Starz, CAPE Team for Showrunners Incubator for Asian Pacific Islander TV Writers (Exclusive)

Starz, CAPE Team for Showrunners Incubator for Asian Pacific Islander TV Writers (Exclusive)

Many of the current generation of Asian and Pacific Islander writers working in television today came up through the CAPE New Writers Fellowship, one of the most successful entry-level programs in the industry.

Now, the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment is expanding its focus to the other end of the pipeline. The CAPE Showrunners Incubator, powered by Starz’s #TakeTheLead diversity initiative for its inaugural year, will draw upon the nonprofit’s experience in talent development to give upper-level API TV scribes the mentorship and other resources they need to break through that final ceiling.

“Showrunners and creative executives are the two main drivers of what ultimately ends up on screen, and this incubator is the perfect complement to the CAPE Leaders Fellowship for creative executives if we want to change the stories that are told in mainstream media,” CAPE executive director Michelle K. Sugihara said in a statement, invoking the organization’s eight-year-old program for mid-level CEs.

“CAPE is thrilled to partner with Starz on this critical endeavor because they truly walk the walk and constantly lead the way in tackling the problems in our industry with real solutions.”

Starz will cover the fees for this year’s applications, which are due April 26. Although writers with upper-level experience will be prioritized, the program also will consider applicants with shows actively in development.

“The Showrunners Incubator, in partnership with CAPE, plays a vital role in nurturing a new wave of Asian and Pacific Islander storytellers and helps cultivate fresh perspectives in the creative landscape,” Starz president of original programming Kathryn Busby said in a statement. “This program will open doors for up-and-coming writers, furthering Starz’s commitment to fostering a more inclusive industry.”

The incubator was unveiled March 11 at CAPE’s second annual Radiance gala feting API women and non-binary people in entertainment. The event honored Nancy Drew showrunner Melinda Hsu with its Radiance Mentor Award for her longstanding leadership within the API writers community, including helping to spearhead the new Showrunners Incubator. Other API showrunners who will participate as mentors, speakers and other contributors include Albert Kim (Avatar: The Last Airbender), Chris Collins (The Continental), Georgia Lee (Partner Track), Keto Shimizu (Legends of Tomorrow), Monica Macer (MacGyver, Gentefied) and Sanjay Shah (Central Park).

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