It’s a new golden age for television–and series content has never been in greater demand.
The 5th Great TV Show Idea Contest introduces the winner to top television executives searching for series concepts. Any genre or TV format, live-action or animation, cable or network. The more original and marketable the idea, the better.
For writers and non-writers alike, the contest gives its winners extensive, one-on-one development assistance to refine their pitch prior to industry exposure. Accepted entries include loglines, synopses, video pitches, and full treatments or outlines.
Since 2000, Script Pipeline has established relationships with hundreds of production companies, managers, and agents, resulting in $5 million in specs sold from previously undiscovered writers. The contest looks to generate even more success stories in television.
Winner and Runners-up Announced: March 7th, 2015
- NOTABLE SUCCESS STORIES -
Script Pipeline Contest Winner Sells Spec for $3 Million
After introductions by Script Pipeline to industry partner Jake Wagner, Evan Daugherty sold Snow White & the Huntsman to Universal for $3 million. It marked one of the biggest studio spec sales in years and subsequently made Evan one of the hottest young writers in the industry. The film was released summer 2012 and grossed over $400 million worldwide.
Shortly after the Script Pipeline screenwriting contest, Evan landed an assignment with Warner Bros. to rewrite an adaptation of He-Man, which led to the sale of SWATH.
Evan co-wrote an adaptation of the young adult novel Divergent for Summit Entertainment (Twilight). The film released March 2014 and stars Shailene Woodley (The Spectacular Now) and Academy Award-winner Kate Winslet.
After selling a pilot pitch, it was later announced Evan would be one of the writers and executive producers on an adaptation of the DC comic franchise Midnight Mass. for NBC.
Most recently, he was one of the writers on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The Michael Bay film starred Megan Fox and was released summer 2014, holding the top box office spot its opening weekend.
Evan is tabbed to write and executive produce the event series Esmeralda for ABC Studios and signed on to pen the third installment of the GI Joe franchise for Paramount.
Among all these projects, he’ll be making his directorial debut with Ink and Bone for Dimension Films, and as of February 2015, he will write Warner Bros. and MGM’s Tomb Raider reboot.
Robert De Niro Stars in Script Pipeline Contest-Winning Script
The Script Pipeline contest-winning screenplay Shrapnel was turned into the 2013 film Killing Season, starring Robert De Niro and John Travolta. Corsan and Millennium Films produced the action/thriller.
Script Pipeline Winner Tripper Clancy Sells Screenplay to Fox, Writing Comedy for Sony
2010 contest-winner Tripper Clancy signed with a Script Pipeline partner following a top-four finish in the contest. Just a few months after the screenwriting competition ended, 20th Century Fox selected Tripper for their feature comedy writing team to help develop new material.
In September 2013, he sold the comedy The Ambassadors. Tripper’s buddy-comedy pitch Winter Break was picked up by QED International as the last spec sale of the year, and in early 2014, he was hired to write the animated comedy Shedd for Paramount.
It was announced in May 2014 that Tripper will write the action-adventure comedy Stranded for Sony Pictures, with Kevin James (Grown Ups, The King of Queens) attached to star.
Meanwhile, his contest-winning script Henry the Second is in development with 21 Laps.
“I cannot underestimate the impact that Script Pipeline has had on my writing career. Winning the contest directly led to my new representation, which in turn led to working with studios such as 20th Century Fox.”
- 2010 Winner Tripper Clancy (Shedd, The Ambassadors)
- View more news in the Success Stories section above -
- 2012 Great Movie Idea Contest winner Shane Free signed by producer. His winning pitch was shopped around to A-list talent, studios, and producers. It’s currently in development.
- Script Pipeline Writers Workshop “Recommend” Micah Barnett sold a one-hour drama, Ricochet, in September 2013 to NBC, a few years after finding management through a Pipeline industry contact.
- 2013 contest winner Morgan Von Ancken (Cutting Numbers) signed with UTA.
