ATX Festival Sets Reunions for 'Nash Bridges' Writers Room, 'Thirtysomething' (Exclusive)

Additionally, 'West Wing' producer-director Thomas Schlamme has joined the ATX Advisory Board.
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Don Johnson

The seventh edition of the ATX Television Festival is starting to take shape.

A Nash Bridges writers room reunion has been added to the lineup for the annual event, which is set to run June 7-10, 2018. Confirmed talent includes creator Carlton Cuse (Lost), Glen Mazzara (The Walking Dead), John Wirth (Hell on Wheels), Shawn Ryan (The Shield) and Pam Veasey (CSI: NY).

Additionally, thirtysomething creators Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick have come onboard the previously announced reunion of the show, which was pushed back from last year's festival due to scheduling issues. The duo join previously announced castmembers Ken Olin, Timothy Busfield, Patricia Wettig, Peter Horton, Melanie Mayron and David Clennon.

Elsewhere behind the scenes, director and executive producer Thomas Schlamme (The West Wing, Sports Night) has joined the ATX Advisory Board.

As plans for its season installment begin to come together, ATX will also kick off its annual Pitch Competition on Wednesday. The Pitch Competition aims to gives up-and-coming writers the opportunity to pitch their ideas for original scripted series directly to ATX's studio and network partners in hopes of getting their show produced. Final Draft Inc. will return as a sponsor, along with partners The Black List and Sundance Episodic Story Labs, who will each advance top writers within their respective programs to the second round of the ATX Pitch Competition.

To participate, writers must submit a 90-second video pitch of their scripted idea, along with a 10-page script sample, by Jan. 19, 2018. Following three rounds of judging, the top 10 finalists will have the opportunity to pitch live at the upcoming festival to a panel of writers, producers and executives, who will then choose a single winner. The winner will have the chance to pitch his or her idea to an ATX studio or network partner; hone their pitch and script with an industry mentor; sit in on a current series' writers room; and meet with a top television showrunner.



Past winners include Eric Rudnick, who is currently developing his winning pitch for a military "traumedy" titled Incoming as a scripted series for Apostle and Fox 21. More information on the Pitch Competition can be found here.   

For the third year, ATX and The Black List will team on a writing program aimed at identifying TV writers for staffing consideration at participating networks, studios and production companies, which this year includes HBO, Bad Robot Productions, Amblin Television, Annapurna Pictures, Carlton Cuse Productions, Okay Goodnight! and Kilter Films.

To be eligible, writers must host their original pilots on The Black List website for at least one week sometime between Oct. 17 and Jan. 8, 2018. Based on data collected on its site, The Black List will identify 10-15 of the strongest scripts (both hourlong and half-hour) to be shared with the participating studios, networks and production companies, with the goal of identifying writers with whom those organizations would like to work on existing projects. 

For the first time, the competition will include live script readings of two comedy scripts from the top 10-15 selected at the ATX Festival in June, with panelists serving as cast for the live readings. More information can be found here.

Now going into its seventh season, the ATX Television Festival has become known for hosting reunions for series including Gilmore Girls, The West Wing, Battlestar Galactica, Friday Night Lights and Roswell, among others. Other recent writers room reunions include The O.C., The Shield and Alias.

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