Two New Programs Address Need for More Representation Among Production Coordinators and Production Assistants
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – May 30, 2019 – NBC is taking an important step in addressing the need for more diversity in below-the-line positions with the launch of two new pipeline programs for production coordinators and production assistants. The new annual initiatives – spearheaded by NBC’s Scripted Programming Co-Presidents Lisa Katz and Tracey Pakosta, Alternative and Reality Group President Meredith Ahr, and Karen Horne, Senior Vice President, Programming Talent Development & Inclusion – mark the network’s first foray into below-the-line diversity initiatives.
The new Production Coordinator Program and Production Assistant Initiative provides on-the-job training for ethnically diverse talent who want to work on a television production. Both are early-career production roles that cover a range of key administrative tasks. Production coordinators typically have one to two years of on-set experience and oversee a team of production assistants.
With the goal of growing a pool of experienced ethnically diverse production coordinators, the Production Coordinator Program gives participants an opportunity to shadow a production coordinator on an NBC series. Beginning in the 2019-20 season, finalists on a scripted series will be dedicated to one show over the course of the season while participants on alternative series will rotate through several shows during the same production period. Candidates must be eligible to work in the United States and ideally have some production experience. They should be available to start the program in July. Applications for the program’s inaugural season are available starting today through Friday, June 14 at NBCUniTIPS.com.
The Production Assistant Initiative creates an opportunity for ethnically diverse production assistants to work on an NBC show over the course of a season. All NBC scripted and unscripted series produced by Universal Television and the Universal Television Alternative Studio are participating in the new annual initiative that officially launches in the 2019-20 season. The network did an early kick-off of the initiative during this year’s pilot season, where all of its Universal Television-produced pilots participated in the program. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis. Interested candidates can submit their resumes and cover letters direclty to the NBCUniTIPs office.
“It’s critical that underrepresented talent be brought into the industry in early-career positions,” said Katz and Pakosta. “Today’s production assistants and coordinators will be the production heads of the future. We hope these initiatives are a first step in opening doors for people who historically have not had the opportunity and we are confident our programming will benefit by having more diversity both in front of and behind the camera.”
“While alternative programming often has great representation onscreen, behind the scenes we still see few, if any, people of color in key roles,” said Ahr. “Our new initiatives are designed to create a pipeline for underrepresented talent behind the scenes so that over time, we can mirror the representation that is seen onscreen.”
“Our Production Coordinator Program and Production Assistant Initiative further demonstrate that we are committed to developing and providing opportunities to diverse talent in all facets of television production,” said Horne. “We believe they will continue in the tradition of our other successful tentpole programs that have given numerous writers, directors and actors their starts in the business.”
The two new programs join the network’s already robust slate of successful diversity initiatives for writers, directors and onscreen talent, including Female Forward, the Alternative Directors Program, Writers on the Verge and StandUp NBC, which have developed many of the industry’s successful producers, writers, directors and actors.
ABOUT THE NBC TALENT INFUSION PROGRAMS (NBC TIPS)
Since 2000, NBC has been dedicated to discovering and nurturing onscreen, behind-the-camera and below-the-line talent of diverse and inclusive backgrounds through the NBC Talent Infusion Programs (NBC TIPS). NBC TIPS are amongst the most extensive and robust diversity and inclusion programs in the television industry. They feature more than 20 programs, including Writers on the Verge, the Diverse Staff Writer Initiative, Female Forward, Emerging Director Program, Alternative Directors Program, Production Coordinator Program and the StandUp NBC nationwide search for stand-up comedians. Program alumni are celebrated producers, writers, directors and actors in the entertainment industry who have gone on to win Emmys, Golden Globes and SAG Awards and include Alan Yang, Mindy Kaling, Deon Cole, Lil Rel Howery, Keto Shimizu, Natasha Rothwell, Danny Pudi and Danielle Sanchez-Witzel. For more information, visit NBCUniTIPS.com.
Dupe Bosu, Dupe.Bosu@nbcuni.com, 818-777-9356
Vanessa Pearce, Vanessa.Pearce@nbcuni.com, 818-777-3966
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