Bob Odenkirk, Justina Machado, Keri Russell, Niecy Nash and Pete Holmes – these are just a few of the many TV stars serving as panelists at this year’s ATX TV Fest. There are a wide variety of panels to attend at this year’s fest, ranging from broad social topics represented on television to panels about specific TV shows. Whether you’re looking for something a little more old-school (think “Felicity” and “Nash Bridges) or something very new (“American Vandal” or “Castle Rock”), this festival’s got a little something entertaining for everyone.
Breaking Down the Binary
Friday, June 8
This panel features comedians Rhea Butcher and Cameron Esposito – the married couple who created and starred in the comedic series “Take My Wife” – as well as Nico Tortorella from the “Younger” cast. These three will discuss the new era of TV, in which there are more characters who identify as bisexual+ or non-binary. Breaking Down the Binary will be sure to have some insights into how this progression makes not just for better and more representative television, but also could help move society forward.
Saturday, June 9
Even as a child of the ’90s, I loved watching “Nash Bridges,” which premiered in 1996. It’s something rarely seen on TV: a buddy-cop procedural that’s…comedic? With Don Johnson and Cheech Marin as the leads, this was a winning formula for its 122-episode run. At the ATX TV Fest, the writers of this hit show appear as panelists who talk about how the “Nash Bridges” writers’ room shaped their future work.
Thursday, June 7
The day the festival kicks off, be sure to catch Ray Liotta’s panel appearance, moderated by IndieWire’s Ben Travers. Liotta is known as a movie star, but has appeared as both a guest and in leading roles on TV too. He’s expected to talk about his experiences, both professional and personal, and it’s certain to be a rare look at the man behind his characters.
Bottle Episodes: Uncorked
Saturday, June 9
Bottle episodes were created as an economic necessity: shooting on only one set with a limited cast is a lot cheaper than the alternative, after all. But a number of shows, especially sitcoms, have turned the bottle episode into an art – think the “Cooperative Calligraphy” episode of “Community,” or the “Leslie and Ron” episode of “Parks and Recreation.” The panelists include producer Anthony Hemingway (“Underground”), producer Michael Jacobs (“Boy Meets World”), writer/producer John Wirth (“Hell on Wheels”) and producer Kevin Falls (“The West Wing”). They will talk about TV’s best and most memorable bottle episodes and, in some cases, how those episodes came to be.
Sunday, June 10
In this panel moderated by The Hollywood Reporter’s Tim Goodman, the cast and creators of recently-ended FX show “The Americans” gather to talk about it. In addition to discussions on how the series impacted them, they’ll also deliberate on what each of them believes happens to the characters beyond the show’s finale. Among the panelists are stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys, as well as showrunners Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields.
What’s more fun than sitting at home watching TV all weekend? Catching discussions with the actual creators and stars of your favorite shows! So head on out to the ATX TV Fest, from Thursday, June 7, to Sunday, June 10.