SDCC 2011: The TV Panel Roundup

This year, San Diego Comic-Con is all about the television. If that wasn’t clear, check out the very first listing on the program. Here you go, I copied it for you:

Wednesday, July 20th - 6:00-9:00 Special Sneak Peek Pilot Screenings: Alcatraz, Person of Interest, The Secret Circle, and Supernatural: The Anime Series— Comic-Con and Warner Bros. Television proudly continue their annual Preview Night tradition with exclusive world premiere screenings of the pilot episodes of three of the most highly anticipated TV series pilots of the 2011-12 television season -- Alcatraz, Person of Interest, and The Secret Circle -- as well as Supernatural: The Anime Series, the first-ever anime adaptation of a U.S. television series.

Yup, that’s right, the house that comics built, and movies built even bigger is kicking off with premieres of some of the biggest TV pilots of this Fall, as well as the hotly anticipated Supernatural Anime. That’s a big deal you guys, and if that wasn’t enough, the CCI schedule lists 159 other panels you can attend, all about the boob tube. And we’re not even counting the Con floor, or the various meet-ups and events happening outside the Con.

Some highlights there? Well, we don’t know a whole lot, but we did hear from a little birdie that South Park fans will be very, very happy, and may be licking orange stuff off their fingers all weekend long. That’s all we’ll say.

But beyond snack foods, with all these panels to talk about, we better get to it, huh? Here’s our rundown of some of the don’t-miss TV panels at this year’s Comic-Con:


10:00-11:00 Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe— For fans of USA's hit series Burn Notice who've always wanted to know what happened before Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell) teamed up with Michael Weston and Fiona, Comic-Con attendees are invited inside the USA made-for-TV movie Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe, debuting on DVD exclusively at Comic-Con! The Burn Notice prequel chronicles what turned out to be the last military mission of former U.S. Navy SEAL Lieutenant Commander Axe and the expedition that took him from the jungles of Colombia to sunny Miami Beach. Go one-on-one with Bruce Campbell, star of Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe, and Burn Notice creator, writer, and executive producer, Matt Nix. Ballroom 20

We watched this movie, and you know what? It’s fine. But what’s awesome is sitting in the audience and watching the never-not-hilarious Bruce Campbell do his stuff. By the way, here’s a question he’s never gotten before, in case you get a turn in the Q&A: “Is there going to be an Evil Dead 4?” Yup, he never hears that, so go on and ask.

1:45-2:45 Ringer— Sarah Michelle Gellar makes her highly anticipated television return in the gripping new thriller Ringer, as a woman who, after witnessing a murder, goes on the run, hiding out by assuming the life of her wealthy identical twin -- only to learn that her sister's seemingly idyllic life is just as complicated and dangerous as the one she's trying to leave behind. Be the first to see an exclusive sneak peek at the new series about family secrets and stolen identities, followed by a panel discussion with series stars Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy The Vampire Slayer), Ioan Gruffudd (Fantastic Four), Nestor Carbonell (Lost, The Dark Knight), Kristoffer Polaha (Life Unexpected), executive producer Pam Veasey (CSI:NY), and co-executive producers Nicole Snyder (Supernatural) and Eric Charmelo (Supernatural). Ballroom 20

The cast of this show is non-stop nerd bait, but Sarah Michelle Gellar will probably get the majority of the time and questions, as she makes her San Diego debut. Yes, ask her your Buffy questions, but by all reports, this show is actually good; so make sure to get a question in about that, too. And be sure to ask her, “Is there going to be an Evil Dead 4?” Just to cover all your bases.

3:00-4:00 Game of Thrones Panel and Q&A session— Based on the bestselling fantasy book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, HBO's Game of Thrones concluded its 10-episode debut season on June 19. The series, executive produced and written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, follows kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars and noblemen as they vie for power in a land where summers span decades and winters can last a lifetime. Some of the cast featured in the first season and appearing on this panel are (in alphabetical order) Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Ser Jaime Lannister, Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, Kit Harington as Jon Snow, and Jason Momoa as Khal Drogo. Moderated by George R. R. Martin, who also serves as a co-executive producer and writer on the series. Ballroom 20

Fans have actually started melting down and screaming already, that’s how hot this panel is. Not only is it moderated by series creator George R.R. Martin – hot off the recent release of the latest book in his Song of Ice and Fire series – but pretty much most of the major cast all in attendance, including Emmy nominated Peter Dinklage? That’s enough to make us bow before Jeoffry Baratheon and recognize him as the one true heir to the Iron Throne, just for a chance to get a seat in the panel.

