Warner Bros. Television gave their female team of showrunners and producers a moment in the spotlight together at the TCA Summer Press Tour, with creative members behind seven shows. A celebration of the progress happening behind the camera in Hollywood, the topics included personal stories they’ve put into their work and challenges faced in the COVID era.

(Warner Bros. TV, CBS, The CW, NBC)

(Warner Bros. TV, CBS, The CW, NBC)

Gina Yashere is not only a co-creator and executive producer on Bob Hearts Abishola, which kicked off its third season on September 20th on CBS, but she also appears in the series as Keri. “As a British-born Nigerian watching American TV throughout my childhood, I didn’t like the way African people seemed to be depicted all the time,” the comedian-turned-TV show creator explained. “It felt like it was an image that had been just carried on way back from, I don't know, Tarzan days, where Africans were seen a similar way.” Yashere knew that this was misrepresentation and saw an opportunity to challenge these old stereotypes. “Let's be honest, CBS is not the blackest channel, but we're introducing it to an audience of people who may never have even fraternized with people from my culture. And they've grown to love the characters and the people. And so, as far as I'm concerned, that's my job done.”

Also on CBS is United States of Al, which returns for season 2 on October 7th, co-created by Maria Ferrari, who also serves as executive producer. Telling the story of an Afghani-American, current events required the upcoming season to be delayed and overhauled. “We had shot one-and-a-half episodes during the week of the fall of Kabul and quickly realized that we had guessed wrong what was going to happen and that we were going to have to adjust our plans, Maria Ferrari revealed, adding that many o the writers had to tend to the needs of their own family members in Afghanistan. “We had to stick a pin in everything and focus first on our people that needed help and who needed to get their families out, which was just the wildest week of my life. I have never experienced anything like that. And at the same time, we were realizing that we needed to change everything we had done, and we needed to do it quickly. And so we chose to tell that story, we chose to tell the story of what we were experiencing and hoping that some of the fear and the urgency that we were feeling in the room would come through in this story, which also happened to map very tightly onto our characters because the writers and the characters are, by design, from similar walks of life. So that is the story that we chose to tell in our premiere.”

On The CW, a network co-owned by Warner Bros. and CBS’s parent company Viacom, is the hit drama All American. Showrunner and executive producer Nkechi Okoro Carroll is heading into season 4 on October 25th with a goal of expanding the show’s diversity. “I want to talk about the Muslim Black experience,” Nkechi shared, showcasing another layer of diversity. “If we're saying we're in this melting pot of the Black diaspora, I want to make sure we're really representing that… We're so excited to do that because that's why we're doing what we do.” In the mid season in early 2022, The CW will also launch the spin-off, All American: Homecoming, although the pandemic is limiting the crossover potential between the two shows. “God bless the showrunners on the DC shows in how [they] pull that together because that is miraculous,” she joked.

Speaking of DC, the 3rd season of Batwoman kicks off October 13th on The CW. For showrunner and executive producer Caroline Dries, who also developed the series, expanding the character’s story has been a fun challenge. “A lot of Season 2 was about Ryan Wilder fixing the former Batwoman's mess that she created in Gotham,” Caroline Dries explained. “This season is about the problems that Ryan Wilder has made and that she needs to now step up as Batwoman and take accountability for what she's done as the city's savior/vigilante. And, ultimately, now, she's cleaning up her own mess… I kind of see it as liberating. I was able to create a whole new person from nothing, and so this season is about exploring who she is. We get to meet her brother, get to meet her mom, we get to carve out more details specifically about her personal life and all those new personal dynamics.”

Audrey Morrissey may not have a traditional writer’s room on The Voice, which she serves as an executive producer on, but it comes with its own set of challenges, especially now. “We did add audience back for the first time,” Audrey Morrissey shared. “At first I was against it. I just want us to be safe… Everybody had to be fully vaccinated; everybody had to be tested as well, the entire crew… When I'm looking at the cuts, I am so happy that an audience is back because when you're a performer, you need to feed off an audience.” That was the big thing missing last season. Another reason to tune in: new celebrity judge Ariana Grande. The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC.

The theme of “Women supporting women” carried into the conversation as well, with all of the panelists sharing their fandom for each others’ shows. Check out new episodes of Bob Hearts Abishola and United States of Al on CBS, All American and Batwoman on The CW, and The Voice on NBC.