Family is a key theme for the first wave of programming announcements for the 2016 ATX Television Festival.
The lineup for the fifth annual festival includes a 20-year reunion panel celebrating “Everybody Loves Raymond” that will have series creator Phil Rosenthal, stars Patricia Heaton, Doris Roberts and Monica Horan and writers Mike Royce, Lew Schneider, Steve Skrovan, Jeremy Stevens and Aaron Shure discuss the evolution of this iconic family sitcom.
But this theme is most evident in the festival’s tribute to Norman Lear, bestowing the “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons” producer with its Achievement in Television eXcellence Award.
“We’re humbled and honored to have the legendary Norman Lear accept our Achievement in Television eXcellence Award, which was created with the intention of acknowledging those who have dedicated their lives to television – participating in its history as well as its future – and there is no one better suited to receive that honor than Mr. Lear,” said Caitlin McFarland and Emily Gipson, co-executive directors and founders, ATX Television Festival. “We’re also thrilled to begin announcing our programming for Season Five, as we strive to continue balancing our reunions, niche series, current shows and new series premieres, as well as some of the biggest hits from network, cable and streaming platforms.”
The 2016 ATX Television Festival will be held June 9-12 in, of course, Austin. The festival’s other highlights include:
* An in-depth conversation with “The Shield” creator Shawn Ryan and writers Glen Mazzara, Scott Rosenbaum and Sarah Fain. Additional participants will be announced at a later date.
* Ryan will also join creator Ted Griffin and cast member Michael Raymond-James for a spotlight screening of the much-beloved, but short-lived FX series “Terriers.”
* A script reading of the never-picked-up TV pilot “Big” with creators Kevin Biegel and Mike Royce, who will be joined by surprise cast.
* A panel with Shondaland’s Betsy Beers that will be a conversation about her wide-spanning career and role as a non-writing executive producer.
* A panel with Krista Vernoff (“Wonderfalls,” “Grey’s Anatomy”), who will screen her never-picked-up pilots “Grace” and “Introducing Lennie Rose,” with special guest Abigail Spencer, who starred in both.
* Panels with “Bones” creator Hart Hanson.