- Script Pipeline industry partners Marty Berneman, Eric Balfour, and Stephanie Varella (Off the Grid Entertainment) are representing the TV project Breathers, a sci-fi/drama written by 2011 TV Writing Finalist Will Wallace and based on the comic by Justin Madson.
- Screenwriting Finalist Craig Weeden and veteran comic writer/inker Jimmy Palmiotti (Ultimate Spider-man, Jonah Hex) optioned an adaptation of Painkiller Jane to Solipsist Films (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For) in 2013. As of 2014, twin directors Jen and Sylvia Soska are attached to direct.
- The Living Wake, Script Pipeline’s first produced film, starring Academy Award-Nominee Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) and comedian Mike O’Connell, was released theatrically in 2010, eliciting from Variety: “A stunning feature debut. . . . Eisenberg is note-perfect. Supporting ensemble couldn’t be more colorful.” View the film here for free on Hulu.
- 2012 winner Jason Kaleko signed with manager Jake Wagner (Benderspink).
- Finalists Sean Fallon and Charlotte Barrett had their first feature, Virgin Alexander, produced after their placement in the Script Pipeline contest’s top 20 sparked interest in the project.
- Brian Watanabe’s “Recommend” script Operation Endgame was produced with Zach Galifianakis, Adam Scott, Ellen Barkin, Ving Rhames, Maggie Q, Bob Odenkirk, and an ensemble cast. Script Pipeline owner Chad Clough first brought the project to Sean McKittrick (Donnie Darko) at Darko Entertainment.
- Writer Rob Nelms was hired to pen the script Between after introductions to a director by Pipeline CEO Chad Clough. The film premiered at Sundance and later aired on Lifetime.
- 2012 & 2009 Finalist Kevin Jones signed with Zero Gravity Management.
- Sleeping Beauty by Tony Boland, a 2010 finalist, was optioned.
- Finalist Matt Altman signed with APA and Parallax Talent Management. In 2014, he and co-writer David Matalon sold their feature script The Feud to Vandal Entertainment, and in January 2015 he sold his spec Sam & Liz: A Killer Love Story to Relativity Media
- Screenwriting winner Tyler Burton Smith (Henchman) signed with WME. As of 2014, he has multiple projects in development with major producers, including Spooked, with Dan Lin producing.
- 2011 finalists Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch signed with Kersey Management.
- Screenwriting and TV Writing finalist Julie Anne Wight published her first children’s book after introductions by Script Pipeline to publisher Intuary.
- Finalist script Shed optioned by producer Josh Goldstein.
- 2003 Script Pipeline screenwriting contest winning script Slammin‘ sold to Warner Bros. for six-figures in 2003.
Numerous other writers have optioned their work, found paid writing jobs, produced their films, and garnered management or agency representation through Pipeline’s extensive network of over 200 companies.
Script Pipeline’s criteria is based primarily on the overall originality and marketability of the concept.
Although we’re known to be strict on judging, all types of genres, styles, and premises are accepted. In the past, winning and finalist ideas have ranged from lower-budget indies, to animation, to true stories, as well as all types of genres. Literally anything is fair game–come up with something highly unique, or a fresh twist on an old concept, and you’ll have an excellent shot at getting selected.
Industry contacts reviewing finalist pitches include:
- Tripp Vinson (Vinson Films) – Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Rite
- Jake Wagner (Benderspink)
- Michael McKay (Lakeshore Entertainment)
- David Boxerbaum (Paradigm)
- Brooklyn Weaver (Energy Entertainment) – Extant
- Sean McKittrick (Darko Entertainment) – Donnie Darko, Bad Words
For other industry execs interested in judging for the Script Pipeline competitions, email us. We will only consider applicants who are active producers, agents, managers, or directors.
Grand Prize Winner:
- $2,000 cash
- Exposure to studio-level producers for potential development
- Consultation sessions with Script Pipeline executives to get your concept ready for circulation
- Additional circulation to up to 200 production companies and industry contacts looking to develop new feature material
The Grand Prize Winner also receives the finalist prizes listed below. . . .
