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NBC Crowdsources Its Comedies

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NBC hasn’t created a hit comedy — and we mean one that can dependably deliver good ratings — since 2005’s The Office, so it’s turning to you, dear viewers, for help. The net is launching the NBC Comedy Playground, an “unprecedented effort” to give wannabe sitcom writers a chance to pitch ideas. Starting May 1, scribes can submit up to two 2-to 5-minute video pitches, which will be screened and whittled down to 10 finalists. Then an all-star panel of jokesters such as Seth Meyers, Amy Poehler, and Jason Bateman will help root out the next Chuck Lorre or Greg Daniels. The two lucky winners will have their show (a pilot and up to four additional episodes, that is) broadcast on NBC. “This isn’t an offshoot of feeling disappointed with the comedy we have,” insists president of NBC Entertainment Jennifer Salke, who watched much-hyped sitcoms Sean Saves the World and The Michael J. Fox Show launch — and fail — this season. “It just speaks to how challenging it is to find authentic voices. There’s a lot of room for innovation.” Feeling funny? Submit your pitches to nbccomedy playground.com. And remember, folks, monkeys dressed as doctors are only funny on paper.

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