ATX Television Festival to Honor Michael J. Fox, Spotlight ‘Small Axe’ & More

Michael J. Fox in Family Ties
Curt Gunther/TV Guide

The 2021 ATX Television Festival has announced its first wave of programming which is taking place virtually from June 11 to June 20, 2021 due to the pandemic.

Michael J. Fox will be honored with the festival’s annual “Award in Television eXcellence,” for his expansive body of work in shows such as Family TiesSpin CityThe Good WifeRescue Me, and more.

Fans of the short-lived MTV comedy Faking It will be treated to a reunion, marking five years since the series finale. The special program will celebrate the show’s impactful LGBTQIA+ representation with the help of its panel made up of Carter Covington, Rita Volk, Katie Stevens, Michael Willett, Yvette Monreal, and Sophia Ali.

Partnering with Showtime, the event will also feature a conversation spotlighting ZIWE, an upcoming late-night variety show starring the Brooklyn-based writer and comedian.


Small Axe John Boyega

(Credit: Amazon / Courtesy Everett Collection)

There will also be an in-depth look at Amazon’s Small Axe anthology series based on the real-life experiences of London’s West Indian community between the ’60s and ’80s. Small Axe‘s creator, co-writer, co-editor, director, and executive producer Steve McQueen will be joined by Channing Godfrey Peoples for a special one-on-one conversation about the five films that form the series.

Fox’s free streaming service Tubi will present programming throughout the festival, showcasing their expansive library. ATX will also feature a screening and Q&A for Fox’s forthcoming animated series HouseBroken which focuses on neighborhood pets and stray animals working through their issues in and outside of group therapy. Clea DuVall, Sharon Horgan, Nat Faxon, Sam Richardson, Gabrielle Allan, and Jennifer Crittenden are expected to participate in the panel conversation.

The short-form comedy series Speech & Debate will premiere its third installment at the festival which will be followed by a panel with writer Kamen Edwards, director Cassandra Jean Amell, and stars Stephen Amell, Aisha Tyler, and John Barrowman. As previously announced, ATX will also include an Oz Retrospective, originally planned for 2020. The program will feature a look back at the HBO drama’s run and dive into the narrative structure of its episodes with Tom Fontana, Terry Kinney, Lee Tergesen, Dean Winters, Harold Perrineau, and Kirk Acevedo.

ATX is screening the previously unaired pilot episode for L.A. Confidential, based on James Ellroy’s neo-noir novel. The episode originally produced for CBS during the 2018 TV season follows three homicide detectives, a female reporter, and a Hollywood actress as their paths converge in 1950s Los Angeles. A Q&A with Jordan Harper, Anna Fricke, and Michael Dinner will follow the screening.

faking it mtv

(Credit: MTV / Courtesy: Everett Collection)

Among the festival’s first round of topical panels are “Beyond the Scares: Emotional Catharsis & Healing in Horror,” “Growing Up Is Hard: A New Generation of YA Protagonists,” “Mad as Hell: TV’s Dangerous Women,” “The Queer Gaze,” “Pandemic Proof: Adult Animation,” “Showrunner State of the Union,” and “Buying & Selling with 20/20 Hindsight.”

For a chance to tune in virtually, visit for Badges and Day Passes tied to Season 10. And prior to the festival, ATX is partnering with Play-Per-View for a special event, “Housecall: A Royal Pains Reunion” on Sunday, June 6. The event will benefit Feeding America and be viewable On-Demand until June 13. The reunion will feature a table read of the finale episode “Uninterrupted,” with Michael Rauch, Mark Feuerstein, Paulo Costanzo, Reshma Shetty, Brooke D’Orsay, Ben Shenkman, Campbell Scott, Jill Flint, Meredith Hagner, Sarah Mezzanotte, Zachary Hernandez, Anthony Pierini, John Hans Tester, Laura Lanza, Ivan Quintanilla, and special guest Henry Winkler. Donation-based tickets begin at $5.