This week in TV news: The ATX Television Festival announces show panels


The ATX Television Festival has announced the currently running shows that will be attending the event in Austin, Texas from June 4th to the 7th. The main highlight of the new entries is the presence of the FX series Justified. The appearance of the creators and castmembers at the ATX Festival will mark their first public interaction since the series finale airs in a few weeks, and will also give the show’s crew one more chance to go around the victory lap. Attendees have not been announced yet, but it has been confirmed that creator Graham Yost will be present.

Yost will also be on hand to discuss the show Boomtown, which he also created, and which will be part of a panel titled “Cancelled Too Soon”. Yost will be joined by numerous individuals involved in the show, including producer Jon Avnet and castmembers Neal McDonough, Mykelti Williamson, and Jason Gedrick.

Among the other shows that will be holding panels at the event are Disney’s Girl Meets World, USA’s Playing House, Fox’s Wayward Pines, Comedy Central’s Drunk History, Starz’s Power, and ABC Family’s The Fosters. The festival will also have a panel titled “Boy Meets Girl Meets World”, with panelists that will include Ben Savage and Michael Jacobs, both of whom were involved in both Boy Meets World and Girl Meets World as star and creator, respectively. The panel will discuss the behind-the-scenes differences between the Disney show and its 90s predecessor. Wayward Pines and Power will both screen new episodes.

Among other highlights of the Festival, there will be a panel titled “Conversations with Marta Kauffman”, which will go through a career retrospective of the Friends co-creator. Kauffman is also involved in the upcoming Netflix series Grace and Frankie. These shows and panels join the previously announced reunion panels for Queer as Folk, Journeyman, Dawson’s Creek, and Gilmore Girls.


Jason Katims’ next foray into television won’t be on television at all, as Hulu has officially picked up Katims’ next show The Way with a straight-to-series order. The show’s first season will consist of ten episodes, and was described by Hulu thusly:

This 10-episode series will examine a family at the center of a controversial faith-based movement struggling with relationships, marriage and power.

Katims has been the driving force behind a number of series over the years, from Roswell to Parenthood. The Way will begin production in the summer, joining Hulu’s burgeoning slate of original programming, which currently includes the Stephen King adaptation 11/22/63, the Amy Poehler-produced Difficult People, and Jason Reitman’s Casual.


AMC has announced the season two premiere date of their 1980s-set series Halt and Catch Fire. The Lee Pace-starring drama will make its Second season premiere on May 31st at 10 pm ET, and Pace will be joined once again by Mackenzie Davis, Scoot McNairy, and Kerry Bishé. AMC released this synopsis of what to expect in the second season.

The series…will pick up in early 1985 and center on the rise of Mutiny, Cameron (Davis) and Donna’s (Bishé) start-up company that is built upon the most disruptive idea of the modern era—the Internet.

The channel has also released a sneek peek of the season premiere, which can be seen below.


William Petersen will be making his return to television in WGN American period drama Manhattan. Petersen, who played one of the earliest onscreen incarnations of Will Graham in 1986’s Manhunter, received Golden Globe and Screen Actor Guild Award nominations for his turn as Gil Grissom on the CBS procedural CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. He will be joining the show’s second season as a regular, marking his first television appearance since 2013. WGN released the following details about his role.

Petersen will play Colonel Emmett Darrow, the enigmatic new ranking military officer at Los Alamos, as a series regular for season two.  A deeply religious and patriotic man, Darrow feels called by God to usher in the atomic future, and to spread American values across the globe.

Petersen will join a returning cast that includes John Benjamin Hickey, Olivia Williams, and Christopher Denham. Production on the second season begins next month.


Paul Giamatti is the latest performer to make the jump from the big to the small screen, as Showtime has given a series order to Billions. The show is created by The Girlfriend Experience and Runner Runner scribes David Levien and Brian Koppelman, in conjunction with the New York Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin. The series will also star Damien Lewis, making his return to Showtime after his departure from the channel’s acclaimed drama Homeland. Malin Akerman, David Costabile, Condola Rashad, Toby Leonard Moore, and Maggie Siff are among the show’s supporting cast.


PBS has announced that Downton Abbey‘s upcoming sixth season will be its last. Julian Fellowes, creator of the show, had this to say.

The ‘Downton’ journey has been amazing for everyone aboard. People ask if we knew what was going to happen when we started to make the first series and the answer is that, of course we had no idea. Exactly why the series had such an impact and reached so many people around the world, all nationalities, all ages, all types, I cannot begin to explain. But I do know how grateful we are to have been allowed this unique experience. I suspect the show will always be a principal marker in most of our careers as we set out from here, and if so, I consider that a blessing and a compliment.

However, the end of the show may not mean the end of the viewers’ chance to spend time in the Downton Abbey universe, as executive producer Gareth Neame mentioned that he and Fellowes were open to the idea of a spinoff or a movie continuation after the season’s end, and were considering possibilities, though nothing was definite.

Even if neither of these come to fruition, Fellowes and PBS will continue to work together, as the two have already been in talks about Fellowes’ next show, though details have yet to be released.


HBO and Vice have struck a deal that will see the former host a half-hour daily newscast by the latter. The deal is the centrepiece of an agreement between the two companies that will last for the next four years. The newscast will run in conjunction with Vice’s weekly documentaries, which already air on the channel, and 32 new specials that will air over the next three years. The newscast will run for 48 weeks each year, and is expected to launch later this year. It is unclear if the HBO-Vice newscasts will compete with the network’s own newscasts, although HBO programming president Michael Lombardo said he doesn’t foresee a clash, saying instead that their newscast is likely to cater to a different crowd.


