Over the first three days of February, small-screen stars (hi, Miss J!) and creators (hello, Marta Kauffman!) gathered in Atlanta for the Savannah College of Art and Design’s (SCAD) sixth annual aTVfest to debut their latest work, share their experiences in the industry, and celebrate the event’s honored guests.
EW got a chance to attend alongside the many students hoping to collect some of the pros’ insight. Below, the five things you missed from the jam-packed event.
1. Alan Cumming, stage and screen icon
After receiving the Icon Award, Alan Cumming stuck around to give fans a first look at his upcoming CBS series Instinct, in which he plays a former CIA operative (and current college professor) who teams up with a detective and uses his knowledge of psychopathic behavior to catch a murderer. Cumming then took the stage for a Q&A with showrunner Michael Rauch and costars Naveen Andrews and Bojana Novakovic.
2. Spotlight on Zach Braff and Black Lightning
On Friday, Feb. 2, the Scrubs alum accepted the SCAD aTVfest Spotlight Award ahead of a screening of Alex, Inc., his upcoming series based on the podcast “StartUp,” in which he stars as a radio journalist who quits his job to start his own company. The next day, the cast of The CW’s latest superhero series — including Cress Williams, Christine Adams, Nafessa Williams, Damon Gupton, Marvin “Krondon” Jones III, China Anne McClain, and James Remar — took home the SCAD aTVfest Spotlight Cast Award ahead of a screening of the next episode of Black Lightning.
3. TV’s wonder women, assemble!
EW gathered Melora Hardin (The Bold Type), Toni Trucks (SEAL Team), Yael Grobglas (Jane the Virgin), and Tamara Taylor (Altered Carbon) for a frank conversation about being women in the entertainment industry. The panelists discussed everything from their childhood inspirations to how they craft characters — Grobglas based Anezka on her cat! — and what’s next for them. (Hardin hopes to direct an episode of The Bold Type in season 2.)
And speaking of wonder women, EW also brought TV superheroes to the festival for a special panel on casting the CW’s Berlantiverse. Casting director David Rapaport and The Flash stars Danielle Panabaker and Kendrick Sampson gave audiences an inside look at the casting process, and two lucky attendees were invited to participate in a mock casting session.
4. First looks and exclusive screenings galore
Anyone who dropped by the aTVFest probably caught some never-before-seen footage (and new titles to add to their list of shows to binge): Attendees caught advanced looks at new series like Rise, A.P. Bio, Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G., Final Space, and Instinct, as well as new episodes of Archer, Sneaky Pete, Ash vs. Evil Dead, The Tick, UnREAL, and Crashing.
5. A star-studded party
Finally, what better way to celebrate a weekend of panels and screenings than with a party? EW hosted a bash on Friday night with SCAD at Lure, mingling with stars like Alan Cumming, Zach Braff, UnREAL‘s Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman and Genevieve Buechner, The Tick‘s Griffin Newman, Crashing‘s Pete Holmes, HGTV’s Ty Pennington, and more.