WRITERS ON THE VERGE

Writers on the Verge is a 12-week program focused on polishing writers and readying them for a staff writer position on a television series. We are looking for writers who are “almost there” but need that final bit of preparation with their writing and personal presentation skills. We particularly encourage writers of diverse backgrounds to apply.

The program will consist of two night classes, which will typically be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays (7-10pm), weekly at NBCUniversal in Universal City, CA, from October-January. Once accepted, students must attend all classes and turn in all written assignments.

Classes concentrate on creating exceptional material to enhance their portfolio, and understanding the dynamics of pitching oneself in the television industry. Writers are given the chance to interact with industry players ranging from network executives to show runners to agents and receive valuable feedback on their work and pitch style. Writing assignments on a NBCUniversal television show may be available after successful completion of the program but are not a guarantee. Past participants have gone on to series including “The Blacklist,” “Marlon,” “Community”, “Burn Notice”, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”, “White Collar”, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”, “Chicago Fire” and “Parenthood.”

 

How to Submit

The submission window is open MAY 1st, 2017 – MAY 31st, 2017 at 11:59pm PT.

SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS – please read thoroughly:

  1. We do not accept email or mail submissions. You must complete the online application before the deadline. Please complete all sections of the application.  Only ONE APPLICATION per writer or writing team will be accepted.
  2. We will accept submissions from individual writers and from writing teams of two.  We will not accept writing teams of more than two.
  3. Submitted specs must be written for a show on our Accepted Shows List. We do not accept all shows. Please ensure that your spec is included on our list.
  4. Include a title page with no name(s) of the writer or writing team. Do NOT include the writer’s or writing team’s name or contact information on any page of the script.
  5. Please title your file names appropriately for upload, and only upload files as .PDF
    • Resume: RESUME – FIRST NAME LAST NAME.pdf
      • Example: RESUME – JIMMY FALLON.pdf
    • Legal release form: LEGAL RELEASE – FIRST NAME LAST NAME.pdf
      • Example: LEGAL RELEASE – JIMMY FALLON.pdf
    • Script submission: SHOW NAME – FIRST INITIAL LAST INITIAL.pdf (If you have a writing partner, include their initials in the file name.)
      • Example: GAME OF THRONES – JF.pdf
      • Example with writing partner: THIS IS US – JF and SM.pdf
  6. Finalists may be asked for a second writing sample.
  7. Applicants must be able to provide their own housing and transportation in the Los Angeles area for the duration of the program.

To watch for updates, please follow the NBCUNI TIPS Facebook page and the Writers On The Verge Facebook Page.

Check out our FAQ for more information.

Additional questions (NOT APPLICATIONS) should be submitted to writersontheverge@nbcuni.com

NBC Scene Showcase

As part of its ongoing commitment to diversity, NBCUniversal will produce a live performance Scene Showcase in June in Los Angeles, and September in New York City. The showcase intends to feature actors, writers and directors of diverse backgrounds, including LGBTQ actors and Performers with Disabilities. The one-day live theatrical showcase is performed for executives, producers, casting directors, and other industry professionals.

We usually open auditions in the first quarter of the year for Los Angeles, and the second quarter of the year for New York.

To watch for updates on when we will open 2017 auditions, please follow the NBCUNI TIPS Facebook page.

 

 

SELECTION PROCESS

Using scripts from written by alumni from our programs, we audition actors for the showcase. Once we cast actors, we will hire directors.  They are typically selected from our pool of directors from the NBCUniversal Emerging Director Program finalists and award-winning NBCUniversal Short Film Festival directors.

A live theatrical showcase will take place once in Los Angeles, and once in New York.  These two showcases have separate casts and directors.

 

NBCUNIVERSAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL

The NBCUniversal Short Film Festival is an initiative to discover diverse voices both in front of and behind the camera. It provides creative individuals of diverse backgrounds an opportunity to get their materials in front of key decision makers from the entire NBCUniversal family, as well as agents, managers, producers, and other industry players. The submission window is open MARCH 1 – MAY 15, 2017.

READ MORE

WRITERS ON THE VERGE

Writers on the Verge is a 12-week program focused on polishing writers and readying them for a staff writer position on a television series. We are looking for writers who are “almost there,” but need that final bit of preparation with their writing and personal presentation skills. We particularly encourage writers of diverse backgrounds to apply. The submission window is currently CLOSED.

READ MORE

The Late Night Writers Workshop kicks off its second year!

