Hoping to find a buyer for ''Al the Bigot,'' screenwriter posted his script for online viewing

Emmy award-winning producer Ted Mann broke new ground in Hollywood self-promotion recently by posting his unsold movie script on the Web. Mann, a former writer for NYPD Blue who is now working on a new pilot, True Detectives, for NBC, says he hoped to find a buyer for Al the Bigot, an offbeat, small-budget comedy about race relations. ”It occurred to me that every development person and assistant now has an Internet connection and a Web browser,” says Mann, age 45. His audience, intended and unintended, was ”smaller-type studios, intelligent development people, and drunken bigots.” The 22-hour cyber-life cycle of Al the Bigot was hectic — ”by 8:42 p.m., it had been viewed 258 times,” at which point, Mann pulled the plug on Al. Why? ”That number of accesses seemed enough,” he says, as if the fact were self-evident. ”It was there to be downloaded by those who could figure out how to use it — for the industry, not the reading public.” Mann, who admits that he has no idea who was reading his script, envisions that ”maybe this will become a more common technique…or maybe I’ll be the last.” Results? So far, loads of E-mail and publicity. But ironically, Mann’s one hot lead came via traditional channels. He was contacted by an agent who packages independent films, and Mann is now convinced that his new cohort will put together financing. ”The fact is, we are going to make this film.”