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ATX TV Festival Goes Virtual In Wake of Coronavirus Pandemic

As COVID-19 continues to delay events, premieres and festivals, the ATX Television Festival isn’t going to let it deter them from bringing the annual fest to TV fans all over the country. Co-founders of the fest Caitlin McFarland and Emily Gipson announced today that instead of people flocking to Texas for the fest, they will be bringing the virtual event to everyone’s couch from June 5-7.

McFarland and Gipson released the following statement in regards to Season 9 of the ATX Television Festival:

These last few weeks have been incredibly challenging and continue to be full of uncertainties. Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

Perhaps now more than ever, we believe that TV is a powerful medium for change and empathy. We are committed to our mission of fully serving and fostering our community at all times. For this reason, and to ensure the ongoing safety of all, this year we will not be having a physical festival in Austin, but instead we will be celebrating Television where we all enjoy it, the couch! We are excited to announce that ATX Television Festival Season 9 will be a virtual weekend (June 5-7, 2020) where we can still come together and celebrate our love of TV and its ever evolving forms, especially during times like these. We’re calling it “ATX TV…from the Couch!”

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This will be a television experience unlike anything we’ve done before, and we are emboldened by the possibilities we are discussing with our panelists and partners. We are confident we can continue to have great conversations, showcase new and old favorite series, and interact with our incredible community…with a lot of fun surprises along the way. The one thing we know is that talking about TV from the place where we watch it…our living rooms…simply makes sense.

While we are sad not to be coming together physically this summer, we are excited to experience #TVTogether virtually for Season 9, and return live and in person for Season 10 (June 10-13, 2021). We’ll have more information for y’all in the coming weeks about our virtual TV Camp for Grown Ups as it will be making its way to your small screens soon.

Stay tuned and stay safe!

Caitlin and Emily

The virtual festival is appropriate considering many TV fans have been catching up and celebrating TV in from their couch during the quarantine. There is no word yet on how this virtual shift will affect the previously announced lineup.

In February, it was announced that this edition of the ATX Television Festival would include a Scrubs and Cougar Town reunion as well as a 10-year reunion and script read for Parenthood and a Justified writers room reunion. The TV fest was also set to feature a panel for The CW’s freshman drama Nancy Drew as well as TBS’s Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. 

Other shows that were slated for the fest include Comedy Central’s The Other Two and Drunk History. They also set an Oz retrospective with Tom Fontana, Dean Winters, and Lee Tergesen as well as a screening of the unaired L.A. Confidential pilot.

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