Austin is a magnet for short visits from famous folk. The latest event to draw them to the Capitol City was the three-day ATX Television Festival, which ended Sunday, Jun. 8. It’s a small festival, just getting its antennae raised in its third year. Inspired by Comic-Con, Upfronts and traditional film festivals, the producers bill it as a sort of “TV camp.”
Some of television’s most durable and working actors were in attendance: Carlton Cuse, producer of BATES MOTEL and LOST; Brenda Strong of DESPARATE HOUSEWIVES (ABC) and DALLAS (TNT); Breckin Meyer and Mark-Paul Gosselaar of FRANKLIN & BASH (TNT). Freddy Rodriguez, who currently stars as administrator Michael Ragosa on THE NIGHT SHIFT (NBC), was in attendance, as well.
Actor, producer and writer Henry Winkler, known to fans of a certain age as “The Fonz” from HAPPY DAYS (ABC, 1974 to 1984), and now known as the ex-convict father to the Lawson boys on ROYAL PAINS (USA), received the festival’s first Achievement in Television Excellence Award.
Festival co-founders Caitlin McFarland and Emily Gipson intend the festival to be a space where TV fans meet their favorite actors and producers. John Beasley appeared on the EVERWOOD (The WB, 2002, to 2006) panel. Beasley narrated the series and had a recurring role as a main character’s husband. He currently stars as a father on THE SOUL MAN (TV Land).