• Festivals

ATX TV Festival 2023: Screening Highlights

Celebrating its 12th year, (fondly referred to by organizers as the 12th season) of their beloved TV camp, the annual ATX TV Festival took place in Austin over the first weekend of June and brought eager fans and various industry figures together, all in the cause of mutual love for the small screen. The festival included engaging panels, networking events and opportunities to watch stand out shows. Here is a selection of some of the most memorable screenings the festival had to offer:


Justified: Primeval City (Premieres July 18 on FX)

Eight years after ending its six seasons run, Justified is back with a new incarnation, or rather continuation, of the neo-Western crime drama series, based on Elmore Leonard’s short stories centering around Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens. Timothy Olyphant returns to reprise the role.

The new limited series kicks off as Givens finds himself now in Detroit, where local police can’t seem to get their hands on a new threat known only as ‘The Oklahoma Wildman’. The world premiere event in Austin featured a lively panel which included newcomer Vivian Olyphant, the series star’s own daughter who also plays his daughter on the show, who seemed unimpressed with her father’s body of work, jokingly saying “I love my dad, but I’m not that interested in him” when asked if she’s ever watched his past work, later adding: “I became interested when I heard there was a role available!”


Primo (Now Streaming on Amazon Freevee)

An endearing and delightful new comedy series that got the spotlight in Austin was Primo, which recently premiered on Amazon Freevee, and follows high school junior Rafa (Ignacio Diaz-Silverio), nicknamed Primo, in his hectic yet joyous household frequently occupied by his five energetic uncles, who help out his single mom Drea (Christina Vidal), and his friends, including a potential love interest. The coming-of-age comedy is from executive producer Mike Schur, known from such TV hits as The Office, Parks and Recreation and The Good Place. All eight episodes are already streaming.


Minx (Returns July 21 on Starz)

Set in the 1970’s, Minx follows the unlikely professional pairing of a passionate feminist and a wisecracking erotic magazine publisher who join forces to create the first adult women’s magazine which features empowering articles, but also photos of nude men. Sounds outrageous? Perhaps for some.

Just as production for its sophomore season was underway last December, HBO Max decided to pull the plug on the raunchy comedy series, leading the Starz network to snatch it up with the new season slated to premiere next month.

“I knew we were going to land somewhere,” said star Jake Johnson during the panel which followed the screening of the first episode of season two, “But the fact that we have a home – because the truth these days, I feel, with all this stuff, who has a loyalty to a platform? Everything’s going somewhere eventually – as long as it’s out there and people can find it, that’s the win.”


Manifest (Now Streaming on Netflix)

Another series that was saved after its initial cancelation is supernatural drama Manifest. After moving from NBC to Netflix for its fourth and final season that premiered last November, is wrapping up the storyline of the airplane passengers who went missing only to realize they’re part of a bigger mystery. It officially comes to an end with the last batch of ten episodes now available on the streaming service.

Due to the writers’ strike, creator Jeff Rake did not attend the event in Austin. “We’re all just so happy that Jeff got to finish his story and we were able to help him out with that,” said Josh Dallas during the panel, “when we all first met him, he had the end in sight, he knew how he wanted to land the plane and finish out this story for all the characters and for all of you. And it’s been a fairytale with this show.”


The Righteous Gemstones (Returns June 18 on HBO)

One of this year’s big marquee events was the season three premiere of black comedy crime series The Righteous Gemstones created and starring Danny McBride. The rambunctious show centers around a wealthy family of televangelists and megachurch pastors, who repeatedly seem to get themselves into trouble and violent fighting, continuously self-involved rather than prioritizing their community and congregation.

“We have a prayer breakfast every morning, and then we get into makeup, it’s just a blast,” said John Goodman, who stars as family patriarch Dr. Eli Gemstone. “I can’t wait to go back. Really great people. The hours are a little strict, but we’re hanging out with good people all day, just laughing and whining.”