EXCLUSIVE: WarnerMedia Access has announced a new Showrunner Program, naming Angela Harvey, Shannon Houston, Naomi Iizuka, Sabrina Jalees, Taofik Kolade, Kevin Lau, Jessica Meyer, Anna Ouyang Moench, Lisa Payton, Janine Salinas Schoenberg, Jameal Turner, Tessa Williams and Jaboukie Young-White as the writer-producers chosen for its inaugural cohort of 13.
The program, which launches in April, is geared toward providing immersive training on leadership and production for the next generation of showrunners. It will offer participants first-hand instruction from established showrunners to prepare them for the demands of running a writer’s room and managing a production, with masterclasses provided on topics including running a writer’s room, conflict resolution, and leading with an equity mindset. Participants will also strengthen skills on staffing an inclusive room, managing budgets and collaborating with department heads, with the program also offering those in need of additional experience an opportunity to shadow a showrunner during pre-production, as well as on set.
“WarnerMedia is excited to announce this important initiative within our Access programs. We recognize that showrunners operate as CEOs of companies, but writers don’t always receive relevant leadership training as they rise through the ranks to that role. The Showrunner Program will provide practical tools and leadership development that will set them up for success as they helm their next show,” said WarnerMedia’s SVP of Equity + Inclusion, Karen Horne. “As a company, we are committed to supporting talent at all experience levels and take great pride in building meaningful programs that ensures that those often under-represented creatives have the access they deserve.”
The 13 mid- and senior-level writers and producers selected were nominated for the program either by a veteran showrunner or a studio or network executive, and interviewed by an internal WarnerMedia Access team. The Showrunner Program is part of the WarnerMedia Equity + Inclustion team’s Access slate, and was developed in consultation with veteran showrunners and producers including Nkechi Okoro Carroll, Janine Sherman Barrois, Bill Lawrence’s Doozer, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Berlanti Productions’ Sarah Schechter, Rachel Kaplan and John Wells.
More details on the inaugural program and cohort can be found here.
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