NBC Launches Below-the-Line Diversity Initiatives

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Two new programs seek to boost inclusion among production coordinators and production assistants.

NBC is adding to its slate of diversity programs with two new initiatives aimed at improving inclusivity below the line.

The Production Coordinator Program and Production Assistant Initative will provide on-the-job training for ethnically diverse individuals. PCP participants will shadow a production coordinator of a 2019-20 NBC series; scripted finalists will stay on the same show throughout the season while those in the alternative division will rotate through several shows during that span. Applications are available now through June 14 at NBCUniTIPS.com, and the program will begin in July.

"It's critical that underrepresented talent be brought into the industry in early-career positions," NBC scripted programming co-presidents Lisa Katz and Tracey Pakosta said in a joint statement. "Today's production assistants and coordinators will be the production heads of the future. We hope these initiatives are a first step in opening doors for people who historically have not had the opportunity, and we are confident our programming will benefit by having more diversity both in front of and behind the camera."

Meanwhile, the PAI will allow ethnically diverse participants to serve as production assistants on a scripted or unscripted show on NBC produced by Universal Television or Universal Television Alternative Studio during the 2019-20 season. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

"While alternative programming often has great representation onscreen, behind the scenes we still see few if any people of color in key roles," alternative and reality group president Meredith Ahr said in a statement. "Our new initiatives are designed to create a pipeline for underrepresented talent behind the scenes so that over time we can mirror the representation that is seen onscreen."

"Our Production Coordinator Program and Production Assistant Initiative further demonstrate that we are committed to developing and providing opportunities to diverse talent in all facets of television production," Karen Horne, senior vp programming, talent, development and inclusion, said in a statement. "We believe they will continue in the tradition of our other successful tentpole programs that have given numerous writers, directors and actors their starts in the business."