The program, formerly known as Writers on the Verge, was created in 2005 to prepare diverse, emerging writers for careers in television. The program is hosted by NBCU Launch, the umbrella brand that houses the diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts across NBCU’s television portfolio. Selected from more than 2,100 applicants, Yazdi is among the eight total writers selected to join the incoming class.
As part of the program, the new class will develop an original pilot under the guidance of NBCUniversal programming executives over the next eight months. The writers will also meet in weekly workshops that will include writing intensives, mock showrunner meetings, and personal branding sessions. At the conclusion of the program, the writers will be considered for available writing assignments on shows airing on NBCU Television and streaming networks/platforms as well as USG-produced series.
The primary objective of the program is to prepare writers to be staffed on a scripted series. With this program, NBC aims to develop the next generation of showrunners and content creators. Program alumni include 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. Additionally, all of the writers from the most recent 2020-21 class have been staffed on series following the completion of the program, with several working on NBC or Universal Studio Group-produced shows.
Ida Yazdi is an Iranian-American writer raised between Isfahan, Iran, and Birmingham, Alabama. Her work often explores themes of cultural identity, alienation, and otherness. She builds narratives that examine both the humor and pain that come 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.