ATX Television Festival Plans ‘Designing Women,’ ‘Northern Exposure’ Reunions

Oriana Schwindt
Variety

The ATX Television Festival has just unveiled its first batch of panels and programming for next year’s gathering, and fans of “Designing Women” and “Northern Exposure” — and Burt Reynolds and Marilu Henner — should get their tickets now.

To mark the 30th anniversary of “Designing Women,” ATX will hold a reunion featuring creator and executive producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, along with stars Delta Burke, Annie Potts, Jean Smart, Gerald McRaney, Hal Holbrook, and Douglas Barr. Retrospectives for Linda Bloodworth-Thomason’s other series, “Evening Shade” and “Hearts Afire,” are also on the ATX 2017 schedule, with Burt Reynolds and Marilu Henner confirmed for “Evening Shade,” and Markie Post and Leslie Jordan confirmed for “Hearts Afire.”

The “Northern Exposure” reunion will include cast members Rob Morrow, John Corbett, Barry Corbin, Janine Turner, and Darren Burrows, along with creator Joshua Brand (“The Americans”), writers Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess, and network executive and producer Cheryl Bloch.

While those shows had healthy runs, “The Black Donnellys” and “The Middleman” did not, and ATX will be paying tribute to those series by including them in the festival’s “Cancelled Too Soon” track, which features panels with the cast and crew of the doomed shows. Creators/exec producers/directors Paul Haggis and Robert Moresco, writer Amanda Moresco, and cast member Jonathan Tucker are confirmed for “The Black Donnellys,” and creator/EP Javier Grillo-Marxuach is confirmed for “The Middleman,” along with star Natalie Morales.

The sixth annual festival will take place Jun. 8-11 in Austin, Texas. ATX Advisory Board members Glen Mazzara and Beau Willimon will return as panelists, and “Everybody Loves Raymond” creator Phil Rosenthal will bring back his “I’ll Have What Phil’s Having…for Breakfast!” panel. Additional panels will be announced at a later date.

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