comedy writers Emma Sadorra and Ida Yazdi and playwrights Hernan Barangan, Aurora Ferlin, Sweden, Varta Torosyan, Thomas Wilson and William Yu have been selected for the 2022-23 class of the NBC TV Writers program.
The program, formerly known as Writers on the Verge, was created in 2005 to prepare various emerging writers for careers in television. The program is hosted by NBCU Launch, the umbrella brand that houses diversity, equity and inclusion efforts across NBCU’s television portfolio. .
The 2022-23 class of eight was chosen from 2,100 applicants.
Over the next eight months, the new class will develop an original pilot under the direction of NBCUniversal programming executives. They will also participate in weekly workshops that will include intensive writing sessions, mock showrunner meetings, and personal branding sessions. Upon completion of the program, they will be considered for writing assignments available on shows airing on NBCU television and streaming networks and streaming platforms as well as USG-produced series.
Although the main objective of the program is to prepare screenwriters to be assigned to a scripted series, the the ultimate goal is to develop the next generation of showrunners and content creators, according to NBCU Launch. Recent success stories include alumni Debby Wolfe, showrunner and co-creator of NBC’s upcoming comedy Lopez versus Lopez for universal television; Claudia Forestieri, Creator and Executive Producer of HBO Max’s Chronicles of Gordita; and Justin Hillian, showrunner and executive producer of Showtime’s The Chi.
All of the writers from the latest class of 2020-21 have been assigned to series after the program’s completion, including several on shows produced by NBC or Universal Studio Group: Cristina Boada on NBC’s The end game and now The black listHakim Hill on the next Peacock and USG Hysteria!Eric Glover on The CW’s Tom Swift, Sujana Gowni on Netflix The henna artist and now Apple TV+ and USG’s The White Darkness, Julian Johnson on Netflix’s The Beast in Me and now Peacock and USG’s BelAir, Shawn Parikh on NBC night yard, Hussain Pirani on CBS and USG FBI: international and Kim Tran on Netflix Space force.
Read the 2022-23 NBC TV Writers Program class bios, provided by NBCU Launch, below:
Emman Sadorra is a second-generation Filipino-American queer writer drawn to telling stories about the complexities of identity and finding humor in unexpected places. Sadorra has worked in television development and served as an assistant to a showrunner, working on the NBC comedies “I Feel Bad” and “Kenan” as well as ABC’s “Black-ish.” Most recently, Sadorra wrote for the revival of Nickelodeon’s iconic show “Blue’s Clues & You.” He is currently seeking representation.
Ida Yazdi is an Iranian-American writer raised between Isfahan, Iran and Birmingham, Ala. Her work often explores themes of cultural identity, alienation and otherness. She constructs narratives that examine both the humor and the pain that comes with starting over in life, particularly through the lens of Muslim and Middle Eastern women. Its pilot, “Andi, Today,” was also on the 2021-22 Muslim List, created in partnership with the Blacklist, Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and the Pillars Fund to highlight the best unproduced screenplays of Muslim writers. Yazdi has been accepted into the Writers Guild Foundation’s Writers Access Training Program, Women in Film Writers Mentorship Program, and STARZ #TakeTheLead Writers’ Intensive. The Columbia grad previously worked as a script coordinator for several shows, including Apple TV+’s “City on Fire” and HBOMax’s “The Girls on the Bus.” She is currently seeking representation.
Hernán Barangan was diagnosed with leukemia as a teenager and, while undergoing radiation therapy, fell in love with movies as a way to get away from it all. He graduated from high school and had cancer the same year, and over the next decade discovered that storytelling is about facing your fears. Since then, Barangan, who is of Salvadoran and Filipino descent, has built a career that spans screenwriting, virtual reality and documentaries. He directed and starred in “Cancer Rebellion,” an executive produced documentary by Roger Daltry of The Who, and interviewed 100 young adults with cancer across the United States. He is replaced by Echo Lake Entertainment.
Aurora Ferlin is a writer of Belgian and Rwandan origin who grew up in the outskirts of Brussels. With a background in journalism, she is passionate about bringing marginalized voices to light. Her work often explores themes of social justice, involving issues of race, crime, class and their intersections. His feature screenplay, “Vilomah,” was a quarter-finalist in 2020 for the prestigious Academy Nicholl Fellowship, an international screenwriting competition created by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Most recently, she wrote the Lifetime movie “She Went Missing,” which premiered in April 2022, and pilot episodes of “Mahogany Sunset” and “A New Day,” the first scripted podcasts under Hallmark’s Mahogany banner. His other work includes the feature documentary “Jim Brown’s Amer-I-Can Dream”, about NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown and his work with at-risk youth which earned him a Best Documentary nominee. at the American Black Film Festival. Outside of writing, Ferlin has worked closely with community activists and at-risk youth in Los Angeles to end the cycle of gun violence and youth incarceration. She is currently seeking representation.
Amelia Swedeen was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin, where she was known as a resident documentarian and disability advocate. Swedeen studied film production at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, but television writing quickly became her preferred medium for telling stories that elevate disabled, neurodivergent, and queer identities. Swedeen considers herself a TV fan as much as she is a writer, and she once made a cosplay appearance on “Talking Dead” (her first and last time on camera). Swedeen has been on the supporting staff for six shows, most recently the second season of “Power Book IV: Force,” for which she co-wrote the finale. It is replaced by Write Large.
Varta Torossian is a multicultural writer-director from Eastern Europe and the Middle East. She travels the world with a dance company until she lands in New York. Torossian decided to pursue a career in screenwriting despite barely speaking English. In a few years, she was able to get two masters in directing and screenwriting. The AFI graduate went on to write and direct several award-winning shorts while her feature scripts were final draft finalists at Big Break, ScreenCraft and Cinequest. Torossian has worked across many genres on TV shows, feature films, documentaries and unscripted programs. Her stories always feature misfits, outsiders, and renegades who, just like her, straddle many identities. Torossian is currently seeking representation.
Tommar Wilson is a Kansas-born military brat who spent 20 years as an actor in several Broadway productions, including “Hamilton,” “Hair,” and the vampire musical “Lestat.” He also appeared on screen in “Boardwalk Empire”, “Instinct” and “The Good Fight”, among others. As a writer, Wilson crafts family drama featuring grounded characters navigating life through heightened and sometimes fantastical realities. It particularly focuses on telling stories centered around queer black protagonists and exploring important issues such as mental health, addiction, and the elusive human connection, while leaving plenty of room for joy and passion. ‘humor. He earned a quarter-finalist honor in the prestigious Nicholl Fellowship from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his original feature screenplay, “Up, Up, and Away!”, and has been honored by others scholarships and contests for its “Romance Is Dead” pilots. », « Chorus Boy » and other original works. Wilson is a graduate of the Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama and UCLA’s Professional Program in Television Playwriting. He is currently seeking representation.
William Yu is a Korean-American screenwriter based in Los Angeles via Philadelphia, Hong Kong, Boston, and New York. After creating #StarringJohnCho, the viral phenomenon that sparked a global conversation about Asian-American representation, he left his advertising career behind to write subversive stories that wink at you with a hopeful smile. . His romantic comedy feature, “It Was You,” was selected for the annual blacklist and is currently in development with “Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon M. Chu attached as executive producer. Yu’s drama pilot “Good Boy” was shortlisted for the 2020 Sundance Episodic Makers Lab and named to the 2020 CAPE list as Best Screenplay by an AAPI Writer. It is replaced by Bellevue and APA.