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CBC, Just for Laughs searching for comedic talent; prize is $500,000 TV special

TORONTO - The CBC is searching for the next great Canadian comedic talent — with the hefty incentive of a $500,000 half-hour TV special.

CineCoup Media and Just for Laughs Television are joining forces with the public broadcaster to launch what they call a "digital comedy accelerator."

Starting in August, aspiring creators can submit a two-minute video that shows their comedic chops to CBC ComedyCoup at http://comedycoup.cbc.ca.

Teams will then have 10 weeks to use social media and digital platforms to build a fan following while participating in weekly challenges.

Then, the teams will be narrowed down to a top 10 that will get a chance to pitch their final presentations to a jury.

The winners will get to produce a $500,000 half-hour TV special that will air on CBC Television during the 2015 prime-time schedule.

The accelerator aims to provide unknown comedy creators with a crucial "foot in the door" and a "platform to hone their skills and discover new audiences," said a press release.

CineCoup Media uses a similar model to help independent creators develop and market their original film and TV projects.

"Our studio model is about reducing barriers to entry, doing away with gatekeepers and letting the audience in early to support the content they want to see get made," said founder J. Joly.

"CBC ComedyCoup is a launch pad for the funniest talent Canada has to offer, no matter where they live. We put fans at the centre and we strive to be as transparent and democratic as possible."

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