CBS has found not one but two replacements to head this January’s annual CBS Diversity sketch comedy showcase in Grace Parra and Stephen Guarino.
Parra and Guarino replace longtime director of the showcase, Rick Najera, whom CBS fired last month after investigating multiple sexual harassment claims against him.
Parra and Guarino will co-direct the annual showcase of up-and-coming talent at the El Portal this January in Los Angeles, designed to bring new faces and voices to the attention of CBS executives, showrunners and casting agents/directors (as well as those from other networks). Alumni of past comedy showcases by CBS Diversity over the past dozen years have included Kate McKinnon, Justin Hires, Geoffrey Arend and Eugene Cordero.
Parra, last seen performing on Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, wrote and performed in the 2013 showcase. Guarino, who appears on Showtime’s I’m Dying Up Here, participated in the 2011 showcase.
CBS also announced that Nahreen Tarzi and Chris Eckert will serve as head writers for the showcase. Both Tarzi and Eckert performed in this year’s showcase. Tarzi hails from The Second City, while Eckert performs with the Groundlings main company.