The annual celebration of television put on by The Paley Center for Media has given fans the opportunity to be in the same room with stars of their favorite programs for almost four decades. The past two seasons saw a disruption in the process because COVID forced the festival to be held virtually.
Fans can get back to the more personal way of seeing stars as the 39th Annual PaleyFest LA – scheduled to run from April 2-10 at the Dolby Theatre, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood – returns to the in-person format. Casts and crews of such shows as “This IS Us,” “Superman & Lois,” “Ghosts,” “Hacks” and “The Neighborhood” will participate in screenings of special preview and premiere content, never-before-seen TV footage and a question-and-answer portion with festival attendees.
Rene Reyes, producer of PaleyFest, is delighted fans will be in attendance.
“All of us are really excited about it,” Reyes says. “Although we have done some virtual versions of the festival over the past two years, it has really been three years since we have been at the Dolby Theatre.
“I am looking forward to being in a room with people who love TV and people who make TV.”
One of the most anticipated nights kicks off the festival as the much heralded NBC drama “This is Us” will be featured. Cast members Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley, Susan Kelechi Watson, Chris Sullivan and John Huestas will join series creator Dan Fogelman to discuss the final season of the show.
“We are honored to be part of this prestigious festival. Looking forward to talking all things “This Is Us’ with you, one last time,” Fogelman says.
The following night, April 3, the spotlight turns to another much heralded program that’s coming to an end, “black-ish.” That panel will include stars Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Marcus Scribner, Miles Brown, Marsai Martin and Jennifer Lewis joining executive producer Courtney Lilly.
Reyes points out “This Is Us” and “black-ish” are being featured for their final seasons after both being part of previous festivals when they launched.
Paley Members and Citicard members will have access to advance ticket sales until Jan. 20, 2022. To become a Paley Member go to paleycenter.org/join-us. The general public will have access to purchase tickets at paleyfet.org starting 7 a.m. Jan. 21.
PaleyFest is the nation’s longest-running festival celebrating creative excellence in television. Special guests in the past have included the casts of “The Sopranos,” “The Walking Dead,” “Mission: Impossible,” “Mad Men” and “The West Wing” plus such entertainment icons as Lucille Ball, Norman Lear and George Lucas.
This year’s lineup includes: “This Is Us,” 7 p.m. April 2; “Superman & Lois,” 2 p.m. April 3; “black-ish,” April 3;
“Ghosts” and “The Neighborhood,” 7:30 p.m. April 6; “Hacks,” 7:30 p.m. April 7; “Cobra Kai,” 7:30 p.m. April 8; “Riverdale,” 2 p.m. April 9: “Better Call Saul,” 7 p.m. April 9; A Salute to the NCIS Universe celebrating “NCIS,” “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “NCIS: Hawai’i,” 2 p.m. April 10; and “Emily in Paris,” 7 p.m. April 10.
It is difficult for Reyes to nail down the exact moment that work on this year’s lineup actually started.
“We are always working on it,” Reyes says. “We are always hearing from members or TV fans who come to the festival about shows they want to see.
“We also are doing events outside the festival so that gives us a good gauge. We are just looking at what’s causing a conversation out there. What shows are different or doing things in a different way. There are a lot of things that go into making the list.”
Reyes knows there is no shortage of television programs – past or present – that could be featured. A new study reveals there will be 559 scripted TV programs available in 2022 on the networks, cable and streaming service. That makes it easy to make sure each year’s PaleyFest lineup is as diverse as the tastes of TV watchers.
Not only is PaleyFest a way for fans to get to hear in person from the stars of their favorite shows but it also supports the Paley Center’s many education initiatives, including classes, workshops, and programming focused on today’s most pressing social issues and serving students and educators globally. It also supports the continued preservation of the Paley Archive, featuring more than 160,000 historically and culturally significant television and radio programs.
The Paley Center for Media adheres to the latest Los Angeles County health and safety guidelines and the Dolby Theatre policies to provide a safe environment. Attendees must present proof of full vaccination status or a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours of entry to each event or a negative COVID-19 Antigen test taken within 24 hours of entry to each event. Masks are required for guests over two years old.