EMPIRE Writers Gonzalez & Haft Named 2014 FOX Writers Intensive Fellows
FOX Audience Strategy today announced that writing partners Ed Gonzalez and Jeremy Haft have been selected as this year's FOX Writers Intensive (FWI) Fellows. Chosen from the third annual class of FWI finalists, Gonzalez and Haft have inked a script development deal with FOX Broadcasting Company (FOX) and 20th Century FOX Television. In addition, Gonzales and Haft have been staffed on FOX's new drama, EMPIRE, co-created by Academy Award nominee Lee Daniels ("Lee Daniels' The Butler," "Precious") and Emmy Award winner Danny Strong ("Lee Daniels' The Butler," "Game Change"), and starring Academy Award nominee Terrence Howard ("Crash," "Hustle & Flow") and Academy Award and Emmy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button").
Launched in 2011, the FOX Writers Intensive is an advanced program designed to nurture experienced writers who have diverse voices, backgrounds and life experiences and create a strong pipeline of well-rounded talent for potential staffing on FOX productions. In 2013, FOX Audience Strategy expanded the FWI to provide opportunities across multiple FOX companies, including HarperCollins and 20th Century FOX Film.
"Three years in, the FOX Writers Intensive continues to excel in finding fresh creative voices for our TV, film, literary and digital productions," said Joe Earley, Chief Operating Officer, FOX Broadcasting Company. "Ed and Jeremy are two incredibly talented writers who impressed us with their original work throughout the program, and we're very excited to have them join the staff of EMPIRE, one of next season's most highly anticipated new dramas."
The FWI finalists spent four months (February through May 2014) participating in a rigorous curriculum, co-designed and administered by FWI partner Film Independent, that focused on honing their craft and establishing deeper creative connections across Fox's television, film and other entertainment businesses. The program featured collaborative sessions with writers and producers, including Hart Hanson (BONES), Glen Mazzara ("The Walking Dead"), Cherry Chevapravatdumrong (FAMILY GUY), Ruben Fleischer ("Zombieland"), Cheo Coker ("Notorious"), Valentina Garza (THE SIMPSONS), Nkechi Okoro Carroll (BONES) and Christal Henry (GANG RELATED). In addition, senior executives from 20th Century FOX Film, FOX Broadcasting Company, FX Networks, 20th Century FOX Television, FOX Searchlight, FOX Television Studios, FOX 2000, FOX Digital Studio and HarperCollins participated in this year's FWI sessions.
"The FOX Writers Intensive has set a high bar for finding and developing new talent. I'm sure Ed and Jeremy will contribute significantly to the EMPIRE writing staff, who were lucky enough to snap them up," said Mazzara.
In addition to Gonzalez and Haft, the 2014 FWI class included finalists Nazrin Choudhury, Tze Chun, Nate Clark, Sonay Hoffman, Johanna Lee, Katherine Nolfi, Gabby Revilla, Bernadette Rivero, Kevin Seccia, Erik Shapiro and Debby Wolfe. Following their completion of the FWI, all of the finalists are being promoted across the FOX creative community and submitted for potential staffing on current and future FOX entertainment productions. To date, five of the FWI finalists have been staffed on series for 2014-15, including FOX's EMPIRE, ABC's "Once Upon a Time" and USA Network's "Royal Pains." In addition, four previous FWI participants have been staffed on 2014-15 series.
Gonzalez and Haft are represented by Summit Talent & Literary Agency and Luber Roklin Entertainment, and have selected the Media Access Awards - an FWI nominating organization - to receive this year's $15,000 FWI grant.
This year's 10 FWI finalists were selected from more than 400 nominations and submissions by talent representation and arts organizations across the country, including National Association of Latino Independent Producers, Sundance Institute, New York Foundation for the Arts, Outfest, Film Independent, NAACP, Women in Film Los Angeles, and Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment and Visual Communications.
Fox Audience Strategy is a department within 21st Century FOX designed to identify programming and operational opportunities that reflect diverse perspectives across all of its entertainment platforms.