The 2016 iOCN Pilot Script Competition has closed

Congratulations to Katie Barbaro, Seth Johnson and Joe LaLonde for winning our 2016 Pilot Script Competition! Katie’s “Upline” and Seth and Joe’s “Big Justice” were the top two scripts out of the over 100 submissions. Their scripts will now be brought to life and included in a package of material we will be pitching to various TV networks and digital distributors. Keep your eye out for the next time we run this contest!

We received over 100 submissions and are very grateful for the time and effort put in by all the writers.

The Pilot Script Competition will re open in late 2017. Happy writing!


  • Winners will have their pilot produced by the iO Comedy Network.
  • Completed pilots will be submitted into industry festivals.
  • Completed pilots will be pitched by the iOCN to various networks and distributors.


  • Scripts must be 3-15 pages in length. (Think web series or TV series sizzle)
  • All deliverables must be submitted in 1 PDF document titled
    “ShowTitle_LastName_FirstName.pdf”. If there are multiple screenwriters just list the first name alphabetically.
  • Scripts must be written in screenplay format in English.
  • Electronic submissions only. No hard copies will be accepted.
  • The script must be original and authentically penned by the screenwriter(s).
  • No revisions will be accepted.
  • No refunds will be given after the payment has been processed.

By submitting an entry, you represent and warrant to iO Comedy Network that your entry is (i) completely your original work, (ii) not copied from any other source or previously broadcast or otherwise distributed or disseminated on television, (iii) not in the public domain, and (iv) not in violation of or conflict with the trademark, copyright, rights of privacy, rights of publicity or any other rights, of any kind or nature, of any other person or entity. If iO Comedy Network in its sole discretion, has reason to believe that any entry contains any material that may infringe or violate any law or any rights of a third party, iO Comedy Network may immediately disqualify such entry and take all other measures iO Comedy Network may deem appropriate.

Entries that contain any content determined by iO Comedy Network in its sole discretion as indecent, inappropriate, morally objectionable or otherwise unfit for dissemination or broadcast will be immediately disqualified. Entries not satisfying these Official Entry Rules in any respect will be disqualified.

All scripts will be assessed by the pilot committee. What are the judges looking for?

  • Is this script funny?
  • Is this script original?
  • Is this script producible for us on a limited budget?
  • Are there famous iO alumni or current iO talent who would be a good fit to play any of these characters?
  • What is the target audience of this script, and will they be attracted to it?
  • What network would this show fit on and will they want to buy it?
  • Does this pilot have multi-season potential?

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: Are you accepting animated pilot scripts?
    • A: Yes, but animated pilots should be no longer than 6 pages.
  • Q: I already wrote a pilot that is 30 pages in length. Do you want me to submit the first 15 pages or trim the entire thing down to 15 pages?
    • A: Trim trim trim! While your 30 page pilot is probably killer, we just don’t have that much time in a pitch meeting to show it off. Remember that the length of a pilot breaks down to approximately 1 page = 1 minute. The tighter the material the better!
  • Q: I don’t want to write, I want to act!
    • A: That’s not a question, but okay. If you’d like to be considered as an actor for iO Comedy Network projects, check out the actor submission on our submissions page!
  • Q: If I win, do I get to star in my pilot?
    • A: All casting decisions will be negotiated.
  • Q: If I submit to the contest, who owns my pilot?
    • A: You own all of your content. Once winners are selected, you will have to sign a development contract with the iOCN where we will negotiate terms. We are interested in working WITH you, not taking your script and running to the bank. Each deal will be dealt with individually.
  • Q: Why do I have to pay?
    • A: All submission fees will be recycled into production budgets for winning pilots. It’s how the entire program is funded!


  • Up to 5 winners will be announced in early January 2017. The iO Comedy Network reserves the right to select no winners, as well as the right to select more than 5 winners. Judging scores will not be revealed.
  • All funds received through submission fees are earmarked towards the production budgets of winning scripts. No funds will be spent on anything other than production budgets.
  • Scripts may be produced out of iO Chicago or iO West in Los Angeles.
  • Be advised that the iO Comedy Network receives many scripts and produces a lot of original work, so any work created by the iOCN that may be similar to your script is purely coincidental.
  • Winners will receive at least a writing and associate producers credit on produced pilots. Winning pilots will be “in development’ with The iO Comedy Network, where they will be pitched by The iO Comedy Network to other networks.
  • Ownership: Nonwinners will retain ownership of their scripts.
  • Winners will be required to sign a development contract with The iO Comedy Network. If any winner cannot be contacted within a reasonable time period, or if a winner fails to timely return any documents requested, or a winner notification is returned as undeliverable, or a winner is not in compliance with these Official Rules, or if a winner declines to sign a development contract, such winner will be disqualified and the prize will be forfeited.
  • Except where prohibited, participation in this Competition constitutes each winner’s consent to iO Comedy Network’s and its designees’ use of such winner’s name, likeness, photograph, opinions, hometown and state for advertising, promotional and other purposes, in any manner, in any and all media, now or hereafter devised, worldwide in perpetuity, without further payment or consideration, notification or permission.
  • While the iO Comedy Network will attempt to pitch and sell produced pilots, we make no guarantee.
    By submitting to the iO Comedy Network Pilot Script Competition you agree that you have read, understand, and consent to all contest rules and guidelines.
  • The decisions of iO Comedy Network and the judges are final and binding.
  • Void in Colorado, Maryland and Connecticut, outside the United States and where prohibited or restricted by law. All applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply.
  • By participating, you agree that iO Comedy Network, its parent, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising
    and promotion agencies and all of their respective officers, directors, employees and agents
    (collectively, “Released Parties”) will have no liability whatsoever for, and shall be held harmless by you against, any liability for any injuries, losses or damages of any kind, including death, to persons, or property resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from participation in this Competition and/or acceptance of the prize.
  • Released Parties are not responsible for errors or difficulties of any kind whether human, mechanical, electronic, computer, network, typographical, printing or otherwise relating to or in connection with the Competition, including, without limitation, errors or difficulties which may occur in connection with the administration of the Competition, the processing or judging of entries, the announcement of the prizes or in any Competition-related materials.
  • Should any portion of the Competition be, in iO Comedy Network’s sole opinion, compromised by virus, worms, bugs, non-authorized human intervention or other causes which, in the sole opinion of iO Comedy Network, corrupt or impair the administration, security, fairness or proper submission of entries, iO Comedy Network reserves the right at its sole discretion to suspend, modify or terminate the Competition and, if terminated, at its discretion, select the winner from all eligible, non-suspect entries received prior to such action being taken or as otherwise deemed fair and appropriate by iO Comedy Network.
  • A winners list will be available by emailing through January 31st.
  • Questions? Email Program Director Sam Bowers at for a quick reply!