Project Greenlight

Project Greenlight
Genre Documentary
Created by Alex Keledjian
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 42 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
Camera setup Single-camera
Production company(s)
Distributor Buena Vista Television (2001–05)
Original network HBO (2001–03; 2015)
Bravo (2005)
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original release Original run:
December 2, 2001 (2001-12-02) – May 12, 2005 (2005-05-12)
Revived run:
September 13, 2015 (2015-09-13) – November 1, 2015 (2015-11-01)
External links
Official website

Project Greenlight is an American documentary television series focusing on first-time filmmakers being given the chance to direct a feature film. It was created by Alex Keledjian, developed by Eli Holzman and produced by Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Sean Bailey, and Chris Moore through their production company LivePlanet, along with Miramax Films. Project Greenlight first aired on HBO for two seasons (aired 2001–03) before moving to Bravo for season three in 2005. The series returned in 2015 for a fourth season airing on HBO. On July 26, 2016, the show was cancelled.[1]


Season Episodes Originally aired
Season premiere Season finale Network
1 12 December 2, 2001 February 10, 2002 HBO
2 13 June 22, 2003 August 24, 2003
3 9 March 15, 2005 May 12, 2005 Bravo
4 8 September 13, 2015 November 1, 2015 HBO

Season 1 (2001–02)

The script contest ran from September 2000 to March 2001. Over 7,000 screenplays were submitted, and Pete Jones was selected as the winner for Stolen Summer, which he then filmed on location in his hometown of Chicago during the summer of 2001. The first season of Project Greenlight, chronicling the selection of Jones's script and the filming of the movie, aired on HBO from late 2001 through early 2002. Stolen Summer premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2002, then went on to a limited theatrical release which brought in just under $140,000.

Season 2 (2003)

For its second run, the contest was split into two categories: writing and directing. The winners were chosen on January 18, 2003. Erica Beeney won the writing contest for her script The Battle of Shaker Heights, and Kyle Rankin and Efram Potelle won the directing contest. The film stars Shia LaBeouf, Elden Henson, Amy Smart, and William Sadler. The series aired in the summer of 2003, detailing the production of the film in Los Angeles. The Battle of Shaker Heights opened in limited theatrical release on August 24, 2003, earning just under $280,000 during its box office run.

Season 3 (2005)

Script submission began and ended during February 2004. After two seasons on HBO, the series moved to Bravo and season three began airing on March 15, 2005.

The selected screenplay was a horror script titled Feast written by Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton. The director was John Gulager. The film stars Balthazar Getty, Krista Allen, Jason Mewes, and Eric Dane and was produced by Dimension Films and Neo Art & Logic.

The film ran for a special late night showing on September 22 and 23, 2006, almost a year after its premiere. Feast earned just under $690,000 during its box office run. The DVD was released on October 17, 2006, earning an additional $4,687,595.[2] The film spawned two sequels: Feast 2: Sloppy Seconds and Feast 3: The Happy Finish.

Season 4 (2015)

No. in
No. in
Title Original air date U.S. viewers
351"Do You Want to Direct This Movie?"September 13, 2015 (2015-09-13)0.154[3]
Finalists of a nationwide talent search to direct Not Another Pretty Woman, a broad comedy screenplay, as a film for HBO are narrowed down by producers Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Bobby & Peter Farrelly, Effie Brown, and Marc Joubert, Pearl Street Films President Jennifer Todd, and HBO Films President Len Amato. After a series of submissions and in-person interviews by all the finalists, finalist Jason Mann is selected as the project's director.
362"Going Rogue"September 20, 2015 (2015-09-20)0.113[4]
373"Gun to Your Head"September 27, 2015 (2015-09-27)0.218[5]
384"Duly Noted"October 4, 2015 (2015-10-04)0.342[6]
395"Picture's Up"October 11, 2015 (2015-10-11)0.141[7]
406"The Pivot"[a]October 18, 2015 (2015-10-18)0.212[8]
417"Accident Waiting to Happen"October 25, 2015 (2015-10-25)0.143[9]
428"Hug and Release"November 1, 2015 (2015-11-01)0.205[10]

On April 2, 2015, Project Greenlight announced the first annual Greenie award winners.[11]

