America’s Newest Comedy Writer Found
Writer to receive $5,000 and have script mentored by Acclaimed TV producer, director and writer, John Wells
New York, NY - January 23, 2012—Today the ANA Alliance for Family Entertainment named Megan Angelo the winner of its first annual writers contest. The Alliance, comprised of 40 national advertisers, gave aspiring unrepresented writers the opportunity to write original, half-hour comedy scripts depicting modern family life.
In only one month of competition, the ANA's national contest drew 10,000 aspiring writers to its website and generated more than 235 script submissions. Angelo's script, O'Connell for Congress, took home the top prize of $5,000 plus the opportunity to be mentored by TV icon John Wells and supported by Alliance advertiser members.
O'Connell for Congress features Tim O'Connell, a self described "high school screw up" turned failed businessman. Still, he has a party emporium millionaire wife, two rambunctious teenage sons, a child detective daughter and a new plan: to run for public office. But when Tim attracts the sudden interest of some powerful political strategists with their own motives, the O'Connell family is thrown into a world that they are not prepared to handle.
Angelo, a journalist and aspiring screenwriter, honed her skill by writing stories for publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Marie Claire, Glamour, Business Insider, Philadelphia Magazine and BRIDES. Megan has been writing scripts for several years, entering contests regularly looking for her first break. She is originally from Quakertown, Pennsylvania, she currently is based out of New York City.
The ANA Alliance for Family Entertainment has helped find, support and bring to broadcast primetime TV more than 20 hits, including Gilmore Girls, Everybody Hates Chris and Friday Night Lights. The group's mission is to increase family viewing options. This contest is one of the group's key initiatives to support programming that depicts the modern American family.
"The demand for good family content has never been greater; viewers continue to demand more choices and advertisers want to advertise their family brands on family shows, " says Michael Palmer, ANA AFE executive vice president. "Supporting development of modern family programming just makes good business; as a primary incubator of new family concepts, AFE is delighted that our first contest was so well received."
The response to the group's inaugural contest, in fact, "is a testament to the enduring power of smart, sophisticated family content," notes Bob Liodice, president and CEO of the ANA. "Over and over again, AFE's proprietary research shows that viewers support brands that support quality family TV, and are actively searching for choices that reflect that kind of storytelling. So we couldn't be happier with the interest generated by the contest in only its first year."
"It's extremely difficult for a new writer to break in to this business, which is why I wanted to be a part of this contest," adds Wells, who executive produced such hits such as ER, Third Watch, The West Wing, and currently executive produces Shameless and Southland. "Megan's story has all the components for a successful show -- a great premise, captivating characters and most of all, good writing. I am looking forward to working with her."
The contest was executed under the leadership of Alliance co-chairs Pat Gentile, national TV programming manager at Procter & Gamble, and Ben Simon, director of brand marketing at Walmart. Once the script is fully mentored by Wells, it will be shopped to media outlets with the Alliance members' support.
About the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and the ANA Alliance for Family Entertainment
Founded in 1910, the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) leads the marketing community by providing its members with insights, collaboration, and advocacy. ANA's membership includes 400 companies with 10,000 brands that collectively spend over $250 billion in marketing communications and advertising. The ANA strives to communicate marketing best practices, lead industry initiatives, influence industry practices, manage industry affairs, and advance, promote, and protect all advertisers and marketers.
The Alliance for Family Entertainment is a group of nearly 40 national advertisers, supported by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), representing approximately 30% of all U.S. television advertising dollars. Its mission is to find, nurture, develop and support high quality content the entire family can enjoy on multiple distribution platforms.
Since its inception (as the Family Friendly Programming Forum) more than a decade ago, the group has played a role in bringing 20 family primetime programs to air.
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Patty Kerr for ANA Alliance for Family Entertainment