News of Netflix’s proposed live-action series based on the popular Nintendo game The Legend of Zelda appears to have been premature. Speaking to Time Magazine, current company CEO and President Satoru Iwata shot down the Wall Street Journal’s report, while not offering any substitute information in his place. This was what Iwata had to say.

As of now, I have nothing new to share with you in regard to the use of our IPs for any TV shows or films, but I can at least confirm that the article in question is not based on correct information

It remains to be seen whether the game, or another other popular Nintendo series, will be getting a live action adaptation or not.


Ahead of its third season premiere on April 18th, BBC America has released a new trailer for Orphan Black. The trailer introduces viewers to the Wolf Pack, the Project Castor clones that make up the male section of the cloning project to complement Project Leda, which resulted in the individuals of the Clone Club. The trailer can be seen below.


In casting news this week:

  • AMC’s Preacher continues its casting roll, signing Joseph Gilgun to play the role of Cassidy, an Irish vampire who, in the comics, is the best friend of both Jesse and Tulip.
  • Jason Reitman’s Hulu series Casual also continues to fill out its cast, as Frances Conroy and Nyasha Hatendi have joined the show as regulars. The duo join the previously cast Michaela Watkins, Tommy Dewey, Lynne Barr, and Julie Berman.
  • Jamie Lee Kirchner has joined Dead People as the female lead opposite Andrew J. West. The pilot, from Bad Robot Productions and Warner Bros., is being made for The CW.
  • The CBS comedy Angel From Hell has found its co-lead in Maggie Lawson. Lawson will be starring in the pilot opposite Jane Lynch.
  • Smash‘s Krysta Rodriguez has joined the second season of Chasing Life. Rodriguez, who herself was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, will play a cancer patient on the show.
  • Punisher: War Zone‘s Ray Stevenson will be playing Blackbeard in the third season of the Starz pirate drama Black Sails.
  • Chris Daughtry has joined Studio City in a recurring role. Daughtry will also write original music for the show.
  • Showtime’s Happyish has signed both Michael Zegen and James Deen. Deen will be playing himself.
  • Oded Fehr has joined the ABC Family procedural Stitchers.
  • Mad Men performer Aaron Staton has signed on to a heavily recurring role on the third season of Ray Donovan.
  • Madison Lintz has been promoted from a recurring role to series regular for the second season of Amazon’s Bosch.
  • The real-life Winklevoss twins will make a cameo in the second season premiere of HBO’s Silicon Valley.
  • Ione Skye has signed on to a guest role on the Craig Ferguson-starring ABC comedy The King of 7B.
  • ABC’s Uncle Buck has added James Lesure.
  • Justin Kirk has joined Sarah Silverman’s HBO comedy.
  • Masi Oka is the second castmember to return to Heroes Reborn, as the performer will step back into the role of Hiro Nakamura, joining Jack Coleman as common factors between Heroes and Heroes Reborn.
  • Chloe Sevigny has joined the new season of American Horror Story: Hotel as a series regular, while Connie Britton reunites with Ryan Murphy once again, signing on to the role of Faye Resnick in American Crime Story: The People v. OJ Simpson. Murphy made both announcements on twitter.


And in the rest of the television landscape:

  • ABC Family has given a series order to Kevin From Work.
  • Saturday Night Live and Mulaney alum Nasim Pedrad has signed a deal with Fox to create, write, and star in her own show.
  • With the third season still underway, The History Channel has already picked up a fourth season of Vikings.
  • Showtime has revealed that both Ray Donovan and Masters of Sex will make their third season premiere on July 12th. Ray Donovan will premiere at 9 pm ET, with Masters of Sex airing at 10 pm ET.
  • NBC has announced the summer premiere dates for a number of its shows. Returning series Welcome to Sweden will premiere on July 19th at 8 pm ET, while new shows Mr. Robinson, starring Craig Robinson, and The Carmichael Show, starring Jerrod Carmichael, will make their series premiere on August 5th, at 9 pm ET and 9:30 pm ET respectively.
  • AMC has confirmed that The Walking Dead‘s prequel/companion series will be called Fear The Walking Dead.
  • Showtime will provide viewers with a sneak preview of its new show Happyish, airing the pilot on April 5th, ahead of its official series premiere on April 26th.
  • IFC is developing a new show with comedian Jake Fogelnest. The show, with the working title Start Making Sense, will focus on a best-selling author with diminishing relevance grappling with the growing twitter fame of his teenage son.
  • Michael Keaton and Taraji P. Henson have been announced as the next two hosts of Saturday Night Live, taking on hosting duties for the April 4th episode and April 11th episode, respectively. This will mark Keaton’s third go-round with the sketch comedy show, while Henson will be making her hosting debut.
  • NBC is bringing back the 90s sitcom Coach, with star Craig T. Nelson and creator Barry Kemp both on board. The new series will pick up 18 years after the end of the original, and will see Nelson’s character become an assistant coach at an Ivy League school in Pennsylvania, with his son as the head coach. The show received a straight-to-series order for 13 episodes.
  • Lifetime has acquired the Sundance Drama Stockholm, Pennsylvania. The movie, which stars Saoirse Ronan as a woman struggling to adjust to her home after being kidnapped 17 years ago, will make its premiere on the channel on May 2nd.

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