The ATX Television Festival has announced its first wave of programming for this year’s virtual festival, “ATX TV… From The Couch!” that will include panels with creatives and cast from shows from various networks, including timely conversations on physical and mental health, election year issues, Latinx representation, and creating during a global pandemic.
- ATX Television Festival has announced the first wave of programming for its first-ever completely virtual festival, which will take place June 5-7, 2020.
- ATX’s focus is the celebration of the television medium – looking back at its history, where it is now, and where it is headed. Our festival consists of events in which attendees can interact with actors, writers, directors, creators, showrunners, music supervisors, casting directors and studio executives involved in all stages of bringing their favorite shows to the small screen. We have all the functionality of a traditional film festival – spotlighting classic shows, never-aired pilots, cancelled too soon series, cult favorites, current hits and premieres of new series. In addition, we feature episodic screenings and Q&As with series cast and creators, topical panel discussions, parties, live music, meet-ups, social media events and “super-secret happy hours.” ATX’s goal is to serve both fans and industry professionals equally, by giving them the opportunity to discuss and celebrate all aspects of TV as one community.
- “ATX TV… from the Couch!” will include three days of conversations with cast and creatives from various series, industry-forward panels with showrunners and executives, sneak previews of upcoming series, and virtual events such as TV trivia and a music showcase. The event will be free to access via a linear stream on ATX’s official YouTube channel, with the option for viewers to donate to select organizations providing COVID-19 relief regionally and nationally.
- The festival’s virtual line-up will include panel conversations with cast and creatives from Freeform’s The Bold Type, which returns for season five in June; NBC’s hit drama New Amsterdam, which was recently renewed for three additional seasons at the network; and The CW’s mystery-drama Nancy Drew.
- Freeform’s The Bold Type will debut an early look at the show’s summer premiere (which airs June 11), followed by a conversation with showrunner/executive producer Wendy Straker-Hauser, and cast members Katie Stevens, Aisha Dee, and Meghann Fahy. In the upcoming episodes, Jane, Kat and Sutton all deal with the aftershocks of personal and professional developments.
- NBC and Universal Television’s hit medical drama New Amsterdam will host a conversation about using fiction to navigate important conversations about health and healthcare access in underserved communities, and how recent storylines around heart health and rural & urban hospital care are particularly relevant in the time of COVID-19. The conversation will include director/executive producer Peter Horton, writer/executive producer David Foster, writer/consulting producer Erika Green Swafford, cast members Ryan Eggold and Jocko Sims, and a representative from the American Heart Association.
- The CW’s Nancy Drew, which has already been renewed for a second season, will host a panel celebrating the 90th anniversary of the iconic sleuth’s literary debut, diving into the character’s pop culture significance from early novels, to the feature film adaptations to the modern TV depiction. Nancy Drew creator/executive producer Noga Landau, showrunner/executive producer Melinda Hsu Taylor, and stars Kennedy McCann and Scott Wolf are confirmed to participate. Additional panelists will be announced soon.
- Starz will debut an exclusive first look at their new summer drama, P-Valley, from creator/showrunner Katori Hall, set in and around a strip club in the Mississippi Delta. The extended preview will be followed by a conversation with creatives & cast about the process of adapting Hall’s play Pussy Valley for the small screen, and what to expect from the show’s first season.
- The festival also recently announced that Cougar Town stars Busy Philipps and Christa Miller, as well as Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence and cast members Zach Braff, Donald Faison, Sarah Chalke, John C. McGinley, and Judy Reyes, will reunite for special conversations during the virtual festival. The casts for both series were previously confirmed for ATX Season 9 in Austin, and have rescheduled their in-person reunions for the 2021 festival.
- “ATX TV…from the Couch!” will also feature a variety of topical panels including “Channel Changers: A Conversation with TV’s Presidents,” an industry-forward conversation with network, studio, and streamer presidents about the state of the industry, the personal and professional philosophies they bring to their individual brands, and why inclusivity at the highest levels remains imperative to producing bigger and better storytelling. Participants include Sarah Aubrey (Head of Original Content, HBO Max), Pearlena Igbokwe (President, Universal Television), Lisa Katz & Tracey Pakosta (Co-Presidents, Scripted Programming, NBC Entertainment), and Tina Perry (President, OWN). Additional panelists will be announced at a later date.
- ATX will highlight Latinx content creators with “Celebrating Authentic Stories,” a conversation about celebrating and continuing the push for positive Latinx representation, and how allies/decision-makers within the industry can better support and amplify Latinx voices. Showrunner/executive producer/director/actor Gloria Calderón Kellett (One Day at a Time), creator/showrunner/executive producer/director Tanya Saracho (Vida), creator/executive producer/director Steven Canals (Pose), and creator/executive producer Ilana Peña (Diary of a Future President) are confirmed to participate.
- The festival will also give viewers a look “Inside the Writers Zoom Room” in a Zoom-based discussion with showrunners & writers about the process/experience of taking their writers rooms digital and staying connected creatively. The panel will include creator/showrunner/executive producer/director Dan Goor (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), co-showrunner/executive producer Beth Schwartz (Sweet Tooth), showrunner/executive producer Melinda Hsu Taylor (Nancy Drew), and creator/showrunner/executive producer Sera Gamble (You). Additional panelists will be announced soon.
- Longtime ATX partner the Television Academy will present “The Pivot,” a conversation with writers/producers/executives about the surprising and innovative ways that series continue to create in unprecedented circumstances. HBO Max EVP of Original Drama, Joey Chavez, is confirmed to participate, with additional panelists to be announced soon.
- ATX will also continue its socially conscious conversations with the ACLU, whose panel on TV’s approach to covering voter suppression and critical election-year issues will feature Dale Ho, director of ACLU's Voting Rights Project, and creatives. In addition, USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center’s Hollywood, Health & Society will present a timely panel on mental health and addiction narratives, exploring the complex ways that these issues impact our communities, families, and ourselves. Panelists will be announced at a later date.
- In addition, the virtual festival will include programming from the following partners, to be announced in the coming weeks:
- Registration for the virtual festival is now open.