ATX Announces The Winner Of Its Annual Pitch Competition Along With New ATX Ambassadors And Advisory Board Member Following This Year's Festival


July 8, 2016Austin, TX — Eric Rudnick was the winner of this year's annual Pitch Competition presented with Final Draft, Inc., at the ATX Television Festival, which took place in Austin, TX, June 9-12. Eric was one of ten finalists, selected from hundreds of applicants, and was chosen by a panel of creators and showrunners, along with executives from Amazon, CBS and Bad Robot, and the editor-in- chief of Entertainment Weekly, to whom he pitched his pilot live.

In addition, ATX has added America Ferrera and Mark Feuerstein as new Ambassadors, and Glen Mazzara as a new Advisory Board member. Ferrera, Feuerstein and Mazzara attended this year’s festival, on behalf of the “Ugly Betty” Reunion and “Superstore;” “Royal Pains;” and “The Shield” Writers Reunion, respectively.

"Season Five of ATX was an incredible experience for us, as each year we grow our TV family to include more industry leaders and wonderful fans who come together as a community to celebrate the medium we all love so much," said Caitlin McFarland and Emily Gipson, Co-Founders and Executive Directors, ATX Television Festival. "On the heels of year five, we are honored to officially add America and Mark to our roster of ATX Ambassadors, and Glen to our Advisory Board. These exceptional individuals were key to this year's programming and success, and we look forward to working with them closely in the years to come. We are also very pleased to announce the winner of this year's Pitch Competition, Eric Rudnick, as we continue our commitment to supporting television writers and fostering their growth and success. We're excited to work with Eric as he heads out to pitch to our network and studio partners."

As this year's Pitch Competition winner, Eric Rudnick will be paired with both a creator/showrunner, Kevin Biegel (“Enlisted,” “Cougar Town,” “Scrubs”), and a development executive, ATX Advisory Board member Dina Hillier (former VP of Comedy Development at Sony Pictures Television), who will serve as his mentors and offer their different industry perspectives in helping him prepare to take his project out to various networks and studios, including Hulu, CBS TV Studios, and the CW, who have already committed to hearing his pitch.

The festival's goal in holding the competition is to provide opportunities for writers, and ultimately help them sell their project and/or get staffed on a television show.

Rudnick's winning pitch is titled "Incoming," and the logline is as follows:

The Veterans at a broken-down assisted living facility may have met their match when a new psychiatrist, also a Vet, employs unorthodox methods in her attempts to treat them. This dramedy reveals what life is really like for the troops we support, men and women, young and old, who return from their battles overseas, only to face the physical and emotional struggles that come home with them.

Eric also offered the following quote about his experience:

“The ATX Festival's Pitch Competition is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for anyone with an idea for a TV show. The pitches they selected were all compelling, and the chance to express an original idea live in front of industry professionals and a charged up audience of TV fans is unlike anything else out there. It's as close as you can get to a UFC Octagon for writers, with perhaps just a little less sweating by the participants. Many thanks to Emily Gipson, Caitlin McFarland, and Emily Moss Wilson for inventing such a cool and fun way to get new stories out there. It's a fantastic festival, and the best time I've ever had pitching!”

Eric Rudnick’s original sitcom pilot "Circus/Maximus" was optioned to Fox. He has been a semi-finalist at The Sundance Institute’s Episodic Lab, and a Second Rounder at the Austin Film Festival. The web series he created, wrote and produced, "The Edge of Allegiance," can be seen on Funny or Die, and was nominated for three 2015 LA Webfest awards, including Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Writing.

ATX's Advisory Board members are chiefly comprised of writers, creators and executives, and are key in curating the festival's programming and providing guidance with their wide range of business expertise and knowledge of the television industry. Ambassadors are past panelists who have become part of the ATX family, and serve as spokespeople on behalf of the festival.

ATX will be back for a sixth year June 8-11, 2017, in Austin, TX.