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CBS Announces Drama Diversity Casting Initiative, Admits ‘We Need to Do Better’

The program joins CBS' Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase.

CBS has announced the launch of its Drama Diversity Casting Initiative, which will seek out talent from underrepresented groups — especially those who live beyond the industry hubs of New York and Los Angeles — to potentially join the network’s slate of upcoming pilots and ongoing shows. “We need to do better,” said CBS Entertainment President Glenn Geller during this summer’s TCA, and this new program looks to be part of that effort.

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To be considered for the program, actors of at least 18 years of age have until October 28 to submit monologues through the Initiative’s website. Those who make it past the initial review process will be invited to callback auditions in five different cities over the next month or so: San Francisco, Austin, Chicago, Atlanta and Miami. Approximately 15 of those performers will then travel to Los Angeles, where screen tests will be held; the entire process sounds a bit like an untelevised “American Idol.”

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“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,”  Geller said 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.”

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