The incubator, whose core mission is to creatively and financially support writers from different backgrounds as they create their own series for cable or streaming services, is an eight-month paid program aimed at TV writers who have previously been staffed on series and want to create their own dramatic show.
The goal is to create a market-ready, straight-to-series project, which if they go forward will be produced by Rideback with financing and other support by MRC, which is providing funding for the program. Rideback and MRC will jointly bring projects to market, with an option of adding other elements. The writers will be set as executive producer/writers and mentors as non-writing executive producers.
This year’s list of writers: Iden Baghdadchi (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Brian Buccellato (DC Comics’ The Flash, Batman), Jalysa Conway & Rebecca Murga (Grey’s Anatomy, The Letter), Desta Tedros Reff (Sorry For Your Loss), Jovan Robinson (The Code), Susan Cohen & Sydnie Suskind (How to Beat Your Sister-in-Law (at everything)), Robert Taylor (Spirit Riding Free) and Tracy A. Whitaker (Blindspot).
The mentors/mentoring teams include Amy Berg (Counterpart, Caper, Eureka), Jeremy Doner (Damages, The Killing), Susanna Fogel (The Spy Who Dumped Me, Booksmart, Chasing Life) & David Iserson (Mad Men, New Girl), Doug Jung (Big Love, Banshee, Star Trek Beyond), Melissa Scrivner Love (Fear the Walking Dead, Person of Interest), Glen Mazzara (The Walking Dead, Damien, The Dark Tower) and Charles Murray (Luke Cage, Sons of Anarchy).
The writers and mentors will work in pairs and as a group in the writers room during the program, which will be based at Rideback Ranch, the company’s L.A. campus. Writers will also work in one-on-one sessions with creative advisor Kiri Hart, with the overall curriculum to focus on story and character development. The program incorporates the writers room beginning with the ideation stage of development.
“Rideback and MRC are putting their faith in voices who aren’t heard from nearly enough and allowing them to flex their muscles from ideation to execution,” Berg said. “The creators are coming to us with strong points of view and a lot of life experience. I love that they don’t have to wait for the industry to decide when they deserve an opportunity to tell their stories. The incubator allows them to reach out and grab it for themselves.”