Hispanic Heritage Month

NBCU’S Writers Program: Drama writer Hernán Barangan selected for the class

The community asked for more representation in the writing rooms, and NBC is listening!

The community asked for more representation in the writing rooms, and NBC is listening! NBCU LAUNCH, the umbrella brand that houses the comprehensive diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts across NBCU’s television portfolio, has selected comedy writers Emman Sadorra and Ida Yazdi along with drama writers Hernán Barangan, Aurora Ferlin, Amelia Swedeen, Varta Torossian, Tommar Wilson and William Yu for its 2022-23 NBC TV Writers Program class.

Created in 2005, the NBC TV Writers Program was built to support emerging diverse episodic television writers. While the program’s primary objective is to prepare writers to be staffed on a scripted series, the ultimate goal is to develop the next generation of showrunners and content creators.


Most recent success stories include alumni Debby Wolfe, showrunner and co-creator of NBC’s upcoming comedy “Lopez vs. Lopez” for Universal Television; Claudia Forestieri, creator and executive producer of HBO Max’s “Gordita Chronicles;” and Justin Hillian, showrunner and executive producer of Showtime’s “The Chi.”

All of the writers from the most recent 2020-21 class have been staffed on series following the completion of the program with several on NBC or Universal Studio Group (USG)-produced shows, including “The Blacklist,” “Bel-Air,” “FBI: International” and “Space Force.”

For the next eight months, the new class will develop an original pilot under the guidance of NBCUniversal programming executives. They will also participate in weekly workshops, including writing intensives, mock showrunner meetings, and personal branding sessions. After the program, they’ll be considered for available writing assignments on shows airing on NBCU Television and Streaming networks and streaming platforms, as well as USG-produced series.

NBC Writers Program©NBC/Chris Haston
Emman Sadorra, Aurora Ferlin, Varta Torossian, William Yu, Hernán Barangan, Amelia Swedeen, Tommar Wilson, Ida Yazdi

Chosen from an applicant pool of 2,100 submissions, find below the 2022-23 NBC TV Writers Program class. 


  • Emman Sadorra is a second-generation Filipino-American queer writer drawn to telling stories about the complexities of identity and finding humor in unexpected places. Sadorra has worked in TV development and been a showrunner’s assistant, working on NBC comedies “I Feel Bad” and “Kenan” as well as ABC’s “Black-ish.” More recently, Sadorra has written for the revival of Nickelodeon’s iconic show “Blue’s Clues & You.” He is currently seeking representation.


  • Ida Yazdi is an Iranian-American writer raised between Isfahan, Iran, and Birmingham, Ala. Her work often explores themes of cultural identity, alienation, and otherness. She builds narratives that examine both the humor and pain that comes with starting over in life, specifically through the lens of Muslim and Middle Eastern women. Her pilot, “Andi, Today,” was also featured on the 2021-22 Muslim List, created in partnership with the Black List, Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), and Pillars Fund to highlight the best-unproduced scripts from Muslim writers. Yazdi was accepted into the Writers Guild Foundation’s Writers’ Access Training Program, Women in Film Writers Mentorship Program, and the STARZ #TakeTheLead Writers‘ Intensive. The Columbia graduate previously worked as a script coordinator for several shows, including Apple TV+’s “City on Fire” and HBOMax’s “The Girls on the Bus.” She is currently seeking representation.


  • Hernán Barangan was diagnosed with leukemia as a teenager and, while undergoing radiation therapy, fell in love with movies as a way to escape. He graduated from high school and cancer the same year and, in the following decade, would discover that storytelling is about facing your fears. Since then, Barangan, who is of Salvadoran and Filipino descent, has built a career that spans screenwriting, VR, and documentaries. He directed and starred in “Cancer Rebellion,” a documentary executive produced by Roger Daltry of the Who, and interviews 100 young adult cancer patients across the United States. Echo Lake Entertainment reps him.


