Virtual TV Fest

The entertainment industry’s premier talent, creators and executives gather for a virtual, 3-day event featuring keynotes and panels discussing the best of television including content development, writing, casting, marketing and distribution.

A Night in the Writers' Room

A unique livestream experience on June 9 moderated by Variety's esteemed journalists featuring three panels with this year’s Emmy®-contending writers in the drama, comedy and limited series categories.

Speakers

Robin Thede

Robin Thede

EP Writer and Lead Actress

"A Black Lady Sketch Show"

Nichelle Tramble Spellman

Nichelle Tramble Spellman

Creator and Executive Producer

"Truth Be Told"

Ricky Velez

Ricky Velez

EP and Writer

"Here’s Everything"

Elizabeth Wagmeister

Elizabeth Wagmeister

Senior Correspondent and Co-Host (The Take)

Variety

Taika Waititi

Taika Waititi

Actor and Executive Producer

"Our Flag Means Death"

Stephen Warren

Stephen Warren

Co-Creator and Executive Producer

"We’re Here"

Marlon Wayans

Marlon Wayans

EP and Writer

"You Know What It Is"

Paul W. Downs

Paul W. Downs

Actor, Executive Producer and Creator

"Hacks"

Henry Winkler

Henry Winkler

Actor and Producer

Jason Zimmerman

Jason Zimmerman

Lead Visual Effects Supervisor/Supervising Producer

ADDITIONAL SPEAKERS TO BE ANNOUNCED 

Agenda

Tuesday, June 7

9:30 AM - 10:15 AM PT

HBO Max Variety Series Roundtable

Sam Jay, EP Writer and Lead Actress - "PAUSE with Sam Jay"
Aida Rodriguez, EP and Writer - "Fighting Words"
Robin Thede, EP Writer and Lead Actress - "A Black Lady Sketch Show"
Ricky Velez, EP and Writer - "Here’s Everything"
Marlon Wayans, EP and Writer - "You Know What It Is"
Jenelle Riley, Deputy Awards & Features Editor - Variety

Creators and talent from variety and sketch series reveal how they develop and produce their projects.

10:45 AM - 11:30 AM PT

Documentary Roundtable

W. Kamau Bell, Executive Producer & Director - "We Need to Talk About Cosby"
James Lee Hernandez, Executive Producer and Creator - "The Big Conn"
Joe Litzinger, Executive Producer - "Life Below Zero"
Ry Russo-Young, Producer and Director - "Nuclear Family"
Emily Longeretta, Senior TV Features Editor - Variety

Creators behind this year’s top documentaries share how they developed provocative narratives around fact-based storytelling.

11:30 AM - 12:15 PM PT

Supporting Actor Roundtable

Naveen Andrews, - "The Dropout"
Alex Borstein, - "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"
Nicholas Braun, - "Succession"
Kaitlyn Dever, - "Dopesick"
Janelle James, - "Abbott Elementary"
Andie MacDowell, - "Maid"

Breakthrough TV supporting actors talk about how they approach their roles and share highlights from the set.

Wednesday, June 8

9:30 AM - 10:00 AM PT

TV Fest Legacy Award + Q&A with Henry Winkler

Michael Schneider, TV Editor - Variety
Henry Winkler, Actor and Producer

The Variety TV Legacy Award is presented to Henry Winkler, followed by a wide-ranging interview about his celebrated journey from Happy Days through current series Barry

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM PT

Meet the Makers: Apple TV+ "Truth Be Told"

Ron Cephas Jones, Actor Leander ‘Shreve’ Scoville - "Truth Be Told"
Octavia Spencer, Executive Producer and Actor ‘Poppy Parnell’
Nichelle Tramble Spellman, Creator and Executive Producer - "Truth Be Told"

An exploration into the making of Truth Be Told, a dramatic dive into the world of true-crime podcasting. Find out about the favorite experiences of the creators and talent. 

10:30 AM - 11:15 PM PT

HBO Max Actors and Producers Panel

Kaley Cuoco, Actor and Executive Producer - "The Flight Attendant"
Paul W. Downs, Actor, Executive Producer and Creator - "Hacks"
Ben Foster, Actor and Executive Producer - "The Survivor"
Oscar Isaac, Actor and Executive Producer - "Scenes from a Marriage"
Taika Waititi, Actor and Executive Producer - "Our Flag Means Death"
Zendaya, Actor and Executive Producer - "Euphoria"
Marc Malkin, Senior Culture and Events Editor - Variety

Go behind the scenes with leading actors who also are executive producing fan favorite HBO Max series. Find out what it takes to create their breakthrough characters.

11:15 AM - 11:35 AM PT

A Conversation with Mike Darnell

Mike Darnell, President Unscripted and Alternative - Warner Bros. TV
Michael Schneider, TV Editor - Variety

Find out how Mike Darnell is successfully leading such long-running reality juggernauts as The Bachelor and The Bachelorette and hear his thoughts as groundbreaking The Ellen DeGeneres Show films its final season.

