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NBCU Launch Unveils Its First Major Below-the-Line Initiatives to Boost Representation in Key Production Roles on Television


May 18, 2023

New Efforts Span Across Scripted and Unscripted Programming for NBCUniversal Television Productions in the U.S. and Canada

Initiatives Were Created in Partnership with IATSE Locals and Training Programs from Recognized Industry Partners in an Effort to Promote Hiring of Qualified Diverse Talent Directly onto Productions

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – May 18, 2023NBCU LAUNCH, the umbrella brand that houses the comprehensive diversity, equity and inclusion efforts across NBCUniversal’s entertainment television portfolio, has unveiled its first major below-the-line talent initiatives – the NBCU LAUNCH Below-the-Line Traineeship and the NBCU LAUNCH Production Assistant Initiative – to boost representation in key production roles on television.

The two new efforts give qualified talent who historically haven’t had access to the industry, including those from underrepresented backgrounds, an opportunity to have meaningful and paid on-the-job experiences in below-the-line roles on NBCUniversal television productions. The main objective of both initiatives is to increase the pool of experienced talent, including those from underrepresented backgrounds, who can be hired directly onto productions.

“Below-the-line production roles have been historically underserved across our industry when we look at inclusion efforts. Our first major endeavor to increase representation on our production crews across Universal Studio Group and our entertainment networks are just a start in addressing this critical need,” said Jeanne Mau, Senior Vice President, TV Programming Diversity Equity & Inclusion, NBCUniversal. “We’re confident that our ongoing below-the-line efforts will effectively contribute to lasting change in the composition of crews and lead to increased representation among departments heads and even head of productions.”

The NBCU LAUNCH Below-the-Line Traineeship cultivates the next generation of head of departments crucial to any production including costumes, props, grips, set lighting and the myriad of other below-the-line roles. Created in partnership with various IATSE Locals in the United States and Canada, the program gives participants paid, on-the-job production experience.

Participants in the U.S. are sourced through Hollywood Cinema Production Resources (Hollywood CPR), Georgia Film Academy and New Orleans Video Access Center (NOVAC).

In the last 18 months, the Below-the-Line Traineeship has successfully placed 24 trainees across 10 Universal Studio Group (USG) productions, including “Angelyne,” “Baking It,” “Based on a True Story,” the first two seasons of “Bel-Air,” “Candy,” “A Friend of the Family,” “Hysteria,” “Killing It,” “TED” and “Quantum Leap.” Sixteen trainees who worked on Los Angeles-based productions were able to fulfill their on-the-job production hours as part of their certification through Hollywood CPR, which affords them the opportunity to be placed on their applicable local IATSE roster. Six of them are already in their local union and can be considered for paid positions on union productions.

In April, the Below-the-Line Traineeship expanded to the program’s first international production. Through the company’s existing partnership with Cinespace Studios, qualified trainees who have completed their IATSE training as part of the CineCares Workforce Training Program now have a pipeline onto USG productions filming in Toronto. The third season of “Chucky” will be the inaugural participating series.

The NBCU LAUNCH Production Assistant Initiative aims to boost representation amongst PA’s across NBCUniversal’s television productions in the United States. Since its launch in fall 2022, the initiative has placed 15 production assistants from underrepresented backgrounds across seven NBCU unscripted series, including “America’s Got Talent,” “Baking It,” “Botched,” “The Real Housewives of New York City,” “That’s My Jam,” “The Wall” and “Weakest Link.” They were placed in both production and post-production roles. The initiative will expand to include scripted programming later this year.

NBCU LAUNCH works with five recognized industry partners – the Amazing Stories Foundation, Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) Careers Program, Ghetto Film School, Streetlights and the Television Academy Foundation – to identify candidates who have completed their vocational education and training in their desired craft and are qualified to be hired as PA’s. They are then referred to production to be considered in the talent pool for hiring.

To learn more about the NBCU LAUNCH Below the Line Traineeship and the Production Assistant Initiative, 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.