Warner Bros. Discovery Has Axed Its Pipeline Programs For Writers And Directors

One of the most prolific industry programs in Hollywood is officially shutting down. The Hollywood Reporter confirmed on Tuesday that the Warner Bros. Television Writers and Directors Workshops will no longer be operating after more than 40 years of service. An official statement has not been released regarding the decision, but these closures are shaping up to be another controversial axing that has plagued Warner Bros. Discovery for the past few months.

These closures come as even more layoffs rock the company, particularly affecting the Warner Bros. TV Group division. One other division that has been shut down is the Stage 13 short-form content studio. Unfortunately, THR claims that these will not be the only layoffs hitting the company this week, with more expected as part of a $3 billion cost-saving initiative.

Over their four decades of operation, both workshops have been responsible for launching the careers of several notable writers and directors. Writing alumni include Akela Cooper ("Star Trek: Strange New Worlds"), Kari Drake ("Severance"), and Katie Avery ("Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin"). As far as directors go, the program counts Regina King ("One Night in Miami") and Jude Weng ("Only Murders in the Building") among its graduates. 

We recommend taking some time to go through the alumni pages of the writers and directors programs just to see the kind of talent they help cultivate.

One terrifying question

With the closing of these vital programs, we can't help but ask what comes next. Considering how essential these workshops were to finding new talent, will a similar resource ever take its place in the industry? What kind of talent are Warner Bros. Discovery and other production entities losing by not offering these opportunities?

That's exactly what is being cut in these layoffs — important opportunities. Breaking into the broader writing industry is hard enough as it is, but the film and television spheres are a whole other beast. As the aforementioned Cooper wrote in a tweet responding to the news "it helped kick start so many careers." 

Without the Warner Bros. Writers' Workshop, we wouldn't have eventually gotten "Malignant" or the upcoming "M3GAN," and that's the work of just one alum. There are dozens of projects in development right now from these participants, and the skills and connections they made during the workshops helped make them possible. By closing these programs, Warner Bros. Discovery stands to lose dozens, maybe even hundreds of talented writers and directors.

But hey, at least we're getting another DC Extended Universe reboot!