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NBC sets online talent search for its next hit sitcom

Pasadena, Calif (Reuters) - NBC, closing in on its first ratings victory in a decade in the 18 to 49-year-old age group that advertisers most want, is hitting the Internet in its search for the next "Friends" or "Seinfeld."

The contest, dubbed "NBC Comedy Playground," will give aspiring comedy writers a chance to submit videos and pitches that could be made into prime-time sitcoms, NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke told a conference of TV critics on Tuesday.

NBC, a unit of cable company Comcast, will select up to 10 finalists to make pilots.

An advisory panel, including Seth Meyers, Amy Poehler and Sean Hayes, will help select two shows that will air on NBC during the summer of 2015. The public will vote online for a third that will be made into a digital program.

Videos can be submitted online at http://www.nbccomedyplayground.com, starting on May 1.

(Reporting by Ronald Grover; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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