This program is focused on exposing talented joke, sketch and comedy writers to NBCUniversal’s late-night & alternative lineup and readying them for a staff writer position. The selected writers will create new sketch material and gain insight into the dynamics of a late night writers’ room. Participants are given the chance to interact with key writers and producers from across NBCUniversal’s late-night shows, as well as receive feedback on their material. Successful participants’ material will be submitted to NBCU’s late-night & alternative executives, but writing assignments are not a guarantee. The workshop took place in New York on March 21 – 25, 2014.

Karen Horne | Senior Vice President, Programming Talent Development & Inclusion

Karen Horne serves as the Senior Vice President of Programming Talent Development & Inclusion for NBC Entertainment and Universal Television Studios.

Horne, who reports to Jennifer Salke, President, Primetime Entertainment, is responsible for overseeing in-front-of and behind-the-camera primetime diversity efforts for NBC and Universal Television.  NBC’s Writers on the Verge Program, the Emerging Director Program, NBC’s StandUp for Diversity nationwide talent search and the NBCUniversal Short Film Festival are among the many programs she heads while also overseeing NBC’s Diversity Staffing Initiative and working with the creative programming team to identify diverse development.

Earlier, Horne was appointed to the newly created position of Director, Entertainment Diversity Initiatives, NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, in April 2009.

Horne’s lengthy resume includes a variety of disciplines and contacts.  She came to NBC from Loud Paint Entertainment, where she was Creative Consultant since 2006.  Prior to that, she served as Director, Creative Affairs, at IDT Animation in Burbank, California, from 2005-06.  In that position, she was part of a two-person development team that developed feature, television and direct-to-video material for the animation company.

In addition, Horne was an Executive Consultant at Nickelodeon Productions in Los Angeles from 1999-2005, where she designed, implemented and oversaw the company’s Writer Fellowship Program, among other duties.  From 1995-99, Horne also worked at HBO in Los Angeles as a Co-Producer for the Emmy Award-winning animated series “Spawn.”

Horne also was the Director of Writer Development & Special Projects (as well as Studio Liaison) for the Walt Disney Studios Fellowship Program at Walt Disney Network Television from 1996-99 (while she still retained her title as a Co-Producer of “Spawn”).  Previously, she served as Director, West Coast, for the Black Filmmaker Foundation in Los Angeles from 1993-96.

Horne’s early career includes stints at ABC, Inc., in Los Angeles as an Executive Assistant to the President, ABC Entertainment, as well as positions at ABC Television Network Group and ABC Sports.

Grace Borrero Moss | Director, Diversity Programs

Grace Borrero Moss currently serves as the Manager of Entertainment Diversity Initiatives for NBC Entertainment. In this role, she helps oversee multiple programs that focus on discovering, cultivating and showcasing talented writers, directors and actors of diverse backgrounds, with the objective of getting them staffed on NBCUniversal’s scripted programs. Before coming to NBCU, Grace was the Manager of Development & New Series at the Style Network, where she oversaw new series in production, from initial pitch to delivery. She was instrumental in developing hit shows such as Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane, Ruby, Giuliana & Bill and Jerseylicious.  Grace was also part of the internal Diversity Council and worked with other NBCU cable networks to promote initiatives and track diverse talent in front of and behind the camera.  Prior to her stint at the Style Network, Grace worked as a Producer and Director on a plethora of unscripted shows on a variety of networks, including MTV, VH1, TLC and NBC.

Grace has been actively involved with numerous organizations, including Asian Pacific Americans@NBCUniversal, where she served as a Chapter Leader and Professional Development Co-Chair, and Filipinos in Hollywood, where she acts as the Co-Chair. She was a selected participant in the Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) Rising Leaders Program in 2012 and the National Association of Multiethnicities in Communications (NAMIC) Leadership Seminar in 2011. She also was the recipient of Comcast’s Ingenuity Award in 2008 for her innovative contributions to the Style Network.  Grace is also a member of the Coalition for Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE) and Visual Communications, where she has contributed as a panelist at their annual Creative Content Conference.

Grace graduated from UCLA with a BA in English and Minor in Asian American Studies and won the prestigious Royal Morales Prize in Pilipino Studies for most outstanding paper on the subject.

Jandiz Cardoso | Director, Diversity Initiatives

Jandiz has worked on pilots and series with networks including AMC, ABC, CBS, Starz, SpikeTV and MTV, as well as tentpolling films with feature studios including Disney, WB, Paramount, Universal, NewLine and Screen Gems. In 2010, she joined NBCUniversal’s New York casting office, covering all pilots, and serving as Associate on the last season of the Emmy Award Winning series, 30 Rock. In 2013, Jandiz wrote the foreword for  the acclaimed resource book, “Actors Choice: Monologues for Teens, Volume 2.”  She was Voted “Backstage Magazine’s” Reader’s Choice Award for Audition Coach of the Year, along with other honors.  Upcoming films include SEVENTH SON starring Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges, and Ben Barnes.

