Top Row (L-R): Michele Azenzer Bear, Lily Mariye Bottom Row (L-R): Tara Miele, Anne Renton
Top Row (L-R): Michele Azenzer Bear, Lily Mariye
Bottom Row (L-R): Tara Miele, Anne Renton

LOS ANGELES – Dec. 8, 2016 – CBS today announced the participants in its 2016-2017 Directors Initiative. The Initiative provides a platform of opportunity for talented television directors to be introduced to the CBS family.

The participants selected this year are:

  • Michele Azenzer Bear:  Michele served as a 1st Assistant Director on “Mike & Molly” and went on to direct an episode in the show’s final season.
  • Lily Mariye: Lily recently completed her second episode of “Nashville,” and directed, wrote and produced the independent feature “Model Minority,” which had a successful film festival run.
  • Tara Miele: Tara has directed multiple movies of the week for Lifetime, including “The Lost Boy,” “Thinspiration” and “Gone Missing.”  She got her start as a screenwriter and independent feature director.
  • Anne Renton: Anne directed an episode of “The Fosters” and as well as “Bones.”

“The participants in the CBS Director’s Initiative receive professional guidance, access to accomplished creative executives and shadowing opportunities on CBS Network and Studio shows. The goal of our program is to minimize the perceived ‘risk’ of hiring rising directors through constant exposure and collaboration on the sets of established television series. The ongoing support from our showrunners has been vital in helping our director’s book episodes,” said Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i, Executive Vice President, Entertainment Diversity, Inclusion and Communications, CBS Entertainment.

This year the DGA recognized CBS as #1 in their annual 2015-2016 Episodic Television Diversity Report, with 41% of the 357 episodes of television produced being directed by female or minority directors.

The CBS Directors Initiative also hosts an annual mixer that invites emerging diverse directors to meet with CBS creative executives in a one-on-one format. This year’s event featured 15 directors, of whom six went on to book an episode, some of them multiples.

Past participants of the CBS Directors Initiative include: Laura Belsey (“Arrow,” “Criminal Minds: Beyond Boarders,” NCIS: NEW ORLEANS), Steph Green (“The Americans,” “Scandal,” “American Gothic”), Anna Mastro (“Jane the Virgin,” “Awkward”), Eric Dean Seaton (“Dr. Ken,” LIFE IN PIECES), David Rodriguez (“Stalker,” NCIS: LOS ANGELES, “Queen of the South,” “Chicago PD”) and Zetna Fuentes (“Jane the Virgin,” MADAM SECRETARY, “How To Get Away With Murder,” “Scandal”).