Native American TV Writers Lab Announces 2021 Fellows (TV News Roundup)

Antonio Ferme
·4-min read

The Native American Media Alliance announced Alex Nystrom, Glenís Hunter (Shinnecock), Diego Moreno (Pascua Yaqui), Andrina Smith (Shinnecock), Brian Young, Shelby Ramirez, JohnTom Knight, Liz Stephens and Jeremy Charles are this year’s fellows.

“We live in an incredibly exciting time – we are finally seeing television shows about Native American people, by Native people, with Native artists on both sides of the camera,” said William Jehu Garroutte, director of education of the Native American Media Alliance. “As an alumni of the first Native American TV Writers Lab, I am excited to see this initiative continue to bolster our community, to empower our writers and storytellers. Every year, this program builds on an incredible community of talented artists. I look forward to the new and groundbreaking projects the 2021 cohort has to offer.”

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Founded in 2016, the lab is a five-week intensive scriptwriters program that prepares Native Americans for writing careers at major television networks. Fellows will work alongside seasoned writing professionals and participate in daily workshops, seminars and one-on-one mentoring sessions. Each writer’s goal will be to develop and complete a pilot during the five-week program. The lab is sponsored by Sony Pictures Entertainment, the Cherokee Nation Film Office, Kung Fu Monkey Productions, Snowpants Productions and Decolonizing Wealth Project.

Also in today’s TV news roundup, Dominic Goodman will guest star on the next episode of “Young Rock,” which will air on April 6, Variety has learned exclusively. Goodman, who previously appeared on FX’s “Better Things,” will star as Hopkins in the seventh episode of the series titled “Johnson & Hopkins.” When Dwayne Johnson (Uli Latukefu) gets an on-campus job working for the University of Miami Phone Services Department, he’s partnered with his new work partner, Hopkins, a veteran of the job “for almost a year.” They start off at odds, Hopkins having no interest in babysitting a “rookie,” but they soon find common ground in their love of action movies. Meanwhile, Lia (Ana Tuisila) returns to the United States after being deported to Samoa, where she was homeless. The series comes from the real Dwayne Johnson’s company Seven Bucks, Nahnatchka Khan and Jeff Chiang. They executive produce alongside Dany Garcia, Hiram Garcia, Brian Gewirtz and Jennifer Carreras of Khan’s Fierce Baby Productions.

ABC announced that the final episode of “The Goldbergs” with George Segal, who played Albert “Pops” Solomon, will air on April 7 at 8 p.m. The episode, titled “Couple Off,” will be followed by a 45-second tribute to Segal. Segal died last month from complications during surgery. He was 87. Written by Annie Mebane and directed by Lea Thompson, “Couple Off” will follow Barry and Joanne crashing Erica Geoff’s peaceful weekend camping trip, they end up in a competition to see who is the better couple, causing some unexpected shifts in relationships. After learning that Brea thinks Adam has an easy, privileged life, Adam seeks to prove her wrong by getting a job but quickly learns she might be right. Sadie Stanley, Kenny Ridwan, Beth Triffon, Zach Callison and Zane Emory will guest star. The series was created by Adam F. Goldberg and Marc Firek, who serve as executive producers alongside Doug Robinson, Alex Barnow, Chris Bishop, Lew Schneider, David Guarascio and Andrew Secunda. The series is from Sony Pictures Television and ABC Studios. Watch a preview below.

Nickelodeon’s “Nick News” tapped Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the nation’s leading expert on infectious diseases, for a series of four “Nick News Breaks” beginning on April 3. Dr. Fauci will answer real questions from real kids about the coronavirus pandemic on these specials that will air throughout the weekend on Nick, TeenNick and Nicktoons. Additionally, Nickelodeon will post the clips on their social media platforms. “Nick News Breaks” is an ongoing series of news updates that cover the biggest news items of the day that are most important to kids. Premiering earlier this year, the show has covered important topics such as the Capitol riot, NASA landing on Mars, the impeachment of President Donald Trump, peaceful transition of power and COVID-19 vaccines.

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