What to Expect From PaleyFest’s Return After a Three-Year Hiatus

Paley Center President and CEO Maureen J. Reidy tells LA Mag: ”Expect a couple of tears.. Because we’ve got three series that are celebrating their finales: ’Black-ish,’ ’This Is Us,’ and ’Better Call Saul.’”

The PaleyFest is finally back. After three years away, the 39th annual week-long television festival will make its return to Hollywood’s iconic Dolby Theater, and run from Saturday, April 2 to Sunday, April 10. One look at this year’s roster, it’s clear the event is going to be one for the record books.

“We are incredibly thrilled and excited to be back, live and in-person, “ Maureen J. Reidy, President and CEO of the Paley Center for Media, told LA Mag. “The energy and excitement around this year’s festival are unmatched. I’ve never seen anything like this. I think the public have eagerly been awaiting the return. And I also think that our programming and curatorial team have really assembled an outstanding lineup that offers something for everyone.”

That’s no understatement. The packed lineup will feature special screenings and panels with the casts and creative teams behind programs like CW’s Riverdale and Superman and Lois, HBO Max’s Hacks, Netflix’s Cobra Kai and Emily in Paris, CBS comedies Ghosts and The Neighborhood, while the NCIS universe comes together for a special event celebrating the original program that started it all, along with NCIS: Los Angeles, and NCIS: Hawai’i.

“Expect a couple of tears, too,” Reidy warned, “because we’ve got three series that are celebrating their finales: Black-ish, This Is Us, and Better Call Saul. This is likely one of the very last times fans of the shows will be able to see these entire casts and creative teams together.”

Being live, and in-person, once again means the popular fan Q&A segment will be in-place for each panel scheduled. “That’s part of the magic of PaleyFest,” she observed.

She continued: “From the moment the stars arrive on the red carpet to when they take their seat on the Dolby stage to when the conversation starts, there’s always these really special revelations where you’re getting a peek behind the scenes and a peek behind the story. It’s just a special experience. And when that Q&A starts, the excitement is palpable.”

Describing PaleyFest as magical makes sense when you think about the special relationship fans have with their favorite television shows. And considering how the pandemic found most viewers stuck indoors, binging programs, that connective experience is more profound now than it was just a few years prior.

“Often, it’s a shared experience,” Reidy said. “You’re watching with your friends or your family, either in your home or on your device, or you’re talking about it the next day. There’s just a special relationship that audiences share with their favorite TV shows. So, to have the opportunity to be in the room with the stars of your favorite shows is just something really special and PaleyFest offers that magic.”

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, PaleyFest went virtual in 2020 and 2021. Now, with the festival’s highly anticipated return to Los Angeles, she confirmed that “Paley is always health and safety first.” That said, fans interested in attending should expect to require proof of vaccination or negative COVID tests. Masking, while not mandatory, is encouraged.

According to Riedy, right before COVID hit, the lease for the Paley Center’s Los Angeles location wasn’t renewed. That said, she revealed the city of Beverly Hills will become the new home of the Paley Archive.

“We hope that we’ll have some sort of special opening later this year at the Beverly Hills Public Library,” she said, encouraging fans to subscribe to the Paley Center’s official newsletter on their website. ‘They’ll be able to have the latest information as we confirm our upcoming programs and information on the grand opening of the Paley Archive at the Beverly Hills Public Library later this year. It’s going to be really awesome. It’s going to be really special.”

As for expectations surrounding the festival, Maureen says, “Tickets are going quickly.” Head on over to PaleyCenter.org. There, you can find information about membership, schedules, discounts, and other special benefits. And be sure to secure your tickets for the 39th Annual PaleyFest LA while there. You won’t want to miss it.

Here’s the full PaleyFest 2022 schedule:

This Is Us (Saturday, April 2, 7 p.m. PT)

Dan Fogelman, creator, showrunner, and executive producer, Milo Ventimiglia, “Jack Pearson,” Mandy Moore, “Rebecca Pearson,” Sterling K. Brown, “Randall Pearson,” Chrissy Metz, “Kate Pearson,” Justin Hartley, “Kevin Pearson,” Susan Kelechi Watson, “Beth Pearson,” Chris Sullivan, “Toby Damon,” Jon Huertas, “Miguel,” with additional guests to be announced.

Superman & Lois (Sunday, April 3, 2 p.m. PT)

Todd Helbing, creator, showrunner, and executive producer, Tyler Hoechlin, “Clark Kent/Superman,” Elizabeth ‘Bitsie’ Tulloch, “Lois Lane,” Jordan Elsass, “Jonathan Kent,” Alex Garfin, Jordan Kent,” Erik Valdez, “Kyle Cushing,” Inde Navarrette, “Sarah Cushing,” Wolé Parks, “John Henry Irons/Steel,” Adam Rayner, “Morgan Edge/Tal-Rho.”

Black-ish (Sunday, April 3, 7 p.m. PT)

Anthony Anderson, executive producer and “Andre ‘Dre’ Anderson,” Courtney Lilly, showrunner and executive producer, Tracee Ellis Ross, producer and “Rainbow Johnson,” Marcus Scribner, “Andre Johnson Jr.,” Miles Brown, “Jack Johnson,” Marsai Martin, “Diane Johnson,” Jenifer Lewis, “Ruby.”

