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NBCU Launch Makes Significant Commitment to Unscripted Television With New Inclusion Initiatives

NBCU Launch

May 24, 2023

Robust Line-Up of Initiatives Focused on Increasing Representation in Critical Roles

Behind-the-Camera Including Showrunners, Executive Producers and Editors

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – May 24, 2023 NBCU LAUNCH, the umbrella brand that houses the comprehensive diversity, equity and inclusion efforts across NBCUniversal’s entertainment television portfolio, has bolstered its entry into unscripted television with two new, behind-the-camera talent initiatives, the NBCU LAUNCH Unscripted Producers Initiative and the NBCU LAUNCH Unscripted Assistant Editor Initiative. Along with NBCU LAUNCH’s recently announced inaugural below-the-line initiatives—the NBCU LAUNCH Below-the-Line Traineeship and the NBCU LAUNCH Production Assistant Initiative—and the NBCU LAUNCH Talent and Casting Assistant program, this robust line-up of inclusion efforts signifies the company’s commitment to increasing representation in critical roles behind-the-camera across its unscripted productions.

“With the steady volume of unscripted programming in our industry as well as in our portfolio, it was imperative for us to make a major investment in inclusion efforts in unscripted television,” said Jeanne Mau, Senior Vice President, TV Programming Diversity Equity & Inclusion, NBCUniversal. “Our new initiatives focused on the next generation of showrunners, executive producers, head of departments and editors working in unscripted television are part of a comprehensive approach to improving representation behind-the-camera.”

The NBCU LAUNCH Unscripted Producers Initiative provides valuable on-the-job experience and mentorship to qualified, mid-level producers, including those from underrepresented backgrounds. As part of this initiative, participants are hired on an NBCUniversal unscripted show in an applicable producer role, and they will receive mentorship from the show’s senior-level producing team as well as producer credit commensurate with their title. At the conclusion of their tenure, they are considered for future placement on an NBCUniversal unscripted series. The initiative has two tracks: one for Lifestyle and Documentary series and the other for Formats and Competition series.

The Lifestyle and Documentary Series track prepares segment, talent, field and supervising producers to become the next generation of executive producers and showrunners in their genre. Participants are hired onto one of NBCUniversal’s unscripted series for a full season, allowing them the chance to receive professional guidance from the senior producing team and make invaluable connections within the industry. Since the initiative began in 2022, five producers have been placed across multiple Bravo shows including “The Real Housewives” franchise (Miami, New York and Salt Lake City) as well as “Winter House.” Among the inaugural group are three field co-executive producers, one supervising producer and one segment producer.

Participants within the Formats and Competition Series track have varying levels of experience and focus, with roles ranging from supervising, post, challenge and field producer. Participants are assigned to an NBCUniversal unscripted series for a full season, while receiving support and mentorship from the show's senior producing team. To date, four producers have been hired on NBCU series including “American Ninja Warrior,” “America’s Got Talent,” “Password” and “The Voice” in roles ranging from challenge producer to celebrity producer.

The NBCU LAUNCH Unscripted Assistant Editor Initiative creates a viable pathway for production assistants, , including those from historically underrepresented backgrounds, to advance to the Assistant Editor (AE) level on NBCUniversal productions and within the industry. NBCU LAUNCH has partnered with The Handy Foundation to identify former production assistants who are eligible to be considered as part of the talent pool for hiring. Candidates must have completed the Foundation’s AE Training Program and are otherwise eligible to be employed on NBCU productions. 

Rounding out NBCU LAUNCH’s newest inclusion efforts that span across unscripted television are the previously announced Talent and Casting Assistant program, Below-the-Line Traineeship and Production Assistant Initiative.

The Talent and Casting Assistant program develops aspiring episodic and unscripted casting directors from diverse backgrounds. Through the program, participants spend six months supporting the internal Talent and Casting departments within NBCU’s television portfolio, followed by six months at an independent casting office in Los Angeles or New York. Alumni of the program currently work within NBCU’s casting departments and for independent casting directors.

The main objective of the Below-the-Line Traineeship and Production Assistant Initiative is to increase the pool of experienced talent, including those from underrepresented backgrounds, who can be hired directly onto productions. The shared long-term goal of these efforts is to create sustainable and meaningful change in the composition of production crews including head of departments. Both initiatives have had participants on various NBCUniversal unscripted series: a Below-the-Line trainee was placed on “Baking It,” and production assistants were placed across “America’s Got Talent,” “Baking It,” “Botched,” “The Real Housewives of New York City,” “That’s My Jam,” “The Wall” and “Weakest Link.”

To learn more about NBCU LAUNCH’s inclusion efforts, please visit the NBCU LAUNCH site.

NBCU LAUNCH houses the comprehensive diversity, equity and inclusion efforts across the entertainment networks in the NBCU Television and Streaming portfolio – NBC, Bravo, E!, Oxygen, SYFY, Universal Kids, USA and Peacock – as well as Universal Studio Group, which comprises four powerhouse studios, Universal Television, Universal Content Productions (UCP), Universal International Studios and Universal Television Alternative Studio. NBCU LAUNCH supports the company’s goal to produce authentic and compelling content with a focus on giving talented diverse content creators, at any place in their career, access to meaningful opportunities in television. For more information, visit and follow LAUNCH on Instagram.