I've just bought a Samsung 8000 series tv. Just wondering if there are any ways to run my widget on this tv without submitting it to the Yahoo widget gallery?
The question was must you submit it to the gallery, not must the widget be publicly available. Those are two separate topics. But if you don't upload the widget to the gallery using the publishing tool then you won't be able to download it onto your tv. There's no other way to get it onto your tv but to upload it to the gallery. At a later date you can submit it to qa, but you could develop a widget just for yourself and your friends and never put it through the Y! approval process.
Keep in mind the gallery is in the cloud and can be filtered. Uploading your widget to the gallery isn't synonymous with submitting it for approval.