The NBC Emerging Director Program

 

The NBC EMERGING DIRECTOR PROGRAM, is designed to take directors accomplished in their respective fields (features, commercials, music videos) and give them the opportunity to work alongside episodic television directors. The selected directors will foster relationships and fine tune their art to fit the television format.

Built from a desire to open up the pool of directors with whom NBCU works, the program accepts 100 nominees per year (first come, first serve). We ultimately select a small group of finalists to shadow NBC Universal shows, such as The Blacklist, Blindspot, Superstore, and The Expanse. Our directors gain invaluable experience and the preparation needed to make them capable of directing one of our episodes.

The chosen director will shadow for up to three episodes on an NBCU show, from prep- to post-production. NBCU will provide a weekly stipend, along with airfare and hotel accommodation for non-locals during the program. Directors placed on NBC shows will be guaranteed an episode to direct on that show within the same season.

The process begins with a nomination from an industry professional. The first 100 nominations will be contacted to provide work samples and supplemental material. For more information on the application process, see below.

Please note, to be eligible, directors may have directed no more than ONE episode of scripted television.

Nominations for the Emerging Director Program are now CLOSED!

Finalists will be notified in Spring 2018.

More information on the FEMALE FORWARD initiative is coming soon.

To watch for updates please follow the NBCUNI TIPS Facebook page and the NBC Directing Programs Facebook page.

 

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What’s the Process?

1. Nomination

Industry professionals may nominate directors who they feel are accomplished in their respective fields, by submitting their nomination letters online. We only accept the first 100 nominees (first come, first serve). We do not accept nominations from agents or managers. Please note, to be eligible, directors may have directed no more than ONE episode of scripted television.

2. Submission of Portfolio Materials

Once a director is confirmed as one of the 100 nominees, we will contact the directing nominees directly and provide them with a link to upload their materials.  Nominees are required to submit:

  • A bio
  • A resume/CV
  • A directing reel
  • 1-3 samples representing the director’s best work (features, short films, music videos, etc.–completed works preferred)
  • OPTIONAL: 1-2 additional letters of recommendation

3. Selection of Program Participants

The selected directors will be notified in the spring for the opportunity to shadow during the upcoming season.

4. Selection of Directors

The director’s portfolios will be sent to participating NBCUniversal shows. Each show then selects which director they would like to take on to shadow for up to three episodes on the show, from pre- to post-production.

 

NBCUniversal Short Film Festival

The NBCUNIVERSAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL seeks the next generation of writers, directors, producers & actors, while celebrating innovative storytelling from diverse and inclusive backgrounds, including female writers & directors, the LGBTQ community, and performers with disabilities.

With a high-profile list of judges and partners including, Comcast, NBC, Panavision, USA Networks, Telemundo, Bravo, Universal Pictures, E!, SAG-AFTRA, PGA, WGAW, WGAE, DGA, Hulu, The Hollywood Reporter & Variety, this bicoastal festival provides a unique opportunity for outstanding talent to have their work introduced to key decisions makers from the entire NBCUniversal family as well as agents, managers, producers, and other industry players.

Submission Period

March 1 – May 15, 2017

For eligibility and submission information, please visit: nbcushortsfest.com

To watch for updates please follow the NBCUNI TIPS Facebook page and the NBCU Short Film Festival Facebook page.

Diverse Staff Writer Initiative

nbcunicareers.com/diversity-initiative-writers

NBC encourages diversity among our writing staffs by funding select staff writer positions, open to all scripted NBC Primetime Series, along with some series from our cable networks.

In order to further foster diversity among writers, NBCUniversal provides funding for a diverse staff writer position on all scripted NBC Primetime and Late Night Series. These positions are filled with writers selected and hired by the Showrunner/Producers of each show, along with the guidance of the network and studio(s). Positions are generally filled during the March – June staffing season.

 

NBCUNIVERSAL CASTING APPRENTICE PROGRAM

The NBC Universal Casting Apprentice Program is a career development opportunity for individuals pursuing a career in casting. This program is designed for individuals with diverse backgrounds who aspire to become a Casting Manager within a Network or Studio or a Casting Associate or Director on a production. Depending on the assigned division, apprentices will be given an opportunity to work at a Network with executives or in a Freelance Casting Office with a Casting Director.

 

For more information visit nbcunicareers.com.