  • Aurora Ferlin is a writer of Belgian and Rwandan descent who grew up on the outskirts of Brussels. With a background in journalism, she’s passionate about putting a spotlight on marginalized voices. Her work often explores themes of social justice, involving issues of race, crime, class, and their intersections. Her feature screenplay, “Vilomah,” was a quarterfinalist in 2020 for the prestigious Academy Nicholl Fellowship, an international screenwriting competition created by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Most recently, she wrote the Lifetime movie “She Went Missing,” which premiered in April 2022, and pilot episodes of “Mahogany Sunset” and “A New Day,” the first scripted podcasts under Hallmark’s Mahogany banner. Her other work includes the feature documentary “Jim Brown’s Amer-I-Can Dream,” about NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown and his work with at-risk youth, earning a Best Documentary nominee at the American Black Film Festival. Outside of writing, Ferlin has worked closely with community activists and at-risk youth in Los Angeles to end the cycle of gun violence and youth incarceration. She is currently seeking representation.


  • Amelia Swedeen was born and raised in Madison, Wisc., where she was known as her high school’s resident documentarian and disability advocate. Swedeen studied Film Production at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, but TV writing quickly became her favorite medium for telling stories that elevate disabled, neurodivergent, and queer identities. Swedeen considers herself a TV fan just as much as a writer, and she once made a live appearance in cosplay on “Talking Dead” (her first and last time in front of the camera). Swedeen has been on the support staff of six shows, most recently the second season of “Power Book IV: Force,” for which she is co-writing the finale. Writ Large reps her.


  • Varta Torossian is a multicultural writer-director with roots in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. She traveled the world with a dance company until landing in New York. Torossian decided to pursue a career in screenwriting despite barely speaking English. In just a few years, she earned two master’s degrees in directing and screenwriting. The AFI graduate went on to write and direct several award-winning short films, while her feature scripts have been finalists at Final Draft’s Big Break, ScreenCraft, and Cinequest. Torossian has worked across many genres on TV shows, feature films, documentaries, and unscripted programming. Her stories always feature misfits, outsiders, and renegades who, just like her, straddle many identities. Torossian is currently seeking representation.


  • Tommar Wilson is a Kansas-born military brat who spent 20 years as an actor in multiple Broadway productions, including “Hamilton,” “Hair” and the vampire musical “Lestat.” He has also appeared on-screen in “Boardwalk Empire,” “Instinct,” And “The Good Fight,” among others. As a writer, Wilson creates family drama featuring grounded characters navigating life through heightened and sometimes fantastical realities. He is mainly focused on telling stories that center on gay Black protagonists, exploring critical issues such as mental health, addiction, and the elusive human connection, while leaving plenty of room for joy and humor. He earned a quarterfinalist honor in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ prestigious Nicholl Fellowship for his original feature screenplay, “Up, Up, and Away!,” and has been honored by other fellowships and contests for his pilots “Romance Is Dead,” “Chorus Boy” and other original works. Wilson graduated from the Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama and the UCLA Professional Program in TV Drama Writing. He is currently seeking representation.


  • William Yu is a Korean-American screenwriter based in Los Angeles via Philadelphia, Hong Kong, Boston, and New York. After creating #StarringJohnCho, the viral phenomenon that sparked a global conversation about Asian-American representation, he left his advertising career behind to write subversive stories that wink at you with a hopeful smile. His feature romantic comedy, “It Was You,” was selected to the annual Black List and is currently developing with “Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon M. Chu attached as an executive producer. Yu’s dramedy pilot, “Good Boy,” was selected for the 2020 Sundance Episodic Makers Lab and named to the 2020 CAPE List as a top screenplay by an AAPI writer. Bellevue and APA rep him.
Sign up to our newsletter to stay in touch with your cultura. Get the latest on your favorite celebrities, royals, and the best beauty, fashion, and lifestyle news delivered right to your inbox!