×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

CBS Names New Diversity Comedy Showcase Co-Directors After Rick Najera Resignation

CBS has named the new co-directors and head writers of the network’s Diversity Showcase following the exit of former director Rick Najera, it was announced Monday.

Grace Parra and Stephen Guarino will co-direct with Nahreen Tarzi and Chris Eckert serving as the head writers. All four are previous participants of the CBS showcase. The next showcase will be held in Los Angeles at the El Portal Theater in January 2018.

Parra is a host, comedian, actress and writer. She was a performer and writer in the 2013 CBS showcase whose television and film credits include “How I Met Your Mother,”“Zeke & Luther,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” “Farah Goes Bang,” “The Bonnie Hunt Show” and “Greenberg.” Guarino is a writer, actor and director who performed and wrote for the 2011 showcase His credits include “Happy Endings,” “Dr. Ken,” “The Comeback,” “The Big Gay Sketch Show,” and “2 Broke Girls,” on the Network. He has directed at The Groundlings, Funny or Die, and Upright Citizens Brigade.

Tarzi is a writer and comedian who currently serves as head writer at Frederator Networks. She is a graduate of the Second City Conservatory and has performed stand-up for over eight years. Eckert is a main company member of the Groundlings Theatre where he has created and produced the ongoing LGBTQ show “The Gale.” His additional credits include “The Comeback,” “Raising Hope,” “Super Fun Night,” “MADtv” and “The Gay and Wondrous Life of Caleb Gallo.”

Parra is repped by UTA and Mosaic. Guarino is repped by CAA and 3 Arts Entertainment. Eckert is repped by Don Buchwald and Associates and Liberman Zerman Management.

The CBS Diversity Comedy Showcase is attended by senior level CBS Entertainment executives, showrunners and casting directors from series on CBS, as well as other networks and talent agents/managers from across the entertainment industry. Alumni of the showcase include Emmy Award winner Kate McKinnon, Justin Hires, Geoffrey Arend, and Eugene Codero.

Najera had helmed the showcase since it began, but he resigned in late October following allegations that he made inappropriate comments to performers. Najera has denied the allegations, saying in a statement shortly after his resignation that he and his family “are heartbroken and confounded by deliberate and cruel defamations. Anyone who has been slammed by libelous deceptions knows exactly how we feel.”

(Pictured: Stephen Guarino, left; Grace Parra, right)

More TV

  • Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor

    Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor Arrested for Plotting Sex With Minor

    Disney Channel has severed ties with “Andi Mack” actor Stoney Westmoreland following his arrest for allegedly trying to arrange a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old. “Stoney Westmoreland, an actor working on the series ‘Andi Mack,’ was arrested in Salt Lake City today,” a Disney Channel spokesperson said in a statement Friday. “Given the nature of [...]

  • Russian Doll

    TV News Roundup: Natasha Lyonne's 'Russian Doll' Sets Netflix Premiere Date

    On Friday’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for “Russian Doll” and Benedict Cumberbatch’s “Brexit” film has a premiere date on HBO FIRST LOOKS Showtime has released a new teaser for the upcoming comedy series, “Black Monday,” which will premiere Sunday, Jan. 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The series stars and is executive produced by Don [...]

  • Vanity Fair Review

    TV Review: 'Vanity Fair'

    There’s something comforting about the predictability of a period piece novel adaptation in the Masterpiece Theater tradition. Knowing the story, or even just the rhythms of the genre, there are rarely many surprises. The women will toss off witticisms and cry careful, pretty tears; the men will steel their jaws and declare their love, ideally [...]

  • FILE - In this April 5,

    CBS Claims Commitment to Ending Harassment. Its Actions Say Otherwise (Column)

    At this point, a new breaking sexual harassment case at CBS isn’t exactly a surprise. Over and over again, powerful CBS company men from producers to executives to the ex-CEO himself have made headlines for propagating decades of harassment and abuse, with dozens of witnesses affirming that the pattern was business as usual. But as [...]

  • Willow ShieldsVariety Portrait Studio, Beautycon Festival

    'Hunger Games' Alum Willow Shields Joins Netflix Drama Series 'Spinning Out'

    Willow Shields has been cast in a series regular role in “Spinning Out,” the upcoming ice skating drama series at Netflix. She joins a cast that also includes Kaya Scodelario, who was announced as the series lead on Thursday, taking over the role originally held by Emma Roberts. Shields will star as Serena, Kat Baker’s (Scodelario) [...]

  • Adam Levine Cardi B

    Maroon 5 and How the Super Bowl Halftime Show Became Music's Least Wanted Gig

    Who would have thought that the Super Bowl Halftime show, an American institution watched by more than 100 million people, would become the least wanted gig in music? But thanks to the ongoing controversy concerning the NFL’s stance on a player’s right to protest, brought to the forefront by football’s top conscientious objector Colin Kaepernick, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content