Disney Entertainment Television Selects 2024 Writing Program Participants

Established in 2001, the DET Directing Program guarantees participants the opportunity to direct an episode of a Disney scripted series.

By: Feb. 29, 2024
Disney Entertainment Television Selects  2024 Writing Program Participants
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Disney Entertainment Television (DET) has selected the latest cohorts for its Directing and Writing Programs, two of the entertainment industry's most successful talent development initiatives. These programs nurture creative talent on the cusp of television episode directing and staff writing, and connect them to opportunities with Disney series.

“It's an honor to welcome these exceptional directors and writers into the DET Directing and Writing Programs,” said Tim McNeal, senior vice president, Creative Talent Development and Inclusion, DET. “It's clear that this group of talented creatives will have a lasting impact not only on Disney but on the industry at large. We're proud to be part of their journey to shape the future of storytelling.”

2023-2024 DET Directing Program – Scripted Cohort

Established in 2001, the DET Directing Program guarantees participants the opportunity to direct an episode of a Disney scripted series or a segment of a Disney unscripted series, and offers professional and career development through mentorship, on-set shadowing experience, and networking opportunities with the company's creative executives and program alumni. 

This year, the program's scripted directors will be shadowing and directing episodes on 20th Television, ABC Entertainment and ABC Signature titles. After expanding into daytime television just last year, the program is also deepening its collaboration with ABC's “General Hospital.” Three program participants will direct episodes of the beloved daytime drama.

The cohort and their directing assignments include Erica Eng, Nina Kramer and Aubrey Smyth (“General Hospital”); Haley Elizabeth Anderson (“The Chi”); Letia Solomon (“Station 19”); and Tracy Taylor (“The Good Doctor”).

Since its founding, the DET Directing Program has nurtured the careers of notable alumni including Tessa Blake (“A Million Little Things”), Pete Chatmon (“black-ish”), Ryan Coogler (“Black Panther” franchise), Regina KING (“Insecure”), Marvin Lemus (“Gentefied”), Jaffar Mahmood (“Young Sheldon”) and Nzingha Stewart (“Little Fires Everywhere”).

2024 DET Writing Program

Celebrating its 35th anniversary, the DET Writing Program is a launchpad for fresh voices in television storytelling and helps diverse comedy and drama writers secure their first staff writer assignment on a Disney series.

During the program, writers participate in advanced creative workshops, refine their portfolios, and meet and learn from DET creative executives, producers, showrunners and program alumni through networking and professional development sessions. Each participant is a contract employee of Disney, with weekly salary and benefits, for one year, or until they staff on a show and are compensated at WGA scale. For over a decade, the program has maintained a 100% annual staffing rate.

This year's cohort includes comedy writers Sarah Beth Ballard, Jordan Crawford, Paloma Lamb, Naomi Lambert, Mahtub Zare Mochanloo, Elisa Oh and Jorge Thomson; and drama writers Letícia Ayroza, Derek Cioch, Isabel E., Jordan Goodman, Jaleese Ramos, Antoine Perry and Rance Ward.

Sarah Beth Ballard has been selected as the fifth annual Eunetta T. Boone Comedy Writers Scholar, receiving mentorship from Disney Branded Television (DBT) and special staffing consideration on a DBT series. The scholarship honors trailblazing showrunner, producer and comedy writer Eunetta T. Boone, who was executive producer and showrunner for DBT's “Raven's Home,” among many other credits.

Rance Ward has been selected as the inaugural FX Singleton Scholar, receiving mentorship from FX and special staffing consideration on a FX series. The scholarship honors the life and legacy of legendary director and producer John Singleton. The youngest and first Black person to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Director, Singleton co-created the FX drama “Snowfall,” directed episodes for FX's “American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson,” and mentored many other creatives embarking on careers in television.

Notable program alumni include show creators, co-creators and showrunners such as Zahir McGhee (“Queens”), Raamla Mohamed (“Reasonable Doubt”), Saladin Patterson (“The Wonder Years,” “Dave”), Aseem Batra (“I Feel Bad”), Ayanna Floyd Davis (“The Chi”), Dailyn Rodriguez (“Queen of the South”) and Anthony Sparks (“Queen Sugar”).

About Disney Entertainment Television 

Disney Entertainment Television is a collection of renowned content brands at The Walt Disney Company creating original entertainment and news programming for the Company's streaming platforms Disney+, Hulu and Star, and its broadcast and cable networks. Its extensive portfolio is comprised of ABC Entertainment, ABC News, ABC Owned Television Stations, Disney Branded Television, Freeform, FX, Hulu Originals, National Geographic Content and Onyx Collective, in addition to Disney Television Studios, which include 20th Television, 20th Television Animation, ABC Signature and Walt Disney Television Alternative.

Responsible for over 4,500 hours of programming a year across more than 300 programs of all genres, Disney Entertainment Television's creative brands are at the forefront of groundbreaking storytelling, captivating audiences and generating critical acclaim. In 2023, Disney Entertainment Television's programming excellence earned 301 Emmy nominations across daytime, primetime, news & documentary, and children's & family categories.