In light of the pedestrian ideas for interactive entertainment coming from the TV establishment, it's probably not a bad idea that executives look outside the industry for some help. And what better place to start than the Web?
New York Television Festival, for example, is soliciting ideas in the form of minute-long video clips for an original TV series. The process isn't the only interactive part of the project: "The top 50 finalists as selected by New York Television Festival will have their entries posted on MSN and viewers will vote," according to the contest's publicists.
Ten finalists will then get an opportunity to make their pitches live to a panel of TV suits in September, and the winner will get an $8,000 development deal from IFC and Rainbow Media. But if you think you're sitting on the next " Seinfeld," you'd better hurry--the deadline is tomorrow.
It's one of many such grassroots entertainment initiatives starting to crop up, and the concept is hardly limited to television. A couple of New York producers, for instance, have launched a social-networking site called LiveMansion.com that is asking people to help them "develop, cast and produce a feature film."
This particular example has more than a touch of "American Idol" to it, but who's to quibble if it produces something worthwhile? After all, as we all know, some of the best material around has been done by amateurs on YouTube.