Introducing the New Scripted Television Directors and Writers Selected for the Disney Entertainment Television Writing & Directing Programs

Disney Entertainment Television (DET) is excited to welcome the new cohorts for the DET Directing and Writing Programs, two of the most prestigious and successful development initiatives in the entertainment industry.

Six up-and-coming directors and 14 aspiring comedy and drama writers have been selected to take their next step with Disney. “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

Since 2001, the DET Directing Program has guaranteed participants the opportunity to direct an episode of a Disney scripted series or a segment of a Disney unscripted series. The directors receive professional and career development through mentorship, on-set shadowing experience, and networking opportunities with Disney’s creative executives and program alumni.

This year’s cohort of scripted directors will shadow and direct episodes on ABC Entertainment, ABC Signature, and 20th Television 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”).

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, Darek 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 creatives embarking on careers in television.

Please join us in welcoming this incredible group of directors and writers – and keep an eye out for their writing and directing credits later this year!