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NBC announces finalists for 'Late Night Writers Workshop'

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Congratulations goes to Alyssa Feller, Jonathan Giles, Michael Hartney, John Mahone, Cameron Smith, Natasha Vaynblat and Bryan Yang! They have been chosen to be the new class of NBC’s annual Late Night Writer’s Workshop.  It's the industry’s only initiative dedicated to discovering and developing late night and sketch comedy writers of diverse backgrounds. Chosen from 1,000 applicants, the new class will participate in an intensive six-day program this month that will ready them to be staff writers on late night and sketch comedy shows.

Created in 2012, NBC’s Late Night Writer’s Workshop has a proven track record of discovering and developing emerging late night and sketch comedy writers. Alumni of the program are producers and writers on top late night and sketch comedy shows, including Chelsea Davison (“The Opposition with Jordan Klepper”), Jenny Hagel (“Late Night with Seth Meyers” who also appears onscreen in the “Jokes Seth Can’t Tell” segment), Kate Sidley (“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”), Nedaa Sweiss (“The Late Late Show with James Corden”) and Will Storey (“The Opposition with Jordan Klepper”).

“In the six years since its inception, our Late Night Writers Workshop has changed the landscape of late night and sketch comedy by infusing fresh, new diverse voices into the writers’ rooms,” said Karen Horne, SVP, Programming Talent Development & Inclusion, NBC Entertainment and Universal Television. “Since late night and sketch comedy use the cultural zeitgeist and world events to drive their humor, it’s especially critical to have inclusive writers’ rooms that reflect the diversity in our world.”

During an intensive six-day program at NBC’s headquarters in 30 Rockerfeller Center, the Late Night Writers Workshop participants will get an in-depth look at a late night show including attending a monologue rehearsal and getting a behind-the-scenes tour. Each day also consists of writing instruction, insightful feedback, and collaborative assignments that mirror the late night comedy writing experience. The writers will leave the program with new sketch material and insight into the dynamics of a late night writers’ room.

Following the program, NBC continues advocating for the writers including putting them up for open staffing positions on the network’s late night shows and helping them secure representation.

Click here and listen to my UPFRONT interview with Karen Horne as she talks about more diverse and inclusive programs for writers, directors and producers. 

Ray Cornelius is one of Atlanta’s newest entertainment writers and media personalities. His arts and entertainment website, www.raycornelius.com spotlights the latest in “positive” African-American celebrity news and was established in 2012. Since that time Cornelius has covered a myriad of red carpet premieres, award shows and Atlanta-based films including Tyler Perry’s Temptation, The BronzeLens Film Festival, The Trumpet Awards, and The Steve Harvey’s Neighborhood Awards just to name a few. He has also interviewed a who’s who list of today’s top singers, actors and reality stars. With nearly 20 years of media experience, Cornelius has also worked as an associate producer for the Emmy-winning public affairs program, ATL Insider and with such award shows as The Soul Train Awards, The Trumpet Awards and BET Hip-Hop Awards.