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ATX Television Festival launches ‘The TV Campfire’ podcast

Joe Gross

ATX Television Festival premiered its inaugural podcast series, The TV Campfire, as a part of its ATX TV Podcast Network.

The series is co-produced by Madica Productions and provides an insider's perspective into the world of television with special guests including “Scrubs” and “Cougar Town” producer Bill Lawrence, “Wire” and “Treme” producer David Simon, “Friday Night Lights” and “Parenthood” producer Jason Katims and “Friends” producer Marta Kauffman (Friends), and many more.

Two episodes are now available. The first, A Showrunner Defined,” chats with “Lost” and “Bates Motel” show runner Carlton Cuse  and “Bates Motel” exec producer Kerry Ehrin. The second is called “TV Mixtapes” and concerns how music works in TV and how series creator, music supervisor, and editor work together. With music supervisor Liza Richardson, “Parenthood” producer Jason Katims and  editor Angela Catanzaro.

The podcast was created by  ATX Festival cofounders, Caitlin McFarland and Emily Gipson. TV Campfire is the first original series in the ATX TV Podcast Network, which aims to serve as an extension of the ATX Television Festival. Each episode within the six-part limited series stands alone as a potential pilot to its own future series.

The ATX TV Podcast Network also acquired and is co-producing “The Writers Panel” with Ben Blacker and the Forever Dog Network.

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Upcoming episodes include (from press material)

  • Episode 3 - “Complex, Not Complicated” (5/30) - The powerhouse creator and actor behind “One Day At a Time discuss the legacy of female characters on television, the urgency to find and support diverse representation at this particular moment, and why there’s no one way to write or portray a “strong” woman. We explore power dynamics on and off camera, the roles of sex and gender in storytelling, and avoiding the pitfalls of tropes of all types. This episode doesn’t shy away from the white hot sparks of change and the tough questions that go along with it. Listen in as incredible women share their paths forward, and tell us how they create the incredible characters we love onscreen. Episode Guests: Gloria Calderon Kellett (writer/producer, One Day At A Time) & Justina Machado (Six Feet Under, One Day at a Time). 
  • Episode 5: First Gigs, Big Breaks (6/13) - That elusive moment, that life-changing instant – that big break. Breaking into every industry requires that perfect storm combination of timing, luck, talent, and relationships. In TV it means getting a showrunner to take a risk on a newcomer. This episode explores that moment from both sides: the waiting, the tipping point, the first big gig, and what motivates someone to take a risk on a fresh face. Episode Guests: Bill Lawrence (Cougar Town, Scrubs), Kevin Biegel (Cougar Town).

     Episode 6: Politically Minded (6/20) - As real world political issues continue to be a relentless barrage on our Twitter feeds and real lives, filling the role of "reality is stranger than fiction," TV’s "imaginary" landscape can be difficult to view through an escapist lens. Creatives almost have no choice but to incorporate true political issues into their narratives through fictional worlds and characters. From local activism, to racial tension, to education, to incarceration, series are grounding their politics in issues that incorporate our true cultural climate and hit close to home. The goal becomes to educate and empower viewers without sacrificing entertainment in the process. 

    Episode Guests: David Simon (The Wire), Robert & Michelle King (The Good Wife, The Good Fight). 

    To listen to the podcast, visit here or find The TV Campfire wherever you listen to podcasts.

    ATX Television Festival will take place June 7 to 10 in Austin