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ATX Television Festival Sets ‘Alias’ Writers Reunion, Adds ‘Sweet/Vicious’ and ‘Being Mary Jane’ Creators as Panelists

Variety logo Variety 2/3/2017 Oriana Schwindt
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The sixth annual ATX Television Festival has added a second batch of panels and events to the 2017 fest.

Alias” die-hards can get their fill of stories from the writers of the best spy show of the 2000s, as the organizers are bringing together “Alias” scribes Ken Olin, Lawrence Trilling, Sarah Caplan, Monica Breen, Jeff Pinkner, Andre Nemec, and Josh Appelbaum for a writers’ room reunion. Additional panelists will be announced at a later date.

ATX’s annual tradition of hosting a community screening, open to badgeholders and non-badgeholders alike, will this year feature “Parks and Recreation,” and take place the evening of Friday, June 9, at Hotel San Jose. The event will include live music, food and drink from Jo’s Coffee and other local vendors, and additional activities inspired by Pawnee’s annual “Harvest Festival.”

Creator and executive producer Mara Brock Akil (“Being Mary Jane,” “The Game”) will join this year’s line-up as first-time panelists, along with “Sweet/Vicious” creator Jennifer Kaytin Robinson and showrunner Amanda Lasher, for a variety of conversations, along with returning ATX Advisory Board members David Hudgins (“Shut Eye,” “Parenthood”), Liz Tigelaar (“Casual”), Graham Yost (“Sneaky Pete,” “Justified”), Michael Rauch (“Royal Pains”), and Kathleen McCaffrey, vice president of programming at HBO.

ATX Advisory Board member Glen Mazzara will present a panel titled “The Anti Hero: History of an American Myth,” an in-depth look at pop culture’s revered and reviled male anti-hero, from its origin in colonial storytelling, to its well-documented presence in TV’s “golden age,” and its current impact on society.

“The League” star Paul Scheer will host a screening and panel conversation about the independent pilot process, discussing the intricacies and decisions behind the departure from the traditional “pitch, pilot, pick up” model.

Co-creator and executive producer Marta Kauffman will return to the festival with fellow “Okay Goodnight!” producers Robbie Rowe Tollin and Hannah K.S. Canter, for a discussion with the creative team behind the original series “Grace & Frankie,” among other panels.

Hulu will return as this year’s presenting partner of the Badgeholder Lounge, which will celebrate the streaming service’s library programming, including “Alias” and “Parks and Recreation,” as well as additional series to be announced on a later date.

The new panels join previously announced reunions for “Northern Exposure” and “Designing Women,” and panels for “The Black Donnellys” and “The Middleman” on the festival’s “Cancelled Too Soon” track. The sixth annual festival will take place Jun. 8-11 in Austin, Texas. Mazzara’s fellow ATX Advisory Board member Beau Willimon will return as a panelist as well, and “Everybody Loves Raymond” creator Phil Rosenthal will bring back his “I’ll Have What Phil’s Having…for Breakfast!” panel. Additional panels will be announced at a later date.

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