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CBS launches Drama Diversity Casting Initiative seeking ‘breakout talent’

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By Lisa Lacy, n/a

October 14, 2016 | 3 min read

TV network CBS has launched the CBS Drama Diversity Casting Initiative, a nationwide program it said intends to find “new breakout talent for CBS’s current series and upcoming pilots.”

CBS has launched the Drama Diversity Casting Initiative

CBS has launched the Drama Diversity Casting Initiative

CBS said the initiative, which is part of its CBS Diversity Institute, a program designed to “identify and develop diversity and inclusion within the writing, directing and talent communities,” is designed to “reach untapped talent across the country, including areas with limited access to industry professionals and bring them to the attention of casting executives and CBS showrunners.”

But, as part of the CBS Diversity Institute, the Drama Diversity initiative is also focused on “increasing opportunities for people who belong to groups that have traditionally been underrepresented, including African American, Asian American, Latino, Native American, Pacific Islander, LGBTQ actors and performers with disabilities,” the network said.

“This outreach is a real opportunity for CBS to discover actors located across the country, outside of Los Angeles and New York, who haven’t had the chance to meet or be seen by network casting executives,” added Glenn Geller, president of CBS Entertainment, in a statement. “We’ve had great success with our CBS Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase, which launched the careers of numerous actors, and we are confident this will do the same.”

In addition to the Comedy and Drama Showcases, CBS said its Diversity Institute includes the CBS Writers Mentoring Program, the CBS Directing Initiative and numerous actor workshops nationwide, as well as writer workshops in Los Angeles.

The Drama Diversity Casting Initiative includes an open casting call online from October 13 to 28, in which actors 18 and older can submit a self-taped monologue via www.CBSDiversity.com, but CBS noted actors should “possess strong dramatic talent and a technical skill set.”

Thereafter, CBS casting executives will review submissions and make selections for regional callbacks in Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Miami and San Francisco in November and selected actors will rehearse with casting executives and be put on tape.

Following the regional casting sessions, 14 to 16 actors will be selected to travel to Los Angeles for a screen test the week of December 12, which CBS said “will be utilized for casting opportunities for current series, pilot season and beyond.”

Media CBS Diversity & Inclusion

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