If the new crop of fall pilots that will premiere in a week or two is making you wring your hands over the current state of television, you might want to check out some of the alternative pilots screened at the recent New York Television Festival. The festival brought in 28 independent (read: non-network) pilots to compete in categories including drama, comedy and unscripted shows.
Three of the pilots won awards over the weekend: "Apartment 413," which used puppets in a suburban satire, won the prize for best comedy, while "Dear Harvard," about a prep school girl whose father is charged with securities fraud, was named the best drama. The biggest winner overall was "The Gauntlet," an unscripted series in which people with strange jobs (Zamboni driver; ice sculptor) face off for bragging rights. The show captured the prize in its category, and it also won the $10,000 artistic achievement award.
Some of the pilots sound good, but I wonder if they could actually hold their own on a network schedule. You can check out the trailers for all 28, and then let me know: Do you wish any of them were coming soon to a small screen near you?