I was so lucky to have gotten involved with the ATX Television Festival before the first year and have looked forward to this weekend every year since! In case you do not already know, the festival brings together actors, writers, directors, producers, music supervisors, studio executives and fans to talk about the past, present and future of television here in Austin, Texas. From June 5-8, there will be screenings, panels, parties and live music with some of the industry’s leading professionals. There are SO MANY awesome things going on over the weekend, but this is what I am most looking forward to, in no particular order.
1. Hey Dude Reunion – I loved this show growing up and would watch the reruns on Nickelodeon whenever they were on. I remember wanting to be just like Brad and if there had been dude ranches in Philadelphia, I probably would have wanted to work at one. Just watch out for those man-eatin’ jackrabbits and those killer cacti!
2. Friday Night Lights Outdoor Screening – This is my favorite event every year. What could be better than watching Tim Riggins on a big screen out under the Texas sky?! This year there will also be great music from Sarah Watkins and Guiney & Grimes before the sun goes down.
3. Henry Winkler – ATX is presenting the first ever Achievement in Television Excellence award at this year’s festival and Mr. Winkler is the perfect recipient. His body of work encompasses the standards that drive ATX Television Festival: genuine, thoughtful, expansive, and most importantly, entertaining. His conversation with Royal Pains Executive Producer Michael Rauch is sure to be something you do not want to miss!
4. The Awesome Food and Drink Sponsors – Since I work all weekend from about 9 a.m. to whenever the party stops each night (or I fall asleep standing up), I pretty much live off of this food for four days. This year that includes KIND Snacks, Cornucopia popcorn, Blue Bell ice cream, Cuvée Coffee, Topo Chico, Tito’s Vodka, Bulleit Bourbon, Treaty Oak Rum and Waterloo Gin.
5. Enlisted – I am still not over the fact that this show has been cancelled. It was my favorite new show and last year’s screening was hilarious. I am so excited that the cast and creators are coming back! Make sure you tune in starting THIS SUNDAY, June 1 at 7/8c on Fox to see the last four episodes!! Here is last year’s awesome Q&A:
6. Red Band Society – I probably will not actually get a chance to watch this at the festival, but it is still awesome that we get to premiere an episode MONTHS before it airs. This new Fox show stars Octavia Spencer, Wilson Cruz, and Dave Annable and centers around a group of teenagers who meet as patients in the pediatric ward of Ocean Park Hospital in Los Angeles.
7. Orange Is The New Black – Two words: CRAZY EYES!
8. Seeing My TV Family – I love my friends, but none of them watch as much television as I do and it is always nice to be surrounded by people who share my interests and obsessions. Every year, I can always count on having several random conversations with many different people about the shows and actors with whom I am currently obsessed. I did not know any of the other festival staff before that first year, but after four days together, we really did become a family. Since about half of them live in Los Angeles, I am sort of ridiculously excited to see everyone next week!!