Open TV (beta)


Open TV (beta) is a Chicago-based platform for intersectional television.

The project develops emerging, independent artists and releases their pilots, series, and films in Chicago and online. It experiments 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.


Open TV: Innovation Beyond Hollywood and the Rise of Web Television. 2018. New York University Press (book-lenth 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.

For all development reports, visit:


13th New York Television Festival Awards, Red Arrow Development Deal (Starving Artists)
HBOBrown Girls development deal


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)


Baltimore Museum of Art, Block Museum of Art (Northwestern University), Brooklyn Museum, Chicago Art Department, Chicago Cultural Center, Cooper Gallery, DuSable Museum of African American History, Frameline41 Film Festival, Glass Curtain Gallery, Logan Center (University of Chicago), Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, National Museum of Mexican Art, Newfest, New York Television Festival, Outfest, Queer Women of Color Film Festival, Smart Museum of Art (University of Chicago), Soho House Chicago, SXSW, 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, OpenTV 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 of that initial form of investment to get them to take it to the next level.” - Nico Lang, Into magazine

For all press, visit:


Trailer for 1st programming cycle (March 2015 — August 2016) previewing the 2nd programming cycle (January — June 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