Summit ’20: “Uncoiled”, “Million Dollar Mansion” win at Summit Showdown

NEW ORLEANS — Cow Lamp Films’ Lilly Warren (pictured) and MX2 Productions’ Chris Wilson have emerged victorious at the 12th annual Summit Showdown, held on Monday (Jan. 27) at the 2020 Realscreen ...
January 27, 2020

NEW ORLEANS — Cow Lamp Films’ Lilly Warren (pictured) and MX2 Productions’ Chris Wilson have emerged victorious at the 12th annual Summit Showdown, held on Monday (Jan. 27) at the 2020 Realscreen Summit in New Orleans.

The Showdown’s supporting network partners, A&E and HGTV, will each provide one US$20,000 development deal to Warren’s docuseries Uncoiled and Wilson’s Million Dollar Mansion, respectively.

This year’s winners will also receive an exclusive custom theme song and blanket library package for their show from Showdown partner West One Music Group. In addition to creating the title track for the pilot, West One will provide music direction and full access to their award-winning library of more than 55,000 tracks.

The judges for A&E at this year’s showdown were: Sean Gottlieb, VP of development and programming; Jonathan Partridge, senior executive producer; and Marcie Hume, senior executive producer.

Joining the judging lineup for HGTV were Betsy Sanner Ayala, SVP of production and development; Liz Brach, senior director of programming; and Maggie Zeltner, director of programming and development.

The seven-part docuseries Uncoiled follows the investigation into the violent crimes of Warren’s late husband, and her own personal investigation after his closed; while Million Dollar Mansion follows two realtors — including The Bachelor star Ryan Beckett — who upgrade multi-million dollar properties in Florida with the hopes of making a sale.

A&E judges applauded Warren for sharing her story, and agreed the series had the elements of programming that fit with the network, such as moments caught on tape.

Partridge asked: “How do you visually try to break that down into seven episodes to get the most impactful moments?”

“As I’ve done my research and really dove into all these things… I realized the layers were way deeper than I expected. That’s why I wanted to be able to study into those moments,” Warren said.

HGTV judges, meanwhile, agreed Million Dollar Mansion‘s key selling point was that it focused on unsellable houses — but the biggest obstacle was whether average viewers would be able to relate. 

Ayala chimed in: “Finding a relatability point in there is really important. I like that [the realtor] had a lot of great takeaway that you could take to your own house regardless of what house you have… My question is, do they do all high-end homes or can they do a mix?”

Wilson assured Ayala that there’s flexibility to tackle a range of homes: “Their knowledge and their experience can apply to any price point.”

Broadcast journalist and television personality Michaela Pereira served as host for this year’s Showdown. The annual event sees producers and content creators vie for the opportunity to pitch a new, not yet commissioned unscripted or non-fiction one-off program or series.

Finalists for this year’s event, including the winners, were: Cow Lamp Films (Lilly Warren), Mayhem Entertainment (Tyson Hepburn) and Modern Myth TV (M.J. Loheed) competing for A&E; and Matt Johnson, Loud and Original Content (John Lowe ) and MX2 Productions (Chris Wilson) competing for HGTV.

The 2020 Realscreen Summit is taking place from Jan. 27 to Jan. 30 in New Orleans.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.