Biggest NATPE sham (or shame, as the case may be): letting random people with projects to pitch ask questions during panels.
At three panels in a row yesterday, when the moderator opened the floor to questions, the poor speakers were accosted with lame pitch after pitch. Some group called Teen City, which I gather is pushing some kind of teen-produced show, is flooding every session with kids in company T-shirts and pushing them to the mikes to ask about how to pitch such-and-such network a show made by teens.
Worse, a woman from some kind of woman's outdoor network is asking the same thing but about how to sell a woman's outdoor show. Yesterday, she asked Law & Order creator Dick Wolf what he thought, and he gave her the most "you-have-to-be-kidding-me" look I've seen in a while.
I guess if they're buying spots at NATPE, they're entitled to go to whatever sessions they want, but honestly, that kind of questioning just wastes everyone's time.
By Anne Becker