ATX TV Festival: Hear interviews with the casts of Friday Night Lights, Casual & more!

Texas forever.

The Entertainment Weekly Radio team is set up in Austin broadcasting from the fifth annual ATX Television Festival, bringing you interviews with the casts and creators of shows like Friday Night Lights, Ugly Betty and more. Check out highlights so far below, and hear full ATX coverage all weekend on SiriusXM Entertainment Weekly Radio (Ch. 105).

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  • Friday Night Lights’ Panthers played their last game in 2011, but costars Adrianne Palicki and Scott Porter are pitching spinoffs for the critically acclaimed show football show. Hear their ideas below. Hint: Porter’s working title is Herc and the Street. “Just Kevin Rankin and me living together in an apartment in New York. Like Friends style but, you know, two quadriplegics just doing it up in New York big-time,” he said. 
  • Though Casual focuses on the unorthodox dynamics of a family all looking for love, star Michaela Watkins said some of the most fun scenes show the characters awkwardly trying to make platonic friends. “Whether you’re in high school or you’re approaching 40, it’s harder than dating in some ways, and I feel like not a lot of shows have taken that story on, and it’s so interesting. I feel like women dress up more for other women to go out with other women, than they do on a date,” she said. As for the powerful women she tries to impress in her squad? “Oprah,” she cracked. 
  • The creator of the dearly departed Faking It — which MTV axed after three seasons — felt initially put off by the show’s concept of teens pretending to be lesbians to become popular. “My first reaction was, ‘That’s a kind of offensive premise,’ but I said, ‘You know, I think there’s an opportunity here to create the high school of the future, to really do a show about sexuality and discovering yourself and not about coming out, which was important to me, to create a show where whether or not it’s okay to be gay is settled, and we’re getting into other issues.” 
  • Festival co-creator Caitlin McFarland is most proud of a panel on the effect on 9/11 on television. “It came out of a conversation I had with an advisory board member about the representation of different culture on television, on terrorism, on fear-mongering, all these things that sounded very deep and dark,” she explained. “But really, what is the social responsibility of a creator. Is there one?” 
  • Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal met TV legend Norman Lear at lunch with … Carl Reiner! “I dropped dead, and we’ve been friends ever since,” Rosenthal said. “And I dropped dead two days later, and this, welcome, is heaven,” Lear joked. 
  • Given star Sutton Foster’s Broadway roots, shouldn’t Younger shoot a musical episode? “The odds that all these characters would have fabulous voices is just … ” creator Darren Starr trailed off. “But maybe you can sing the theme song to Younger.” 
  • Kingdom’s Matt Lauria got his body buffer than ever to play a boxer in the series. “I’ve been an athlete my whole life and done different types of training, but certainly nothing like this,” he said. “I mean, this was a pretty steep incline when it came to what we were trying to get under our belts, because you have to get it in your muscle memory enough that you can stand there and look decent.” 
  • President Bartlet’s dedicated administration came together for a West Wing panel 10 years after the finale, and “unlike family reunions, there’s not a lot of fighting among us,” actor Richard Schiff said. “This is a loving family that continues to love each other, shockingly.” Click here for more from the cast and creators. 
  • The Shield writers’ room was “intense,” “raw,” “adrenalized” and “competitive,” according to the crime drama’s scribes themselves. Listen to the clip below to hear their thoughts on the show’s powerful finale. 
  • Freeform’s fizzy, fictionalized take on an Amanda Knox-esque exchange student accused of murder counts Billy Zane among its cast. “It’s pulpy. It’s the summer novel you can’t put down,” he said of the new show. 
  • Jane the Virgin’s season 2 finale found us tearing up with joy before sobbing in the fetal position at that devastating death. (SPOILER ALERT: DID THEY REALLY KILL MICHAEL ON HIS WEDDING NIGHT?!) If she really is a widow now, when will Jane lose her V-card? Showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman promised “this will be the year.” 
  • The cast of Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll chatted about, what else, sex. Specifically, threesomes. “This is just my own experience. Yeah, sometimes they do go very well,” Dennis Leary said as his costars laughed about his “early ’80s” encounters. “By the way, they can go very wrong. I had some go very wrong.”


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