The upcoming July issue of Animation Magazine will feature our annual Pitch Party contest, in which we invite working artists and aspiring animators to enter their animated project mini-pitches for consideration by Animag staff, online voters (www.animationmagazine.net/pitch-party-2014-vote/) and a panel of industry expert judges. We are pleased to announce the official judges for this year’s competition:
The Hub Network
Vice President, Programming
Ted Biaselli is responsible for guiding projects in all stages of development to air and through current production for the ever-growing Hub Network, home to hit shows like My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. He has utilized his passion and industry experience to drive some of the network’s most successful programs, such as R.L. Stine’s the Haunting Hour, The Aquabats! Super Show!, Transformers: Prime and Littlest Pet Shop. Prior to joining Hub Network, Biaselli worked in animation development at Disney Channel, Playhouse Disney and Disney XD. The Philadelphia native holds a BFA From University of the Arts and is a member of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA).
Vice President of Animation Development
As VP of Animation Development for Nickelodeon Group, Diehl provides creative guidance on development materials for the network’s new animated shows, sources talent for key creative positions and supervises both pre- and post-production for animated pilots. The Stanford University grad previously served as executive director of development, overseeing groundbreaking series like Sanjay and Craig and overseeing production on a variety of upcoming shows. Diehl joined Nickelodeon in 2003 in current series, providing notes on the creative guidance of My Life as a Teenage Robot, Catscratch, El Tigre and Fanboy & Chum Chum.
Vice President of Original Programming, Comedy & Drama Development
Kate Lambert is best known for her great gift to mature-audiences animation in developing and overseeing the spy comedy Archer for FX, recently renewed for sixth and seventh seasons. She has also been involved in developing pilots for the hit series Sons of Anarchy, Justified, The Americans, American Horror Story, Wilfred, The League and Louie, to name a few. Most recently she is working on Guillermo del Toro’s The Strain and the upcoming comedy series Married, starring Nat Faxon and Judy Greer. Lambert graduated from University of Southern California with a BA in Broadcast Journalism and Cinema/Television.
Vice President of Comedy Animation
Curtis Lelash oversees the development and ongoing production for Cartoon Network’s animated comedies, helping drive the network to consistent No. 1 rankings. Creatively responsible for projects from pilot development through series production, he also supervises the studio’s shorts development program as a means to discover new series and cultivate up and coming talent. Lelash is an exec producer for his series Adventure Time and Regular Show. He is also currently overseeing production on new original cartoons Steven Universe, Uncle Grandpa and Clarence as well as the upcoming We Bare Bears and CN’s first-ever mini-series Over the Garden Wall. He also supervises outside studio productions like Warner Bros. Animation’s The Tom & Jerry Show, Be Cool SCooby-Doo! and Wabbit. Lelash joined the original series department as manager for comedy animation in 2005 before relocating from Atlanta to Burbank as director of new and current series. He worked in development at DreamWorks Animation on major features and holds a BA from NYU.
Walter J. Newman
Director of Comedy Development
Walter Newman is responsible for developing and producing comedy live-action and animated series for Adult Swim from his HQ in Burbank, Calif. He supervises original comedies for the network including Loiter Squad, The Eric Andre Show, Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Stories, Black Dynamite, China, IL and original pilots. He also served as exec producer on the sketch series Incredible Crew, produced in association with Nick Cannon’s NCredible Ent. The UCLA alum previously worked as development executive at Comedy Central and in program development for VH1.
Vice President of Children’s Programming
Since joining PBS’s acclaimed programming division in 2003, Linda Simensky has used her talent and experience to collaborate with producers, co-production partners, PBS station programmers and distributors throughout the development, production, post-production and broadcast phases for PBS KIDS series. Her efforts with shows like Curious George, The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That, Wild Kratts, WordGirl, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Peg + Cat have helped transform the channel into the most trusted educational media brand for children. Simensky previously held the post of senior VP of original animation for Cartoon Network and enjoyed a nine-year stint building the animation department at Nickelodeon. A graduate of University of Pennsylvania and NYU’s master’s in media ecology program, Simensky has served as president of ASIFA-EAST and is the founder of the New York chapter of Women in Animation.