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Title : Wanted: Fresh sitcom ideas
Dated :Wed 12/31
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Wanted: Fresh sitcom ideas

Do you find the latest crop of TV sitcoms dull, uninspiring or just plain unwatchable? Do you think you could come up with a better show?

You may just get your chance. The Wall Street Journal reports that the TV networks, having concluded that their decades-old system for developing new comedies is terribly broken, are now exploring new ways to find potential hits.

And that's opening the door for creators outside Hollywood: News Corp.'s Fox, for instance, has teamed up with the University of California, Los Angeles, to offer a course called How to Create a Television Series. Fox expects the class, offered as part of the school's Master of Fine Arts program, to yield bona fide development deals. Several months ago, the network also launched Naked TV, a project where scripts from first-time scribes get a test-run onstage as plays.

General Electric Co.'s Bravo, meanwhile, is about to start filming "Situation: Comedy," a reality show in which aspiring writers compete to pitch their script to network executives -- for real. The slogan: "Where will television find its next great comedy hit? From you." Even talent scouts are in on the act.

William Morris Agency is currently gearing up for a TV festival in New York whose main purpose is to find young new writers.


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