Television Director Development Programs

Information about, and links to, television studio director development programs focused on diversity.

(Schedules and application periods are administered by the studios and are subject to change.)

CBS Directing Initiative

The CBS Directing Initiative selects directing candidates for episodic network television and matches them with directors of CBS Television Network drama and comedy series. The goal is to bridge the gap for those talented directors attempting to break into network television. Must be a DGA member to participate.

Disney/ABC Directing Program

Launched in 2001, the Disney/ABC Directing Program focuses on increasing the number of episodic directing opportunities on ABC series for women and minorities and is one of the longest running programs of its kind in the entertainment industry. The Los Angeles-based program affords selected participants the opportunity to shadow veteran episodic directors. Participants will be paid $1,000 per week to shadow a DGA director on an episode from prep to post. The duration of the individual’s participation is at the discretion of ABC executives, executive producers and/or episodic directors.

  • The submission period for the Directing Program opens the first Monday in October of odd calendar years and closes the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. When the submission period is open, applications are available on the Disney/ABC Directing Program website.

Fox Global Directors Initiative

The Fox Global Directors Initiative (FDI), established in July 2014, will bring 20 selected participants to Fox Studios in Los Angeles, CA to take part in a four-to-six week directors lab, where they will attend interactive lab sessions with showrunners, directors, and creative executives from various Fox productions. Out of the 20 participants, five will then be invited to become FDI Fellows and will receive a mentor within the Fox organization, a fellowship stipend, a grant to develop and direct a three to five minute short, and the opportunity to be considered for a deal with a Fox entertainment business.

FDI is by nomination only. Nominations can be made by agencies, management companies, and a select number of organizations.

  • The deadline for the 2018 program has passed.

HBOAccess Program

HBOAccess is a program that provides project development, mentorship, and master classes to diverse directors. Selected candidates will be paired with an HBO development executive who will serve as his/her mentor throughout a four-week session in June, and HBO will provide a series of Master Classes taught by HBO executives and creative talent.  At the end of the four-week session, filmmakers will be given a budget to create short form content for HBO to be shot in late summer.

Upon completion of the development process, each project will be considered for production as a 10-15 minute film or a series of webisodes to air on various HBO platforms including, but not limited to HBOGo, HBO service, HBO’s Youtube channel,, film festivals, charity screenings, and other outlets.  

  • For application and more information, visit the HBOAccess website.    

NBC Alternative Directors Program

The NBC Alternative Directors Program is the industry’s first directing initiative for unscripted programming. The program is intended for female and ethnically diverse talent with at least one directing credit and will help feed the pipeline for new talent behind the camera on alternative series both on NBC as well as shows produced by Universal Television Alternative Studio. The five directors chosen for the program will shadow a seasoned director over several weeks, including prep, production and post. NBC’s participating shows for the program’s inaugural year are America’s Got Talent, Hollywood Game Night, The Voice, The Wall and World of Dance. Directors who will serve as mentors are Alan Carter, Ivan Dudynsky, Russell Norman and Alex Rudzinski.

The submission deadline for this year's program is Friday, June 29, 2018. 

NBC Universal Directing Fellowship

The NBC Universal Directing Fellowship program is designed to take directors accomplished in their respective fields (features, commercials and/or music videos) and have them work alongside episodic television directors. While in the program, directors are assigned to shadow up to three episodes of one (or more) NBCU scripted show from production prep to post. The director is responsible for working alongside the show's director(s) in every aspect of a director's responsibilities. 

Sony Pictures Television Diverse Directors Program

The SPT Diverse Directors Program, established in May 2014, will bring 20 semi-finalists to the Sony Lot in Culver City, CA to take part in an intensive episodic directing workshop and attend networking events with industry professionals.  Three finalists will then be invited to shadow episodic directors on various series and will be provided a weekly stipend when actively shadowing.  Participants may be invited back to direct an episode of a scripted SPT series the following season.

ViewFinder: the Viacom Emerging Directors Program

The ViewFinder: Emerging Directors Program is a Viacom-wide initiative which seeks to provide directors with underrepresented voices an opportunity to enhance their skill set and grow their network. Program participants will shadow established directors on scripted and non-scripted programming across all Viacom brands and platforms.

The submission deadline for this year's program is June 15, 2018. Semi-finalists will be notified at the beginning of August and the finalists will be notified at the end of August.

Warner Bros. Director Workshop

The Warner Bros. Directors’ Workshop is designed to give aspiring and diverse directors the chance to break into primetime TV. Launched in 2014, the workshop aims to prepare directors from other disciplines — feature films, music video, commercials — for the transition to episodic TV.  A 12-week master class teaches the skills essential for excelling through pre-production, shooting, and post-production. Additional optional components include cinematography workshops, acting classes and the opportunity to shadow directors on an episode of a WBTV show.


Frank Bennett Gonzalez
Executive in Charge of Diversity Programs
and Committees
Television Director Diversity Panel at the DGA

Representatives from the studios spoke about their respective Television Director Diversity programs at this DGA-sponsored event.

DGA Television Diversity Director Program Welcome Workshop

Television Diversity Director Program participants get practical information about the world of episodic TV directing at this workshop.