NBC TV Writers Program
The NBC TV Writers Program is our premier program for emerging diverse episodic television writers with the goal of creating the next generation of showrunners and content creators.
The program, which replaces the long-standing Writers on the Verge, develops diverse writers whose distinct points of view and lived experiences provide unique perspectives to the writers’ room.
During the eight-month program, writers develop an original pilot to which they retain all rights. They are paired with NBCUniversal programming executives from the NBCU Television and Streaming portfolio and Universal Studio Group who mentor them, as they write their original pilot and polish samples for staffing consideration.
Writers also attend weekly evening workshops to enhance their creative and professional skills, including branding, pitching, and interviewing, as well as expand on their knowledge of the ever-changing television landscape. Additionally, they have opportunities to learn from and build relationships with industry professionals, including network and studio executives, showrunners, agents, and managers.
At the conclusion of the program, participating writers will be considered for available staff writer positions on NBCU Television and Streaming as well as Universal Studio Group series.
Applicants are encouraged to review the FAQs carefully as they are designed to guide you in creating a strong submission.
SUBMISSION PERIOD AND PROGRAM TIMELINE
- Applications will be accepted February 15, 2023 through March 7, 2023. Applications will not be accepted after 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on March 7, 2023.
- Targeted Program Launch is September 2023.
- Applicants must be authorized to work legally in the United States. Visa sponsorship is not offered to program participants.
- Applicants must be at least 21 years of age as of September 1, 2023.
- Entertainment industry experience is not required.
- While in the program, applicants must reside in Los Angeles as weekly workshops are in-person.
- Writers who have received a staff writer credit on more than one streaming, cable, or broadcast television scripted series are ineligible and cannot apply.
Those applying must submit a complete application package, which includes the following items:
- APPLICATION must be completed in its entirety. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
- 2 ORIGINAL PILOTS that capture the writer’s unique tone, style, and point of view. Applicants retain ownership of these 2 pre-existing pilots which will be used solely for review and evaluation purposes, as part of the application process.
Applicants must select and designate one pilot to prioritize for the first round of review and consideration. Should an applicant proceed to the next round, their second submitted pilot will be reviewed.
Submitted pilots should adhere to the following:
(1) For comedy pilots, follow a four-act structure or Cold Open + three-act structure; for drama pilots, follow a six-act structure or Cold Open + 5 act structure;
(2) Must be between 25-45 pages in length for 30-minute formats (typically comedy) or between 45-60 pages for 60-minute format (typically drama);
(3) Have a clear beginning, middle, and end.
The applicant must be the sole owner of all original material submitted.
All script reads are blind so only provide the title on the title page of the pilots. The applicant’s name, email, address, phone number, or any other identifying information should not appear in the filename, on the title page, or any other page of the script.
- RELEASE FORMS must be completed, signed, and dated, in order for submissions to be accepted. Incomplete release forms will result in disqualification. Digital signatures are accepted.
- RÉSUMÉ outlining chronological paid employment history (may include entertainment and non-entertainment positions) and any writing-related honors/awards. Positions must have been held within the past 15 years (two pages or less). Only list compensated positions with the exception of entertainment industry internships and full-time volunteer work at non-profits. If listing writing projects, only include projects that were produced and/or optioned. The applicant’s résumé will provide us an understanding of their work history and insight into their individual life experiences.
- PERSONAL ESSAYS articulate the applicant’s unique perspective and background as it relates to their storytelling. Applicant must answer both (2) essay questions, and each essay must not exceed 400 words.
(OPTIONAL) LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION from entertainment industry professionals who have read the applicant’s material and can comment on the applicant’s writing ability. Letters of recommendation are strongly encouraged, but not required. Acceptable letters must be on business or personal letterhead, dated in the current calendar year and include the author’s title and/or industry affiliation. No more than two letters per application will be accepted. Letters must accompany the submission and may not be submitted separately via email or mail. Any recommendation letters emailed or mailed to the Program separate from the writer’s application will not be accepted. Letter(s) from agents, managers, attorneys, etc. are considered a conflict of interest and will not be considered.
Any candidate who does not meet the aforementioned criteria will be disqualified.
Due to the volume of submissions received, only those applicants who are selected to participate in the program will be notified. Applicants who are not selected will not be notified. Please check our social media pages for updates on the selection process. Selections will be announced a few weeks before the Program commences.
- Will writers be compensated?
No. This is an unpaid program.
- May writers hold other forms of employment or be enrolled in school while in the Program?
- Is there an application fee?
- How many writers are selected each year?
Typically, we have eight writers in each class. However, the number of writers selected can vary from year to year.
- If selected for the Program, will I be guaranteed that my material will be developed and/or produced?
The main purpose of the program is to prepare writers to be staffed on a series. We do not guarantee that writers will be staffed on a series nor do we guarantee that the material they write during the program will be developed or produced.
- Where is the Program located?
Universal City, CA. You must reside in Los Angeles to participate in the program, as weekly sessions are in-person.
- Is there an East Coast version of the program?
- If I’m selected as a finalist to participate in an in-person interview, will NBC reimburse my travel expenses?
Finalists are responsible for any travel expenses to and from an in-person interview.
- If I’m selected into the Program but do not live in Los Angeles, will NBC reimburse my relocation costs?
We do not offer relocation reimbursement.
- Can writing teams apply?
Unfortunately, the program is not accepting writing teams at this time.
- Can writers with previously produced credits apply?
Yes. However, writers who have received a staff writer credit on more than one scripted streaming, cable, or broadcast television series are ineligible and cannot apply.
- Do I need to have literary representation to apply?
- Are Comcast-NBCUniversal employees eligible to apply?
- Do I have to be a member of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) to apply?
- Is material based on my life, someone else’s life, or a project in which I own the rights eligible?
- Can I submit material that has already been produced?
- Can I submit material that has been previously optioned, but all rights have been reverted?
- Can I submit animation material?
- Who owns the rights to the material submitted?
Applicants retain ownership of all material submitted.
- May I submit material that I previously submitted during the last application period?
Yes. However, new material will better reflect a writer’s progress.
- Who reviews submissions?
NBCUniversal executives, producers, and professional evaluators.
- Will I receive feedback on my submission?
Due to the high volume of submissions, we are unable to provide feedback.
ORIGINAL PILOT SUBMISSIONS
- Can NBC provide me with sample scripts to review?
- Do my original pilot scripts need to be in the same genres?
- What do evaluators look for when reading the 2 required personal essays?
The 2 personal essays are an important and essential component to the application process. Responses should convey the writer’s distinct point-of-view, diverse lived experience, tone, and creative sensibility.
LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
- How do you define “industry professional” for Letters of Recommendation?
Industry professionals are persons who currently or previously worked in entertainment media (e.g., film, television, digital and streaming services, etc.). Positions within both film and television industries include studio, production company, and network executives, writers, producers, feature film and episodic directors, and educators (e.g., professors or writing instructors) who have entertainment industry experience and/or produced credits. Letter(s) from agents, managers, attorneys, etc. are considered a conflict of interest and will not be considered.