our collaboration with a focus on TNT's Tales from the Crypt horror block, which will tap into Wattpad's strength in the horror genre."

Beginning with the Crypt block, TNT and Wattpad will invite writers to share story ideas through contests and other opportunities. Shyamalan, a notable filmmaker, will curate the horror block.

"There are many ways we can help the entertainment industry zero in on new voices and stories with massive, built-in fan-bases. Through our partnership with Turner, Wattpad's powerful insights, roster of influential writers, and hyper-engaged community of fans will help define the new scary," said Aron Levitz, head of Wattpad Studios. "The eagerly-anticipated Tales from the Crypt horror block marks the future of television where leading networks source content from fans and build programming together with the audience."

The partnership also gives Turner access to Wattpad’s data models to help identify new talent.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.