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ATX Television Festival 2015 | ©Anthony Quintano/Flickr
ATX Television Festival 2015 | ©Anthony Quintano/Flickr
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The Essential Guide To ATX Television Festival 2016

Picture of Barbi Barbee
Updated: 11 January 2017
ATX Television Festival is returning to Austin for its fifth season on June 9th—June 12th, 2016, with a four-day program of fan events, actor and writer panels, screenings, and previews. There is a lot to plan for, so check out this guide to help you get started.

Fans of television and those working in the industry come together at this festival to celebrate the medium, discuss television’s past and future, and recognize the leaders of the moment. Attendees can expect exciting cast reunions, pilot previews, and fun fan parties. The festival has a full lineup with over 200 television actors, more than 60 panels, and dozens of screenings.

Series Panels

The creators, writers, and casts of major fan-favorite TV shows will be at the festival for special screenings, readings and panels. Fans can expect to see cast reunions of off-air shows, details of upcoming seasons of hit shows, and pilot previews of TV series in the works. The cast of The O.C. and Ugly Betty will both have reunion events. USA’s Queen of the South and Freeform’s Guilt will screen pilot episodes for lucky early viewers. The casts and creators of Person of Interest, Casual, Superstore, The Path, Younger, and over 20 other shows will be at ATX Television Festival to share behind-the-scenes secrets and discuss fans’ favorite TV moments.

ATX Television Festival 2015 | © Dominick D/Flickr
Zane Holtz and Eiza Gonzalez at ATX Television Festival 2015 | © Dominick D/Flickr

Industry Panels

ATX Television Festival caters equally to TV fans and entertainment industry professionals. For those involved in television, hoping to break into the industry, or just interested in behind-the-scenes processes, the festival has you covered. Prominent writers, producers, and show creators will participate in over 35 panels covering topics from writing to casting to creating social commentary on TV shows. Attendees can join the minds behind Amazon Studio for their insight into the unique opportunities and challenges of creating a television series specifically for the web. At another panel, legendary television producer Norman Lear sits down for a chat about his career producing a classic like All in the Family, his take on TV today, and how to blaze a trail in the medium. Don’t miss this chance to learn from some of the best in the industry.

Sneak-Peak Screenings

Several television networks use the festival to screen pilots of new television shows and advance episodes from upcoming seasons of existing series. Royal Pains will screen a new musical episode from their final season. FOX will present the pilot episodes of their new series Lethal Weapon, The Exorcist, and Pitch. In addition to Guilt, Freeform will also hold an advance screening of their new series, Dead of Summer. These are the shows everyone may be talking about in a few months, so take this chance to discover them first.

Kelly Bishop and Stacey Oristano at ATX Television Festival 2015 | © Dominick D/Flickr
Kelly Bishop and Stacey Oristano at ATX Television Festival 2015 | © Dominick D/Flickr

Events and Parties

ATX Television Festival is hosting several events where fellow TV enthusiasts can meet, industry professions can network, and fans can interact with their favorite celebrities. Fans of Hulu’s The Path can watch the entire season in two nights at The Path Binge-fest. Geeks Who Drink is holding a special TV trivia night for festival goers. Head to Panther Field for the Friday Night Lights Tailgate & Pep Rally Blowout with food, special guests, music, and a screening of the show. Fargo is celebrating a new vinyl release with tacos, bloody marys, and live acoustic music. These events are a great way to unwind after a long day of panels and screenings and meet up with fellow fans.

Pitch Competition

Watch budding television writers and producers pitch original TV series ideas for a panel of industry leaders and a live audience. This pitch competition will feature ten finalists who have successfully advanced through several rounds of the pitching competition over the past few months. At this final round, the ten competitors will each have three minutes to pitch their scripted series. Judges will then choose one winner who will receive a one-on-one mentorship meeting with a judge to further develop their story, a chance to pitch their series to a network partner, and other prizes. Judges for the competition include Executive Producer Betsy Beers of Scandal, Executive Producer David Hudgins of Parenthood, Executive Producer Kyle Killen of Awake, and other television professionals.