ATX Television Festival: Day Two
Day two of the ATX Television Festival had an amazing line-up, including screenings of “Orphan Black”, “Parenthood”, “Fargo” and Guillermo del Toro’s “The Strain”. But this Chickster was most excited about the Everwood reunion, the Netflix #SpoilerAlert panel discussion and the screenings for “The Night Shift” and “Witches of East End”.
The “Everwood” Reunion consisted of clips from the show and a panel with cast members and others involved in the show’s creation. Everwood is, of course, about a world-famous neurosurgeon that moves his family to the Rockies for more quality time after the death of his wife.
During a press conference after the reunion, the cast reflected on stories involving co-stars Chris Pratt (Parks & Rec) and Emily VanCamp (Revenge). Pratts’ stories involved him landing on costars’ doorsteps with freshly killed meat of big game for dinner. He was also the perpetrator of several on-set pranks, but those were termed “indescribable” by the majority of the cast, which we suspect means “too risqué to tell”. Debra Mooney, who portrayed Edna Harper, also shared that she often had the Everwood girls over to play dominoes when the show was still on the air.
As a cast they admitted surprise that they didn’t get a fifth season and regret that they weren’t able to carry the story further.
The #SpoilerAlert panel discussion, with a set of panelists from some of the most suspenseful shows currently on the air, discussed the difficulty of not giving away spoilers during interviews.
“It might just be that I’m a shitty, shitty person to interview,” says Nick Wechsler (Roswell, Revenge). “But I have to find ways to say things without giving anything away and it feels like I’m not really saying anything.” He also added that he’s noticed more pressure for spoilers for “Revenge” than “Roswell”. And because of the serial-drama-nature of Revenge, “There’s just nothing I can say.”
Beau Willimon (House of Cards) seemed to use misdirection as his preferred tactic for avoiding spoilers. After accidentally letting a spoiler slip about his own show, he proceeded to tell the audience a humorous story about how he lost his virginity.
Kerry Ehrin (Bates Motel), also discussed the difficulties of keeping a show fresh when it’s already spoiled, since everyone already knows how “Psycho” ends, though she did hint this revamp might go a different direction.
Another spoiler? Everyone in the audience of this panel was treated to Amy’s Ice Cream.
After watching the thrilling screening of “The Night Shift”, a hospital drama set in San Antonio, I got a chance to do a round-table interview with creator Gabe Sachs and cast members Brendan Fehr, Jill Flint and Freddy Rodriguez.
First it was revealed that the stories within this hospital drama set in San Antonio, are actually true: “Are they the most extreme cases? Yes. Do they happen every day, all at once? No,” says Brendan Fehr (Roswell), who plays Drew, a former army medic turned doctor. “But that’s what [viewers] want.”
The need for the show to take place in San Antonio was also explained: “I think it’s the proximity to the military bases and I think that’s really important for our show,” says creator Gabe Sachs. “We sorta wanted to get a different feel, a rural kind of feel, and that helps us [with] storytelling and different kinds of characters.”
Fehr also explained the challenge of representing San Antonians, some fairly new: “We’re all in Texas, but because it’s a military base you get a bunch of transplants,” Fehr says. “We wanna represent Texas obviously within the show and San Antonio specifically, but we also bring something a little different to it because not all of us have been there our whole lives.”
After “Witches of East End” aired a sneak peak of their second-season opener, which airs on Lifetime July 6, Chickster participated in a round-table discussion with Maggie Friedman (writer/developer), Rachel Boston (cast member who portrays Ingrid Beauchamp) and Richard Hatem (writer/producer) about this television family of witches.
An interesting fact that Friedman revealed was that in the books, characters Freya and Ingrid did remember their past lives. However, to help the viewers get immersed in the story, she thought it would be helpful if the two younger generation witches didn’t know about their past or their powers at first.
In fact, there was something so elusive from Ingrid’s past that Boston didn’t even know about it at first. The actress says she didn’t know that Ingrid would be “in a cult,” “naked” and “in an orgy” until a week before the shoot.
And despite the discussion on spoilers earlier that day, Friedman and Hatem revealed that there would be a ‘70s episode next season, and there would be dancing. “It’s kinda our ‘American Hustle’ version of the show,” Friedman says.
They were, however, vague about what came through the door from Asgard or if the door would lead to other supernatural beings such as werewolves or vampires.
“There will be things,” Friedman says. “It’s not just witches.”
Overall, this was an amazing day two of a television festival, and I can’t wait to see next year’s Saturday line-up!
ATXFestival “The Night Shift” picture by Gary Miller.
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