30 years after turning the lights off on the bar, the cast of Cheers reunited in Austin this month. While there were a few cast members missing, including Texan Woody Harrelson, three of the main men of the classic '80s series were on hand for the ATX TV Festival. But that's not all that happened at the fest.
The four day celebration of television kicked things off on Thursday, June 1, with an Outlander panel. It just so happened to be World Outlander Day and Catriona Balfe was in attendance. She joined a discussion about what it's like to work both in front of the camera and behind. She even gave the electrified audience a tease of some things that are to come in Season 7 of the groundbreaking series, premiering June 16 on Starz.
Later that afternoon, audiences got a sneak peek of an episode of Manifest, which returned for its final season on Netflix the following day. Following the screening, cast members of Manifest, Justified, and a handful of other projects featured at the fest walked the opening night red carpet.
Highlights from Friday, June 2, included presentations of Primo, Minx, Accused, and Cruel Summer, and a Shark Tank discussion that included Austinite Kendra Scott.
But the biggest highlight of the night was the Cheers reunion: Ted Danson, John Ratzenberger, and George Wendt walked onto the stage at ACL Live amidst raucous applause. The trio, along with co-creator James Burrows, enjoyed a drink earlier in the day at Dumont's Down Low while shooting a segment for The Today Show.
Sadly, there were no female cast members present for the event and though we were hoping for a surprise appearance from Woody Harrelson, one never came. The evening was a success regardless. The gentlemen are just as entertaining as ever, making the sold out audience clap, laugh, and cheer for more.
Danson stuck around for a chat with wife Mary Steenburgen which started out Saturday's programming. Jury Duty packed 800 Congress, as did Mayans BC, while a panel on the WGA strike educated festival goers on the demands of the entertainment union.
Saturday night's main event was a screening and Q&A with the cast and creators of Righteous Gemstones. All main cast members were is attendance. That means Danny McBride, John Goodman, Adam Devine, and Edi Patterson were all there. Like the Cheers reunion, the event took place at ACL Live and was open to non-festival goers who could buy standalone tickets.
The addition of the ACL venue was one of this year's biggest success stories. Addressing the crowd post screening, Devine said that the viewing experience was pretty insane: "You don't get a chance to watch the show with, I'm gonna say, 25,000 people," he joked.
The final day gave fans a look at the upcoming Prime Video docuseries The Ride, which follows a group of bull riders throughout the PBR Team Series — including the Austin Gamblers.
Austin resident Christy Carlson Romano and co-founder of PodCo hosted a podcasting panel with fellow podcasters who previously starred on hit TV shows in the '90s and early 2000s. Stars of The Wizards of Waverly Place and Ned's Declassified took part, as well as the Lawrence brothers: Joey, Matthew, and Andy Lawrence.
Finally, yours truly hosted a panel with The Women of the Good Doctor where we discussed the series' most impactful storylines, what it's like to be a woman in the entertainment business, and what to expect in season 7 of the ABC series.
The ATX Television Festival launched in Austin in 2012. This was the 12th season for the homegrown TV extravaganza.