11:35 AM - 12:20 PM PT

Reality Roundtable

Jazz Tangcay, Senior Artisans Editor - Variety
Tom Campbell, Executive Producer - "RuPaul’s Drag Race"
Jack Mizrahi, Co-Executive Producer - Legendary
Nneka Onourah, Director - "Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls"
Julie Pizzi, President - Bunim Murray Productions and Executive Producer
Stephen Warren, Co-Creator and Executive Producer - "We’re Here"

A look at unscripted series taking the reality genre to new heights.   

12:20 PM - 12:50 PM PT

Meet the Makers: Amazon Freevee’s Bosch: "Legacy"

Michael Schneider, TV Editor - Variety
Henrik Bastin, Executive Producer
Michael Connelly, Executive Producer
Mimi Rogers, Actor (Honey Chandler)

Find out how the fan favorite series, and longest running Prime Video Original, was adapted for a new chapter on Amazon Freevee.
 

Thursday, June 9

9:30 AM - 10:00 AM PT

Keynote Conversation with Jessica Biel and Michelle Purple

Jessica Biel, Actor Producer and Co-Founder - Iron Ocean Productions
Michelle Purple, Producer and Co-Founder - Iron Ocean Productions
Jazz Tangcay, Senior Artisans Editor - Variety

A dive into how Jessica Biel and Michelle Purple are collaborating on such projects as Candy, Cruel Summer and The Sinner. See how they are building a modern production studio to servicing our expanding TV universe.

10:00 AM - 10:45 AM PT

HBO Max Directors Roundtable

Lucia Aniello, EP Writer and Director - "Hacks"
Antonio Campos, EP Writer and Director - "The Staircase"
James Gunn, EP Writer and Director - "Peacemaker"
Reinaldo Marcus Green, EP and Director - "We Own This City"
Jeremy Podeswa, EP and Director - "Station Eleven"
Salli Richardson Whitfield, Director - "Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty"
Hagai Levi, Executive Producer & Director - "Scenes From A Marriage"
Michael Schneider, TV Editor - Variety

Find out from how the ships are steered from leading HBO Max TV directors. Hear how sets are being managed during these unpredictable times of the pandemic.

10:45 AM - 11:15 AM PT

Meet the Makers: Lifetime's "List of a Lifetime"

Shannon Doherty, Actor - "List of a Lifetime"
Kelly Hu, Actor - "List of a Lifetime"
Sylvia Kwan, Actor - "List of a Lifetime"
Roxy Shih, Director - "List of a Lifetime"
Elizabeth Wagmeister, Senior Correspondent and Co-Host (The Take) - Variety

An exploration into the making of List of a Lifetime, which follows a woman diagnosed with breast cancer and her journey to fulfill her bucket list alongside her recently reunited daughter. 

11:15 AM - 11:45 AM PT

Meet the Makers: Showtime’s The Man Who Fell to Earth

Joe Otterson, TV Writer - Variety
Alex Kurtzman, EP/Creator/Writer/Director
Jason Zimmerman, Lead Visual Effects Supervisor/Supervising Producer
James Merifield, Production Designer

Meet the minds behind The Man Who Fell to Earth, which follows an alien who arrives on Earth at a turning point in human evolution.
 

12:00 PM - 12:30 PM PT

Breakthrough Streaming Marketers

Jo Fox, SVP, Brand Direct-to-Consumer - Peacock
Alexa Levine, US Head of Entertainment - Snap
Sweta Patel, VP Growth Marketing - Roku
Regina Sommese, Group Vice President, Paid Media and Global Subscriber Acquisition - Discovery Inc.
Todd Spangler, Digital Editor - Variety

An exploration into the current trends and strategies to successfully market streaming programming.  What is the best way to connect with audiences in an exciting but competitive media environment? What are recent campaign success stories? Streaming marketing innovators and their partners converge to talk about what is breaking through to today's audiences now.

A Night in the Writers' Room Evening Program

7:00 PM - 9:30 PM PT

 

Comedy Roundtable

Jenny Bicks, Welcome to Flatch
Quinta Brunson, Abbott Elementary
Dave Burd, DAVE

Gloria Calderón Kellett, With Love
Chris Miller, The Afterparty
Tracy Oliver, Harlem
Saladin K. Patterson, The Wonder Years

Joe Port, Ghosts
Issa Rae, Insecure
Meredith Scardino, Girls5eva

Hayden Schlossberg, Cobra Kai

 

 

Drama Roundtable

Max Borenstein, Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty
Dan Erickson, Severance
Peter Gould, Better Call Saul
Jason Katims, As We See It
Jenny Lumet, The Man Who Fell to Earth
Chris Mundy, Ozark
Rasheed Newson, Bel-Air
Clyde Phillips, Dexter

 

Limited Series Roundtable

Dustin Lance Black, Under the Banner of Heaven
Maggie Cohn, The Staircase  

Drew Crevello, WeCrashed 
Danny Strong, Dopesick 
Molly Smith Metzler, Maid 
Nikki Toscano, The Offer 
Patrick MacManus, Dr. Death 
Robbie Pickering, Gaslit 

Our Partners

TV FEST PREMIER PARTNERS
TV FEST SUPPORTING PARTNERS
 
A NIGHT IN THE WRITERS' ROOM SUPPORTING PARTNERS
MEDIA PARTNER