Ghosts and The Neighborhood (Wednesday, April 6, 7:30 p.m. PT)

From Ghosts: Joseph Port, executive producer and co-showrunner, Rose McIver, “Samantha,” Utkarsh Ambudkar, “Jay,” Brandon Scott Jones, “Isaac,” Richie Moriarty, “Pete,” Danielle Pinnock, “Alberta,” Asher Grodman, “Trevor,” Román Zaragoza, “Sasappis,” Sheila Carrasco, “Flower,” Rebecca Wisocky, “Hetty,” Devan Chandler Long, “Thorfinn.”

From The Neighborhood: Cedric the Entertainer, “Calvin Butler” and executive producer, Max Greenfield, “Dave Johnson,” Beth Behrs, “Gemma Johnson,” Tichina Arnold, “Tina Butler,” Sheaun McKinney, “Malcolm Butler,” Marcel Spears, “Marty Butler,” Meg DeLoatch, executive producer and showrunner.

Hacks (Thursday, April 7, 7:30 p.m. PT)

Paul W. Downs, co-creator, co-showrunner, executive producer, writer, and “Jimmy,” Lucia Aniello, co-creator, co-showrunner, executive producer, writer, and director, Jen Statsky, co-creator, co-showrunner, executive producer, and writer, Michael Schur, executive producer, Jean Smart, “Deborah Vance,” Hannah Einbinder, “Ava,” Carl Clemons-Hopkins, “Marcus,” Meg Stalter, “Kayla,” Mark Indelicato, “Damien.”

Cobra Kai (Friday, April 8, 7:30 p.m. PT)

Ralph Macchio, “Daniel LaRusso” and executive producer, William Zabka, “Johnny Lawrence” and executive producer, Josh Heald, writer and executive producer, Jon Hurwitz, writer and executive producer, Hayden Schlossberg, writer and executive producer, Courtney Henggeler, “Amanda LaRusso,” Xolo Maridueña, “Miguel Diaz,” Mary Mouser, “Samantha LaRusso,” Tanner Buchanan, “Robby Keane,” Jacob Bertrand, “Eli ‘Hawk’ Moskowitz.”

Riverdale (Saturday, April 9, 2 p.m. PT)

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, showrunner and executive producer, K.J. Apa, “Archie Andrews,” Cole Sprouse, “Jughead Jones,” Lili Reinhart, “Betty Cooper,” Camila Mendes, “Veronica Lodge,” Madelaine Petsch, “Cheryl Blossom,” with additional guests to be announced.

Better Call Saul (Saturday, April 9, 7 p.m. PT)

Vince Gilligan, creator and executive producer, Peter Gould, creator, showrunner, and executive producer, Bob Odenkirk, “Jimmy McGill,” Rhea Seehorn, “Kim Wexler,” Jonathan Banks, “Mike Ehrmantraut,” Patrick Fabian, “Howard Hamlin,” Michael Mando, “Nacho Varga,” Giancarlo Esposito, “Gus Fring.”

A Salute to the NCIS Universe Celebrating NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, and NCIS: Hawai’i (Sunday, April 10, 2 p.m. PT)

From NCIS: Steven D. Binder, showrunner and executive producer, Sean Murray, “Timothy McGee,” Wilmer Valderrama, “Nickolas ‘Nick’ Torres,” Brian Dietzen, “Dr. Jimmy Palmer,” Diona Reasonover, “Kasie Hines,” Katrina Law, “Jessica Knight,” Rocky Carroll, “Leon Vance,” Gary Cole, “Alden Parker.”

From NCIS: Los Angeles: Shane Brennan, showrunner and executive producer, R. Scott Gemmill, executive producer, Chris O’Donnell, “G. Callen,” LL Cool J, “Sam Hanna,” Linda Hunt, “Henrietta ‘Hetty’ Lange,” Daniela Ruah, “Kensi Blye,” Eric Christian Olsen, “Marty Deeks,” Medalion Rahimi, “Fatima Namazi,” Caleb Castille, “Devin Rountree,” Gerald McRaney, “Hollace Kilbride.”

From NCIS: Hawai’i: Matt Bosack, executive producer, Jan Nash, executive producer, Christopher Silber, executive producer, Vanessa Lachey, “Jane Tennant,” Alex Tarrant, “Kai,” Noah Mills, “Jesse Boone,” Yasmine Al-Bustami, “Lucy Tara,” Jason Antoon, “Ernie Malik,” Tori Anderson, “Kate Whistler,” Kian Talan, “Alex Tennant.”

Emily in Paris (Sunday, April 10, 7 p.m. PT)

Darren Starr, creator, showrunner, writer, and executive producer, Lily Collins, “Emily Cooper” and producer, Ashley Park, “Mindy Chen,” Lucas Bravo, “Gabriel,” Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu, “Sylvie,” Camille Razat, “Camille,” with additional guests to be announced.