In September 2015, Project Greenlight became the subject of controversy when an episode aired of Matt Damon disagreeing with producer Effie Brown over the subject of diversity. A later controversy developed over the titling of the season's sixth episode as "Hot Ghetto Mess" involving Brown's attempt to make sure one of the films did not partake in racial stereotypes, which was to be corrected before airing and replaced with "The Pivot", but was never resolved before airtime.[12][13]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2002 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Non-Fiction Program (Reality) Ben Affleck, Sean Bailey, Liz Bronstein, Billy Campbell, Matt Damon, Tina Gazzerro, Eli Holzman, Chris Moore, Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein, Tony Yates Nominated
2004 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Reality Program Ben Affleck, Sean Bailey, Dan Cutforth, Matt Damon, Eli Holzman, Jane Lipsitz, Chris Moore, Bob Osher, Randy Sacks, Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein, Tony Yates Nominated
2005 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Reality Program Ben Affleck, Sean Bailey, Jennifer Berman, Frances Berwick, Rich Buhrman, Andrew Cohen, Dan Cutforth, Matt Damon, Gayle Gawlowski, Eli Holzman, Marc Joubert, Casey Kriley, Jane Lipsitz, Alexandra Lipsitz, Chris Moore, Kevin Morra, Bob Osher, Barbara Schneeweiss, David Serwatka, Larry Tanz, Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein Nominated


Series 1

In 2005, Project Greenlight Australia was launched with Pay-TV Movie Network in partnership with Screentime producing the show and offering the A$1,000,000 financing to the winning film.[15] The entries were received online with last entries being accepted on February 14. The screenplay selected from the 1200 submissions was Solo[16] by Morgan O'Neill.[17]

Series 2

In 2006, comedian and filmmaker Paul McDermott hosted the series. The screenplay selected from the 700 submissions was The View from Greenhaven[18] by The MacRae Brothers.



^[a] The episode "The Pivot" was originally titled "Hot Ghetto Mess." However, the scene contextualizing the title was removed in last-minute editing. The original title was not corrected for television listings before air due to what was described as a "production error" by HBO. Future airings, along with HBO Go/HBO Now use "The Pivot" as the episode's title.[19]


  1. Schwindt, Oriana (July 26, 2016). "HBO Cancels 'Project Greenlight'". Variety. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  2. "Feast (2006)". Retrieved September 7, 2015.
  3. Metcalf, Mitch (September 15, 2015). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 100 Sunday Cable Originals (& Network Update): 9.13.2015". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
  4. Metcalf, Mitch (September 22, 2015). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 100 Sunday Cable Originals (& Network Update): 9.20.2015". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  5. Metcalf, Mitch (September 29, 2015). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 100 Sunday Cable Originals (& Network Update): 9.27.2015". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved September 29, 2015.
  6. Metcalf, Mitch (October 6, 2015). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 100 Sunday Cable Originals & (Network Update): 10.4.2015". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  7. Metcalf, Mitch (October 13, 2015). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 100 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Update: 10.11.2015". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved October 13, 2015.
  8. Metcalf, Mitch (October 20, 2015). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 100 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Update: 10.18.2015". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  9. Metcalf, Mitch (October 27, 2015). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 100 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Update: 10.25.2015". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  10. Metcalf, Mitch (November 3, 2015). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 100 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Update: 11.1.2015". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  11. "Congratulations to the winners of the 1st annual GREENIE AWARDS!". Facebook. April 2, 2015. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  12. Harris, Aisha (September 14, 2015). "Project Greenlight Revealed Exactly Why Hollywood Still Has a Diversity Problem". Slate. Retrieved September 26, 2015.
  13. Saul, Heather (September 15, 2015). "Matt Damon criticised for interrupting black producer Effie Brown and explaining diversity". The Independent. Retrieved September 26, 2015.
  14. 1 2 3 "Project Greenlight". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
  15. "Project Greenlight Australia launched". Screen Australia. 2005. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
  16. Solo (2006) at the Internet Movie Database
  17. George, Sandy (May 26, 2005). "Oz winner of Project Greenlight flies Solo". ScreenDaily. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
  18. The View from Greenhaven (2008) at the Internet Movie Database
  19. Escobedo Shepherd, Julianne (October 19, 2015). "HBO: Naming Project Greenlight's Latest Episode 'Hot Ghetto Mess' Was a 'Production Mistake'". Jezebel. Gawker Media. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
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