Disney/ABC Welcomes Writers from Various Backgrounds to 2017 Writing Program
Photo Credit: DISNEY/ABC TV
Television

Disney/ABC Welcomes Writers from Various Backgrounds to 2017 Writing Program

DISNEY/ABC TV
DISNEY/ABC TV

Now in its 28th year, the Disney|ABC Television Group has selected eight writers for their 2017 Writing Program that started today, Monday, February 6. This year’s participants include comedy writers Ali Hinds (Portland, Oregon), a private school admissions director; Navy veteran and stand-up comedian Julia Lillis Cohen (Erie, Pennsylvania); Disneyland stage performer Cailan Rose (Rockville, Connecticut); and script coordinator Jessica Poter (Chicago, Illinois). For drama, there is production assistant Lloyd Gilyard Jr. (Nashville, Tennessee); epidemiologist Gisselle Legere, Ph.D. (Miami, Florida); writers’ assistant Sabir Pirzada (San Jose, California); and writers’ assistant Carlos Tower (Arcadia, California).

This season the 2016 Program Writers collectively secured six script assignments writing on series such as Freeform’s “Famous In Love,” the upcoming “Untitled Shondaland Project” and “American Crime” both on ABC. Executive producers Linda Videtti Figueiredo from Disney Channel’s “Stuck in the Middle,” Dave Holden from Freeform’s “Young & Hungry,” Scott Silveri from ABC’s “Speechless” and Mike Sikowitz and Ken Jeong from “Dr. Ken,” have exercised options for 2016 Program writers Miguel Ian Raya, Dayo Adesokan, Ron McCants and Andy Mathieson to continue staff writer services on their respective series this season.

“American Crime” executive producer Michael McDonald said, “Congratulations to the latest participants in the Disney|ABC Writing Program. We are always on the lookout for fresh talent, and this program has introduced us to two remarkable writers. 2014 Program Writer Davy Perez and 2016 Program Writer Janine Salinas Schoenberg have since become strong assets in our writers’ room and our show has benefited from their diverse backgrounds and their unique, authentic voices. We are grateful for Creative Talent Development & Inclusion team’s continued effort to provide opportunities to new writers and to foster the next generation of storytellers.”

The Disney|ABC Writing Program has been an integral part of launching the careers of many successful television writers. During the 2016-17 TV season, more than 20 Writing Program alumni were staffed on Disney|ABC series including co-executive producer Zahir McGhee (ABC’s “Scandal”), co-executive producer Peter Saji (ABC’s “black-ish”), co-executive producer Roger Grant (Freeform’s “Stitchers”) and co-executive producer and story editor Silvia Olivas (Disney Channel’s “Elena of Avalor”).

“The valuable support we received from Disney|ABC producers and creative executives helped us identify our latest crop of new writers after receiving nearly 1700 submissions,” said Tim McNeal, vice president, Creative Talent Development & Inclusion. “The writers come from a variety of backgrounds and diverse life experiences such as a Navy veteran turned stand-up comedian, a world-traveling virus hunter, and a Disneyland princess. We look forward to working with them in the Program and the unique contributions they’ll make to the creative process.”

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