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ATX Television Festival announces marquee events, panels, programming

Aaron Sorkin, Denis Leary and the folks from “Ugly Betty” will be part of the ATX Television Festival which returns for a fifth year June 9 to 12.

Leary at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con International

Leary at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con International

We already know about the a “Friday Night Lights” High School reunion on Panther Field, but the fest announced a whole host of other programming Thursday.

Look for a “The West Wing Administration” Panel, featuring Sorkin and members of the cast, an “Ugly Betty:” 10 Year Reunion on the fest’s closing night, featuring America Ferrera and the cast, and a  panel on FX’s “Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll” featuring Leary. (Boy, I thought that guy tried to stay out of Texas, but maybe I am wrong.)

USA Network’s upcoming new series “Queen of the South” will kick things off on opening night with a premiere screening and panel featuring the cast and creators.  Based on the global bestseller “La Reina Del Sur” by Arturo Pérez-Reverte, the drama follows Teresa Mendoza (Alice Braga), a woman forced to go on the run and seek refuge in America after  the murder of her cartel-connected boyfriend.

“The West Wing Administration” panel will featuring creator/executive producer Aaron Sorkin and director/executive producer Thomas Schlamme, along with cast members Bradley Whitford, Dule Hill, Joshua Malina, Richard Schiff and Janel Moloney.  The panel marks the 10th anniversary of the “The West Wing” finale, the finale to a season which magically predicted President Obama’s ascendancy.

The “Ugly Betty”panel will feature ast members America Ferrera, Eric Mabius, Becki Newton, Michael Urie, Ashley Jensen, Ana Ortiz, Tony Plana, Mark Indelicato, Vanessa Williams and Rebecca Romijn.

ATX will also host a screening and panel of America Ferrera’s newly renewed NBC comedy “Superstore,” featuring Ferrera, who stars in the series along with serving as a producer, together with fellow cast members Ben Feldman, Lauren Ash, Colton Dunn, Nico Santos and Nichole Bloom, and creator/executive producer Justin Spitzer.

Leary is on a panel both for his FX comedy “Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll,” (along with cast members Elizabeth Gillies, Elaine Hendrix, John Ales and Bobby Kelly) and a “Rescue Me” reunion, with fellow creator Peter Tolan, along with cast members Callie Thorne, Andrea Roth, Michael Lombardi, James McCaffrey, Lenny Clarke and Larenz Tate.

Starz will host the season three première of its comedy “Survivor’s Remorse,” featuring creator Mike O’Malley and director Ali LeRoi, along with cast members RonReaco Lee, Jessie Usher and Teyonah Parris.

WGN’s new series “Outsiders” will host a panel with executive producers Peter Tolan and Peter Mattei, discussing season one and where the show is headed in season two, and will screen never-before-seen footage.  Participating cast members will be announced at a later date.

AT&T Audience Network will be part of ATX for the first time, with a panel for their original series “Kingdom,” produced by Endemol Shine Studios, featuring creator/executive producer Byron Balasco and cast members Jonathan Tucker, Joanna Going and Matt Lauria.  Additional panelists will be announced at a later date.

ATX will screen the upcoming TBS series “Search Party,” followed by a conversation with Alia Shawkat, who was previously announced as part of the “State of Grace” reunion, along with creators Sarah-Violet Bliss and Charles Rogers.

These panels join “The O.C.” Writers Room reunion with creator Josh Schwartz and the show’s writers, along with a script reading of the pilot episode, presented by CW Seed; a special “Everybody Loves Raymond” 20 year reunion with cast and producers; “The Shield” Writers Room reunion with creator Shawn Ryan and the show’s writers; a “State of Grace” reunion with cast Mae Whitman and Alia Shawkat, along with creators Brenda Lilly and Hollis Rich;  a script reading of the never-picked-up pilot “Big” with creators Kevin Biegel and Mike Royce, along with surprise cast and much more.

Norman Lear will also receive this year’s ATX Award for Achievement in Television Excellence.

Check out www.atxfestival.com for the full slate.


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