COMEDIC TALENT SCHOLARSHIPS

UPRIGHT CITIZENS BRIGADE

Continuing efforts to promote diversity in the comedic arts, NBC and the Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) Theatre have partnered for an annual Diversity Scholarship. The Diversity Scholar is selected by both the Upright Citizens Brigade (NY) and NBC executives based on their performance. This scholarship is intended for students with advanced skills in improvisation.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

 

Late Night Writers Workshop

The NBCUniversal Late Night Writers Workshop is a multi-day program focused on exposing talented sketch and comedy writers to NBCUniversal’s late night & alternative line-up and readying them for a staff writer position. We are looking for writers who are “almost there,” but need that final bit of preparation and exposure to key industry players. We particularly encourage female writers and those of diverse backgrounds to apply. The selected writers will create new sketch material and gain insight into the dynamics of a late night writers’ room. Participants are given the chance to interact with key writers and producers from across NBCUniversal’s late night and alternative shows, as well as receive feedback on their material.  

 

Timeline

Submission Period: December 1st, 2017 – December 15th, 2017 at 11:59 PST

Finalist Interviews: February 2018

5-Day Workshop in NYC: March/April 2018

*All dates are subject to change. 

**Selected writers will be responsible for their own transporation to/from and lodging in NYC. 

Submission Guidelines

Your sketch packet should consist of three elements:

1)  1-2 pages of topical monologue jokes. If you think it helps us, please indicate which host’s voice you have in mind (can be, but does not have to be, an NBC host). Topical news jokes and pop culture jokes should make up the bulk of your material.

2)  1-2 pages of original ideas for refillable late night “desk bits.” These can be ideas for elements like Jimmy Fallon’s “Thank You Notes,” pre-taped correspondent bits like, “Jokes Seth Can’t Tell,” or multimedia bits. For this portion, please provide descriptions of the bits and not scripts.

3)  2  SNL-style sketches (no more than 5 pages EACH). One sketch should introduce an original character and one sketch should be topical (something newsworthy or pop culture-based).

Questions?

Additional questions (NOT APPLICATIONS) should be submitted to latenightwritersworkshop@nbcuni.com

To watch for updates, please follow the NBCUNI TIPS Facebook page and The Late Night Writers Workshop Facebook page.

StandUp NBC

StandUp NBC is a nationwide search for stand-up comedians of diverse backgrounds, which started in 2003. This initiative allows comedians from across the country to showcase for key players at NBCUniversal and throughout the industry. Top recipient(s) are offered an NBC Talent Holding Deal, meetings with NBCUniversal Casting execs and an invitation to showcase at NACA for the opportunity to tour the US college circuit. Success stories include: Lil Rel Howery (Get Out, Carmichael Show), Ron Funches (Powerless, Undateable), Tone Bell (Bad Judge, People are Talking), Hannibal Buress (Broad City, 30 Rock, Neighbors, SNL), Ian Edwards (SNL), Brandon T. Jackson (Tropic Thunder, Mr. Robinson), Eric Andre (Two Broke Girls, Man Seeking Woman), and Deon Cole (Conan, Black-ish).

To watch for updates, please follow @NBCUNITIPS on Twitter, our NBCUNI TIPS Facebook page and the StandUP NBC Facebook page.

 

HOW IT WORKS

Online Video Submissions

New in 2017 – two cities, Philadelphia and Atlanta, will be open to online video submissions. Comedians can log on and provide videos links (2 mins max) to recent performances.

100 comics will be invited to a closed audition the day before the Open Call.

Regional Open Call Audition

In each of our four cities, we will hold an Open Call. Only the first 100 comics who arrive will be seen. Comics will have one minute to perform at the initial audition. A handful will be invited back to callbacks later that day to perform a longer 2-3 minute set. From these, the top comics are selected to perform in the regional semi-finalist showcase the next evening.

Semi-Finalist Live Showcase

The regional showcase takes place the following evening after auditions. The chosen few are asked to perform approximately 7 minutes of material before a live audience. These semi-finalist shows will not air on NBC, but rather are an opportunity to be showcased for bookers, agents, casting directors, and television executives in consideration for future casting and development opportunities as well as the Los Angeles Finals.

Los Angeles Finalist Showcase

Approximately 8 StandUp NBC Finalists will be flown to Los Angeles to perform in front of a live audience of agents, casting directors, and television executives. Winner(s) will be offered a Talent Holding Deal with NBCUniversal.

 

2017 SCHEDULE 

CHICAGO

Open Call: June 10, 2017
Showcase: June 11, 2017

Laugh Factory
3175 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60657

SAN FRANCISCO

Open Call: July 8, 2017
Showcase: July 9, 2017

Cobb’s Comedy Club
915 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133

PHILADELPHIA

Online Submission opens June 1st-June 16th at 11:59PT.  Submit here: http://bit.ly/2pE7kGl
Selected comics from the online submission will be notified the week of July 17th for a closed audition on August 11th.

