OTV | Open Television


OTV | Open Television is a non-profit platform for intersectional television. 

We develop artists and communities that larger institutions do not support consistently: those marginalized by the market and society because of their race, gender, sexuality, religion, citizenship status, disability, or class.  

OTV’s mission is R&D, research and development:

Artist Development:  We incubate emerging, independent artists and release their pilots, series, and films in Chicago and online. We help artists develop projects from production to release. Our primary function is support. We offer financing, consultation, and referrals in order to get projects through to completion. We also help artists establish a plan and trajectory for their careers and works. We only develop artists in Chicago.

Community Development: We provide a space for different communities to come together to experience culture, have critical conversations about identity, and meet other people across social networks. Chicago is our primary community, followed by national and global communities united by intersectionality.

Research: We experiment with alternative ways of producing and exhibiting TV across cultures, technologies, and levels of scale to understand what practices sustain and advance community-based art in a digital, networked era. All activities provide for data to help us understand how to develop intersectional art and TV.  This data is published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and books. More general findings are published in annual development reports for the public and industry.


Open TV: Innovation Beyond Hollywood and the Rise of Web Television. 2018. New York University Press (book-length manuscript providing theoretical foundation and case study in epilogue) 

Open TV: The Development Process. 2018. From Networks to Netflix: A Guide to Changing Channels. Derek Johnson, ed. New York, NY: Routledge.

The Value of Representation: Toward a Critique of Networked Television Performance. 2017. International Journal of Communication. 11, 1552-1574

‘Nupita Obama’: The Value and Method of Queer Pilot Development. 2016. No More Potlucks, 44.


HBOBrown Girls development deal
Red Arrow Entertainment,  Dewayne Perkins and Aasia Bullock (Starving Artists) development deal

For all development reports, visit: http://weareo.tv/development


 Sam Bailey (Director & Producer,  Brown Girls ) accepts Streamy for the Best Indie Series.

Sam Bailey (Director & Producer, Brown Girls) accepts Streamy for the Best Indie Series.

5th International Academy of Web Television Awards, Best Dramatic Series, Best Directing, Best Writing (nominee, Brown Girls)
7th Streamy Awards, Best Indie Series (winner, Brown Girls), Best Drama Series (nominee, Brown Girls)
13th New York Television Festival Awards, Best Short-Form Digital Project (Starving Artists)
25th Gotham Awards, Breakthrough Short Form Series (nominee, You’re So Talented)
69th Creative Arts Emmy Awards, Outstanding Short Form or Drama Series, (nominee, Brown Girls)
Chicago Artists Month, Featured Artist and Event, City of Chicago
City of Chicago (DCASE) Artists and Organization Residency Program
City of Chicago, Independent Film Initiative Filmmaker-in-Residence (Bea Cordelia and Daniel Kyri, The T)
New City, Film Leader of the Moment (Aymar Jean Christian)
New City, Best of Chicago (Open TV, Brujos, Brown Girls)


 With the team behind  Velvet  at the Chicago International Television Festival, part of the 54th Chicago International Film Festival (2018). Photo: Timothy Schmidt

With the team behind Velvet at the Chicago International Television Festival, part of the 54th Chicago International Film Festival (2018). Photo: Timothy Schmidt

Art Institute of Chicago
Brooklyn Museum
Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago International Television Festival (Chicago International Film Festival)
Frameline41 Film Festival
fullscreen (You're So Talented syndication)
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
National Museum of Mexican Art
New York Television Festival
Soho House Chicago
Tribeca Film Festival
Woman Made Gallery


Chicago Digital Media Production Fund (Voqal Fund & Chicago Filmmakers), City of Chicago, Joyce Foundation, Northwestern University, Propeller Fund, University of Chicago


The AV ClubBlavity, Chicagoist, Chicago Reader, Chicago TribuneELLE, Fox NewsIntoNew York Times, OUT, RedEye (Chicago Tribune), The RingerVICETIMEWindy City Times, W magazine

"Open TV has excelled with its latest slate of programming. Brown Girls, the subject of a recent Reader feature story, is a series featuring a cast that consists entirely of minorities and has been called "revolutionary" by Elle magazine and the "next binge-worthy web series" by BETBrujos, a show focused on four gay, Latino doctoral candidates—who are also witches—was recently applauded by Vice for its ability to combine politics and horror." - Ashely Ray-Harris, The Chicago Reader

"I’ve talked up Open TV in this space before, but I can’t help that its programming has been great and so relevant to my interests. Samantha Bailey’s You’re So Talented offered a previously unseen Chicago, and she followed that up with Brown Girls, which has become one of my favorite series about female friendships. Then I heard about Brujos, which is a new webseries about queer Latinx witches who are basically fighting white supremacy. Um, sí! please. Its undeniable queerness and brownness will serve as a high bar for entry for some, but for others—namely, queer and brown folks—it will feel like a Buffy The Vampire Slayer that was made for them." - Danette Chavez, The AV Club

"The network hopes to address those issues by creating space for communities that are historically underrepresented. Every single one of its shows feature protagonists that are queer, transgender, or people of color.... Perhaps the most unique and revolutionary thing about Open TV is that its creators are free to take their shows elsewhere. The network signs a non-exclusive contract with talent. When HBO announced that it would be optioning Brown Girls in June, Open TV didn’t make a dime off the deal. Should the show get picked up, the platform will not receive a cut of the profits. Christian describes his role as a 'nonprofit incubator,' someone who can help “creators find that initial form of investment to get them to take it to the next level.” - Nico Lang, Into magazine

For all press, visit: http://weareo.tv/press


Trailer previewing the 3rd programming cycle (2018) and reviewing the 2nd programming cycle (2017)

Trailer for 1st programming cycle (2015 — 2016) previewing the 2nd programming cycle (2017)

Brown Girls, written by Fatimah Asghar, directed by Sam Bailey

Brujos, written and directed by Ricardo Gamboa, co-directed by Reshmi Hazra Rustebakke and Robert Stockwell

Open TV Tonight at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (January 31, 2017) - Premiere event with interviews from the teams behind the first three series of the second cycle: Afternoon Snatch, Brown Girls, and Brujos.

Photo credit: Jackie Elizabeth