- Memberships to Script Pipeline’s Writers Database ($280)
- (2) extended consultations with Script Pipeline’s Director of Development to fine-tune your pitch ($1,500 value)
- Scripted television series in ANY genre
- Reality series or game show (EX: Pawn Stars, Minute to Win It, Naked and Afraid)
- Original mini-series (EX: Fargo, True Detective)
- Webseries pitches intended to be adapted for cable or network television
Written or video submissions accepted. For written pitches:
- Anything from a two-sentence logline to a 3-5 page treatment–entirely up to you on how to best present your idea. We don’t judge on format, we judge on the idea itself. Extended treatments and supplemental materials (illustrations, etc.) are also accepted. Please do not send full-length screenplays–summaries ONLY. Pitches may be emailed direct.
- Longer submissions are judged on the SAME criteria as short ones, so whatever length you think is best.
For video pitches:
- Submit a link to the video after registration by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We prefer it be a private link on YouTube, Vimeo, or any other video hosting site or your personal website.
- Videos can be any length, but remember, shorter is typically better. Web series are also accepted, but our judges will only review the first episode and any supplemental pitch materials.
- Concept must be for a scripted or unscripted television series, reality show (including game shows), or mini-series.
- Adaptations from your own published or produced work (e.g. a graphic novel) are accepted.
- It is highly advised that you register your concept with the WGA prior to submitting, however it is not required. Script Pipeline will NOT share your idea with anyone unless you are chosen as a finalist AND give us explicit permission to do so.
- Previous Script Pipeline writers (Workshop, contest winners, etc.) are welcome to submit.
- Goes without saying, but the concept must be WHOLLY ORIGINAL and not based on an existing series. Even if you have the most amazing spin on Game of Thrones, think of your own original story. Spec scripts of existing shows may be submitted to our TV Writing Competition.
HOW SHOULD I FORMAT MY ENTRY?
We’ll accept anything from a logline (as brief as a sentence) all the way up to a full treatment with supplemental materials. We’ll also review video pitches through a private link or as an attached file. Whatever format you prefer that best exemplifies your idea.
WILL I BE DISQUALIFIED FOR A FORMATTING REASON?
No. If for some reason we can’t open the file, or link, or there’s an issue with the entry itself, we’ll contact you immediately, and you’ll be able to re-send.
DO I GET FEEDBACK ON MY ENTRY?
For all contest entrants, we offer an exclusive discounted rate on Treatment / Pitch Notes that cover everything from plot and concept to tone and character. A sample can be found here. Additional notes are optional and are kept separate from the actual judging process.
IF I WIN, DO I NEED THE COMPLETED PILOT SCRIPT READY?
Not at all. If you do, great, but it won’t affect the outcome of the contest. We’re just looking for original, unique concepts. No TV writing experience necessary. Our Director of Development and executive team will assist in refining the pitch and helping you get started on the script itself.
ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A SPECIFIC TYPE OF GENRE?
No genre restrictions–anything you want to pitch. Although keep in mind preference in judging is given to projects that would appeal to a more mainstream audience.
CAN I SUBMIT MORE THAN ONE IDEA FOR THE SINGLE FEE?
Is there a limit to the number of submissions? There is no limit to the number of entries. Each idea, however, is a separate entry fee.
WHAT IF THE IDEA IS FROM MY EXISTING SCRIPT OR NOVEL? AM I STILL ELIGIBLE?
Yes, as long as the idea is original (i.e. your own creation) and intended to be a feature film, or if you own the film adaptation rights to a property that isn’t yours.
IS MY IDEA PROTECTED? WILL I RETAIN THE RIGHTS TO MY IDEA?
All rights remain with the writer, regardless of the contest results, and no one outside of Script Pipeline’s small team of judges will review your entry. For the winner, we will not send out their winning idea until we have their consent.
IS THE COMPETITION OPEN TO INTERNATIONAL WRITERS?
Yes, absolutely. Anyone worldwide can enter.
Email our contest coordinator with any other questions: email@example.com.