Open Call: August 12, 2017
Showcase: August 13, 2017

Helium Comedy Club
2031 Sansom St
Philadelphia PA 19103

ATLANTA

Online Submission opens July 8th-July 23rd at 11:59PT.  Submit here: http://bit.ly/2oQEWxU
Selected comics from the online submission will be notified the week of August 21st for a closed audition on September 22nd. Submission videos must be 2 mins max.

Open Call: September 23, 2017
Showcase: September 24, 2017

Laughing Skull Lounge
Vortex Bar & Grill
878 Peachtree St. NE
Atlanta, GA 30309

 

SUNDANCE INSTITUTE NATIVE AMERICAN and INDIGENOUS PROGRAM

The Sundance Institute Native American and Indigenous Program is a year-round program to deepen the commitment to support Native American and Indigenous artists and talent. This program allows NBCUniversal to build relationships within the Native and Indigenous communities and raise awareness of the artistic opportunities available at NBCUniversal through its various Diversity Initiatives and Programs, while creating a pipeline for Native actors, writers and directors.

SUNDANCE INSTITUTE NATIVE AMERICAN and INDIGENOUS PROGRAM

The Sundance Institute Native American and Indigenous Program is a year-round program to deepen the commitment to support Native American and Indigenous artists and talent. This program allows NBCUniversal to build relationships within the Native and Indigenous communities and raise awareness of the artistic opportunities available at NBCUniversal through its various Diversity Initiatives and Programs, while creating a pipeline for Native actors, writers and directors.

WRITER’S ASSISTANT PROGRAM

Launched in 2012, NBC Entertainment funds a writer’s assistant position on 3 NBC primetime scripted shows. These positions are chosen by the showrunner of the respective show and provide the selected writer(s) the opportunity to be in a television writers’ room and assist in any ways necessary.

TALENT SCHOLARSHIPS

UPRIGHT CITIZENS BRIGADE

Continuing efforts to promote diversity in the comedic arts, NBC and the Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) Theatre have partnered for their 2nd annual Diversity Scholarship. The Diversity Scholar is selected by both the Upright Citizens Brigade and NBC executives based on their performance. This scholarship is intended for students with advanced skills in improvisation.

 

THE GROUNDLINGS

NBCUniversal’s Talent Infusion Programs is in partnership with The Groundlings Theatre and School to develop and support diverse talent. Available quarterly, eight Groundlings students per year will receive a full scholarship to the Writing Lab level of the Groundlings Performance Track.

Criteria and application information is available here: www.groundlings.com/diversity.

 

 

CAPE WRITERS PROGRAM

capeusa.org

The CAPE New Writers Fellowship is an intensive 8-week intensive program sponsored by NBCUniversal and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and facilitated by the Coalition of Asian Pacifics In Entertainment (CAPE). The fellowship is designed to provide aspiring Asian-Pacific American (APA) television and feature film writers, who are underrepresented in the mainstream market, with the creative and business tools needed to understand what leads to successfully purchased and produced film and television projects in Hollywood. The fellows will be better positioned to develop projects that are marketable while retaining their unique voices, stories, and points-of-view. The fellowship will not only help them perfect their craft but also acquire the tools to have long-lasting careers in entertainment. In addition to the training, each fellow will also receive a $1,500 stipend, the latest Final Draft software and exclusive opportunities to meet and network with top industry executives.

Comcast NBCUniversal named as one of America’s “Best Places to Work”

For the second year in a row Comcast and NBCUniversal have earned a 100 percent score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, and have been named among America’s “Best Places to Work” for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.  This honor reflects the company’s ongoing emphasis on diversity and inclusion across a wide range of communities.

NBC and The Blackhouse Foundation partner for the first time!

NBC began its first partnership with The Blackhouse Foundation at the Sundance Film Festival this year. The Foundation works to expand opportunities for black filmmakers by providing a physical gathering venue for their constituents at the world’s most prominent film festivals, encouraging the inclusion of black filmmakers with films selected by the festival and creating a nucleus for continuing support, community, education and knowledge. The Blackhouse Foundation was created in 2006 by a group of dedicated individuals interested in preserving and furthering the legacy of Black cinema. The organization is geared towards dynamic industry networking, rigorous support, unparalleled education, and celebration for filmmakers of African descent and their audiences.

We’re now on Instagram! Follow us at “nbcunitips” and check out the latest photos from our many events and showcases, plus much more!