With the announcement of ABC’s new primetime line-up came an abundance of support from new and returning showrunners striving to incorporate diversity into writers’ rooms. For the sixth consecutive year, all eight of the writers selected for the Disney|ABC Writing Program have been staffed on Disney/ABC Television series.
This year’s staffings include Dayo Adesokan (“Downward Dog”), Amanda Idoko (“Imaginary Mary”), Andrew Mathieson (“Dr. Ken”), Ron McCants (“Speechless”), Miguel Ian Raya (“Famous In Love,” Freeform), Janine Salinas Schoenberg (“American Crime”), Christina Walker (“Still Star-Crossed”) and Jeffery Wang (“Notorious”).
In addition, Raya is penning an episode of Freeform’s “Famous in Love” while Schoenberg and Walker are co-writing episodes of ABC’s “American Crime” and “Still Star-Crossed,” respectively.
“We’re proud that our selection of writers for this year’s writing program proved appealing to not only creative executives but showrunners as well,” said Tim McNeal, vice president, Creative Talent Development & Inclusion. He added, “Just as we pride ourselves by introducing new diverse voices to the creative process at the lower level, we find it equally rewarding to champion the staffing of program alumni as a means to career longevity.”
Approximately 50 alumni at levels ranging from staff writer to executive producer will be staffed during the 2016-17 television season, with 14 staffed on Disney|ABC networks. Alumni staffed on series include Co-Executive Producer Zahir McGhee (“Scandal,” ABC), Supervising Producer Nelson Soler (“Once Upon A Time,” ABC), Co-producer and Story Editor Silvia Olivas (“Elena of Avalor,” Disney Channel), Executive Story Editor Ryan Maldonado (“Conviction,” ABC) and Story Editor Lucas Brown Eyes (“Young & Hungry,” Freeform).
A program that has launched the careers of many writers, for over 25 years, the Disney | ABC Writing Program has been lauded as one of the most successful writer programs in the entertainment industry. The one-year program is the only program of its kind sanctioned by the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW).