Project Innovation

Project Innovation: The Challenge

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The Scene

The TV industry is booming. Each network is in search of “the next big thing.” And network executives are on the hunt for their slice of the pie.

At the same time, accounting is in the spotlight as one of the fastest growing professions. And accounting positions rank among the top five open positions this year in the United States*.

Put the two together, and the network executives have decided this is a profession that should play a role in their next pilot.

Your Challenge

You are a group of TV writers and producers. You have been assigned by top network executives to come up with a brand new idea for a show that centers on the CPA profession. Because of the growth of the profession, there are a huge number of built-in viewers.

Your team has to come up with one idea that will sell and succeed. Then, develop a proposal giving an overview of the show, prepare a production budget and write a script that you can pitch to the network.

Script? What script? Don’t worry. You are not writing the script for your whole show, but a preview that is ready to produce and gives the network, as well as your potential audience, a sense of your show.

Your Pitch 

Now that you have your show in mind, you need to put it down on paper and develop your pitch. Tap into your imagination but keep it brief. You only have two pages to sell the execs (i.e., the competition judges) on your entire show.

Here are things to prepare (and check off your to-do list):

  • What’s your show called? You need a title. 
  • What is your show about? Your team must write a short summary of the show that brings your idea to life. 
  • Who are your characters? Include a description of them. (Don’t forget: The show must focus on characters in the accounting profession who have a CPA license. Not all characters have to be CPAs, but at least the main character and the profession has to play into the show.) 
  • What’s your budget? Provide a list of your line items. Keep in mind everything you will need to produce this show. When thinking about the numbers, make sure to consider everything from set design to the price of talent. (Hint: Check out the credits of your favorite TV shows for other budget expenses.) 
  • How are you going introduce the show to viewers? Write your script and bring the show to life. (Hint: The preview can look like a teaser or commercial that will get you started with drawing in viewers and build a following.)

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012.


Submitting Your Idea

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Entries must be submitted to the execs by 6 p.m. ET December 21.

Be sure your submission includes:

  • Your two-page proposal.
  • Your budget.
  • Your preview script.

From there, the execs will deliberate and narrow down the entries. Up to 10 teams will be selected as finalists. But they will still need some convincing to determine which pilot will come out on top.

The finalists will be challenged to use their script to produce a three-minute preview of their pilot. Teams will receive a video camera and be directed to editing software to accomplish this task.

Because the network expects this show to have huge ratings, they’re going to allow the public to vote through an online public vote as a part of the selection process. Just so you know, the results of public vote will be a factor in the network’s decision.

The final hurdle will involve a live presentation to the competition judge who plays a key decision maker at the network where you will have one last chance to tell him/her why your show will be a smash hit.

Good luck!

Project Innovation: The Timing

Competition Runs:10/15-12/21
Top 10 Finalists Announced: 1/15
Finalists Video Submissions Due: 2/4
Public Vote: 2/5-2/27
Winners Announced:3/18