Top Media Executives, Scholars Debate Television's Past, Present and Future at Flow Conference

AUSTIN, Texas – Aug. 22, 2014 – A new fall TV season is approaching, and the Department of Radio-Television-Film at The University of Texas at Austin's Moody College of Communication is marking the occasion with three "core conversations" that explore TV's evolution. The public is invited to join some of the biggest names in the TV industry as they share their thoughts about where TV has been, and where it might be going. 

These core conversations are a key part of the Flow Conference, which takes place at UT's Student Activities Center (2201 Speedway) from September 11-13. Registration is free for UT Austin faculty, students and staff. For non-UT Austin attendees, panel passes are available for $15. For registration information, click here. Discounted tickets are available for social media fans of the ATX Festival network, which is working to secure a network pilot screening for the evening of Sept. 12.

Core conversations include:
"Television: Looking Back, 1970-2014" from 3:15-4:45 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 11: How has TV storytelling shifted since the 1970s? What creative opportunities are available for writers, producers and directors that weren't available in the past? What shows have had the greatest influence on today's media professionals? How has the role of TV critics changed? Listen to insights from prominent directors, writers, producers and critics who have seen TV evolve from three broadcast networks to hundreds of broadcast, cable and online streaming networks.

Panelists include:

  • David Milch, TV director/writer/producer ("Deadwood," "NYPD Blue")
  • Michael Zinberg, TV director/producer ("The Good Wife," "Quantum Leap" and "The Bob Newhart Show")
  • Howard Rosenberg, Pulitzer Prize-winning former TV critic for the Los Angeles Times
  • Moderated by Horace Newcomb, emeritus director of the Peabody Awards

"Television Restoration: Pragmatic Realities and Implications for Media History" from 3:15-4:45 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 12: Why is it so difficult to find some old TV shows? Who prioritizes which shows are restored? Does this content change as it is restored – and if so, how? Join CBS executives and media preservationists Ryan Adams and David Grant as they talk about restoring some of broadcast history's most notable titles, including "Star Trek," "The Beverly Hillbillies" and "Beverly Hills, 90210."

Panelists include:

  • Ryan Adams, director of multimedia for CBS
  • David Grant, vice president of multimedia for CBS
  • Derek Kompare, associate professor at Southern Methodist University
  • Moderated by Caroline Frick, assistant professor at Moody College's Department of Radio-Television-Film and executive director of the Texas Archive of the Moving Image

"TV or Not TV: The Future of the Television Industry" from 3:15-4:45 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 13: What does the future of television look like? How are new sites such as Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu affecting how TV is produced? What role will advertisers have in TV's future? How are audiences engaging with the medium differently now than they have in the past? Hear our panelists, responsible for some of the most high-profile programs on TV in recent years, including "Orange is the New Black," "Mad Men," "Sleepy Hollow," "Glee," "Veronica Mars" and more, debate what TV might look like in 2015 – and 2025. 

Panelists include:

  • Kevin Beggs, chairman of Lionsgate Television Group
  • Jordan Levin (BS Radio-Television-Film, 1989), executive vice president at Microsoft Xbox Entertainment Studios 
  • Kevin Reilly, former entertainment chairman for Fox Broadcasting Co.
  • Rob Thomas (BA History, 1987), television director/writer/producer ("Veronica Mars," "Party Down" and the forthcoming CW series "iZombie")
  • Judy Trabulsi (BS Radio-Television-Film, 1970), Co-Founder, GSD&M 
  • Moderated by Thomas Schatz, professor at Moody College's Department of Radio-Television-Film 

These core conversations are a new part of the Flow Conference, coordinated by Department of Radio-Television-Film graduate students and faculty. The Flow Conference and the Flow online journal aim to promote discussion among scholars, members of the media industries, media activists, fans and policy makers over crucial issues related to television and new media. For more information about other Flow events, please visit the conference website at   

About The University of Texas at Austin Moody College of Communication
One of the nation's foremost institutions for the study of advertising and public relations, communication sciences and disorders, communication studies, journalism and radio-TV-film, The University of Texas at Austin Moody College of Communication is preparing students to thrive in an era of media convergence. Serving more than 4,700 undergraduate and graduate students, the Moody College is nationally recognized for its faculty members, research and student media. For more information about the Moody College, visit


Contacts: Laura Byerley, (512) 471-2182; Elana Wakeman, (512) 471-6617; Natalie Bograd

Laura Byerley
Public Affairs Representative