Former Merv Griffin TV Executive Kicks Down Hollywood's Closed Door

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Brainchild of Former Merv Griffin TV Executive, Scott Manville, Website Is Redefining Hollywood's Search For New Material.

Anyone who's ever tried to "break-in" to Hollywood knows the following truth; the door is closed, its padlocked, and sticking out the bottom is a frayed telephone line (explaining all those unreturned phone calls). But that's all about to change. Former lead development executive for Merv Griffin Entertainment, Scott Manville, is driving a wedge into that door, betting that on the other side there is a veritable Pandora's box of new writing talent with fresh ideas and scripts just waiting to break the mold of today’s TV programming.

Always one to buck the system, Manville’s first television project that sold for Merv Griffin Entertainment went directly against the company's general policy of rejecting unsolicited concepts, when he took a call from an unknown writer living in Florida who had an "idea".

Manville explains, "When you’re in the development game at a large company you only have time and energy to deal with established writers and producers who bring in their own projects. But when you hear a great concept, it's undeniable...and it's worth fighting for”. The "outsider’s" project won immediate approval from Griffin and within a few weeks of in-house development the show was sold to Disney’s Buena Vista Television on its very first pitch. That experience planted a seed.

Although Manville, now 33, continued to work with Griffin for several years developing and pitching everything from gameshows to movies, he never forgot the impact of that first project. He recognized that there was a fantastic opportunity in the market if he could just devise a way to cross the chasm between new writers with fresh ideas, and the producers who needed them.

"I knew that if I could create a method that was safe and effective for both the writers and executives, I could give production companies an unparalleled tool for scouting new material. But even more exciting, I could open doors for someone who otherwise would never be awarded the opportunity to have their work considered.” Continues Manville, “I've been on both sides of the coin, so I understand the needs and concerns of both parties."

That seed of an idea grew into what would eventually become The Television Writers Vault (, a unique interactive tool for Producers and Writers alike that dramatically shortens the distance between the two camps and provides direct contact and feedback for projects submitted by writers.

Manville left Merv Griffin Entertainment in 2003, and dove head first into the development of his vision. Combining forces with renegade web-developer Ian Bergson of Altis Design (U.K. based), The Television Writers Vault ( was born in March of 2004.

The TV Writers Vault not only provides professional insight into the creation and development of TV show ideas and scripts, it boasts several particularly powerful and unique features, the least of which is the direct review of projects by production companies who produce some of most popular TV programs of today.

Projects submitted to the TV Writers Vault are categorized by genre (Reality, Sitcom, Drama Series, etc.) and archived in a database where production members make monitored searches for new material, and writers can view real-time activity and requests from any executive selecting their project. This is the real bridge that allows unprecedented access for both parties, and gives the writer electronic proof of review...something a new writer doesn’t get when making cold calls in the real world of pitching producers.

Additionally, members have access to a coveted "Mandate Report" that compiles information on specific types of projects being actively sought by production companies. Manville explains, “Development executives keep a finger on the pulse of what buyers want. Why shouldn’t the creators of new concepts have the same information? It benefits everyone involved”. Adding, “The Mandate Report is quickly gaining it’s own momentum and will eventually be spun off for use by the industry as a whole.”

For safety, there are links to the Writers Guild of America and Library of Congress for time-stamped proof of creation. The Production company members using the service agree to a Non-Disclosure Agreement and writers are required to agree to an industry standard Material Release upon submission of their projects.

“I wanted to do more than just open the door for writers with great ideas and stories. I saw the need to educate new talent in the principals of successfully marketing their projects to the industry." says Manville. Who quickly adds, "I believe in the power of “Idea”, and the TV Writers Vault is redefining the way the industry interfaces with creators of original concepts written for television.”

Manville's business model won’t be limited to the TV industry. Music and other industries dealing in intellectual property exchange will benefit from plans of expansion that are already in the works.

With more than 20 leading production companies in the fold, and hundreds of professional and aspiring writers already using the service, Manville’s bet may very well pay off in the near future.

The Television Writers Vault


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Kimberly Chambers