As Warner Bros. Discovery continues its belt tightening (with more layoffs expected imminently at Warner Bros. TV Group), the company has shuttered Stage 13, a shingle focused on diverse short-form programming, and will also pull the plug on the Warner Bros. Television Workshop, which had aimed to train new creative talent in both writing and directing.
Stage 13 was founded in 2017 under the former Warner Bros. Digital Networks division as a studio for original digital short-form programming. Past shows include Netflix’s “Special” and “It’s Bruno,” and The CW’s “Two Sentence Horror Stories.”
Warner Bros. Television has already been supervising Stage 13 development and programming since 2020; existing Stage 13 projects in development will be absorbed within the studio. The shut down comes as the popularity of producing short-form programming itself appears to be on the wane; this year, the TV Academy merged several short-form categories as the pool of programming shrunk.
Meanwhile, for over 40 years, Warner Bros.’ writers’ workshop has selected eight writers from thousands of applicants to participate in the program, where they are introduced to top WBTV writers and executives. The directors’ workshop shares the same mission, but on the helming side of things.
The Warner Bros. Writers’ Workshop’s current 2022–23 edition will mark the end of the Warner Bros. Television Workshop program, including both the writers’ workshop and the directors’ workshop. The training ground had long been a coveted slot for up-and-coming creative talent looking to break into the industry.
All three programs have served as stepping stones for underrepresented voices in Hollywood.
The change comes amid layoffs at Warner Bros. Discovery following the merger between the two companies in April.