Switching channels

Big Texas TV festival streams free virtual event in your living room

Big Texas TV festival streams free virtual event in your living room

Scrubs zach braff donald faison
Join the cast of Scrubs in your living room. Scrubs/Facebook

It's fitting that in the middle of a shutdown, a festival devoted to TV would be reconfigured to enjoy from your living room. The Austin-based ATX Television Festival is doing just that while rolling out the initial wave of programming for its first-ever virtual event.

ATX TV... from the Couch! runs June 5-7 and offers similar programming as the in-person fest — think panels, special guest stars, and buzzy cast reunions, etc. — but with a virtual twist. And the best part? The event is free to access via a linear stream on ATX Television Festivals’s official YouTube channel. It also offer viewers the chance to donate to organizations providing COVID-19 relief in Austin and across the country. 

Appearing on the (virtual) lineup are panels with cast and crew from The Bold Type, New Amsterdam, and Nancy Drew. The Bold Type will also screen its season five premiere episode before it debuts on Freeform on June 11. The episode will be followed by a conversation with executive producer Wendy Straker-Hauser and cast members Katie Stevens, Aisha Dee, and Meghann Fahy.

Cast and crew of NBC's hit New Amsterdam will host a panel discussion with a timely twist. Director/executive producer Peter Horton, writer/executive producer David Foster, writer/consulting producer Erika Green Swafford, and cast members Ryan Eggold and Jocko Sims will discuss "using fiction to navigate important conversations about health and healthcare access in underserved communities," notes a release.

And the CW's Nancy Drew, just renewed for its second season, will host a special 90th anniversary celebration of the beloved amateur detective. Creator/executive producer Noga Landau and executive producer Melinda Hsu Taylor join stars Kennedy McCann and Scott Wolf for the conversation.

It wouldn't be ATX Television Festival without a few hot-ticket reunions. Members of both Cougar Town and Scrubs are scheduled to (virtually) attend. Listen in as Busy Philipps and Christa Miller discuss Cougar Town, and watch the stars of Scrubs, including Zach Braff, Donald Faison, Sarah Chalke, John C. McGinley, and Judy Reyes, reunite for a special conversation.

For Texans who are bummed to be missing the in-person reunions, ATX Television Fest confirms that both casts will return to Austin for the 2021 live event. 

A full list of panels, ranging from insider industry peeks at screenwriting to topical political discussions, can be found here, with more rolling out in the coming weeks. Channels such as HBO, Disney+, NBC's upcoming Peacock, and CBS will also be offering free programming to registrants, the details of which will be released as the event gets closer.

To register for the free three-day event, go here.