NBCU announced its new class for the Writers on The Verge program for TV diversity, and Shawn Parikh, an LGBTQ Indian-Texan-American made the grade.
NBCUniversal has selected comedy writers Kim Tran, Shawn Parikh, and Hakim ‘Kimo’ Hill along with drama writers Cristina Boada, Julian Johnson, Hussain Pirani, Sujana Gowni, and Eric Anthony Glover for its 2020-21 Writers on the Verge class.
Chosen from a highly-talented applicant pool of more than 2,400 submissions, the new class joins the long-tenured initiative for emerging writers of diverse backgrounds. This year’s program will take place virtually.
Created in 2005, Writers on the Verge provides talented writers who are “on the verge” of breaking into episodic television with a final polish to their writing and pitch presentation skills in order to prepare them for a staff writing position following the completion of the program. Last year’s class saw four writers staffed on primetime series soon after finishing the program: Shirin Najafi on NBC’s Connecting…, Shani Am. Moore on Netflix’s Sweet Magnolias, Mitali Jahagirdar on Disney +’s Just Beyond, and Maya Houston on The CW’s Batwoman.
The new class will develop pilot scripts and fine-tune their pitching skills under the guidance of Jen Grisanti, a former CBS/Paramount and Spelling TV executive. Writers will be paired with NBCUniversal programming executives who will serve as their mentors and provide feedback on their scripts and pitching prowess. They will have the opportunity to build relationships with network executives, showrunners and agents.
After nailing a kiss and a single line in Bye Bye Birdie in 9th grade, Shawn Parikh knew two things for sure: he loved showbiz and he did not love women. Being a gay Indian-Texan-American pursuing a creative career, he is an uberbrown sheep—although, he did his best to make his parents proud with a degree in PoliSci and a Master’s in Psych. A student of improv, standup and sketch at UCB & Groundlings, he has appeared on shows like “Outsourced”, “Cougar Town”, “What/If” and “Mom”. In addition to writing and starring in an independent pilot “Bad Indians” with Devanshi Patel and a spoof of HBO’s “The Night Of” for Funny or Die, Shawn’s short film “Khol” (“open”), starring Sarayu Blue, played a global festival circuit.
Find out more about Shawn here.