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NYTVF Announces Pilots, Panelists

The New York Television Festival, about to enter its fourth installment, announced the finalists in its independent pilots competition, as well as some big-name panelists for its first ever “industry day” Sept. 15.

NBC Entertainment co-chairman Ben Silverman, William Morris CEO Jim Wiatt and Media Rights Capital president of television Keith Samples are among the panelists slated for the day.

Silverman, Wiatt and ad-man Donny Deutsch will lead off with a panel on the current state of television development. Other panels will examine the state of drama development, comedy development and nonscripted programming.

In addition, the festival announced its slate of 36 finalists in the independent pilot competition. This year, the competition features names that could be familiar to television viewers, such as Sarah Paulson from Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, James Croswell from 24, Constantine Maroulis from American Idol, Michael Gladis from Mad Men, Dustin Diamond from Saved by the Bell and Gary Coleman from Diff’rent Strokes.

Among the finalists are political satire The Average American, reality competition Everyday Athlete, drama Lifeless and workplace comedy Teachers.

A full list of selections can be found at the NYTVF’s official site.

Last year’s winner was drama series Dear Harvard.

“The television industry stands at a crossroads, and the development of new programming will continue to undergo vast changes in the coming months,” NYTVF founder Terence Gray said in a statement. “The NYTVF is fortunate to be able to screen new work by innovative creators, while bringing together the foremost experts in the field to discuss the future of TV development, as well as the impact new methodologies and resources will have on the upcoming television landscape.”