4:00-5:00 Archer Screening and Q&A— This animated half-hour comedy revolves around the spy agency known as the International Secret Intelligence Service (ISIS) and the lives of its self-involved employees. Series creator Adam Reed (Sealab 2021, Frisky Dingo) and the show's voice-over actors discuss their daunting and enigmatic work of espionage, reconnaissance missions, and undercover surveillances -- which are all actually unmitigated occasions for the ISIS staff to undermine, sabotage, and betray each other for personal gains and prosperity. Panelists include H. Jon Benjamin (Bob's Burgers, Jon Benjamin Has a Van) as the highly skilled yet incredibly vain master spy Sterling Archer; Aisha Tyler (Talk Soup, CSI) as fellow agent provocateur Lana Kane; Chris Parnell (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock) as the easily intimidated comptroller of ISIS, Cyril Figgis; Judy Greer (Mad Love, Arrested Development) as the loquacious secretary, Cheryl/Carol; Amber Nash (Frisky Dingo, Aqua Teen Hunger Force) as the discordant director of human resources for ISIS, Pam Poovey; and George Coe (Funny People, Curb Your Enthusiasm) as Sterling's elderly and always-exploited butler, Woodhouse. Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront

Archer is a brilliant TV show, and given the line-up, there’s no way this won’t be one of the most hilarious hours at CCI. Just make sure not to drop anything sweet on the floor on the way in, because that’s how you get ants.

5:00-6:00 Beavis & Butt-head— In 1993, Mike Judge (creator of Beavis and Butt-head) and MTV knocked their heads together and launched a cartoon series starring a couple of lunkheads and unwittingly started an animated pop culture revolution. Now, Beavis and Butthead are coming back to MTV in 2011 to unleash on music videos, Jersey Shore, viral videos, and more. See the first footage from the new episodes, and join Mike as he discusses the duo's return to MTV! Room 6A

One of the more highly anticipated panels of the Con, not only because Mike Judge is a brilliant writer, and the prospect of Beavis and Butt-head coming back is blowing fans minds – but also for the sheer curiosity factor. We can’t wait.

9:30-10:30 Torchwood: Miracle Day Episode 103— Get a sneak peek at this week's new episode, Dead of Night. Torchwood goes on the run and finds a new enemy, but as they launch a raid on PhiCorp headquarters, Jack (John Barrowman) must confront the mysterious Oswald Danes (Bill Pullman). Now airing Friday nights at 10:00 pm ET/PT on Starz. Room 6DE

Friday, July 22 - 10:00-11:00 Torchwood: Miracle Day— John Barrowman (Doctor Who) and Eve Myles (Doctor Who) join cast members Mekhi Phifer (ER), Bill Pullman (Independence Day), Alexa Havins (All My Children), and Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under), along with writer Jane Espenson (Battlestar Galactica), to discuss the fourth installment of the hit BBC Worldwide show, a Starz Originals co-production, currently airing Friday nights at 10 ET/PT on Starz. Ballroom 20

The Torchwood panel comes the next day – and also looks awesome - but trust us: watch this spectacular third episode (yup, we’ve already seen it) with a room full of fans. It’ll be worth it.


10:15-11:15 Epix Pictures: The Captains— William Shatner is joined by fellow Star Trek captain Avery Brooks to present a preview of the EPIX Pictures original documentary produced and directed by Shatner, in which he travels the world to interview all the actors who've played Starfleet captains. This lively discussion and Q&A session is moderated by Comic-Con fave Kevin Smith. Room 6BCF

As far as we’ve heard, this movie is bat-s**t insane. Add in the always profanes Kevin Smith, and you’ll have what is likely to be one of the more bizarre experiences at CCI.

10:30-11:30 Locke & Key FOX Pilot Screening— The most talked-about pilot not on the fall schedule was the FOX production of Locke & Key. This screening of the entire pilot will show you just what a void there will be on your TVs this fall. Watch the special filmed adaptation of Welcome to Lovecraft, and see the Eisner-nominated comic brought to life. Can't get in to see it this morning? Don't worry...there's a rescreening tonight at 9:15 in Room 6DE! Room 8

Can we say this is THE hot event at Comic-Con this year? The pilot is supposed to be brilliant, and the team will all be there to watch it. This should be a special one.

11:15-12:15 AMC's The Walking Dead— Stars Andrew Lincoln (Love Actually), Jon Bernthal (The Pacific), Sarah Wayne Callies (Prison Break), Laurie Holden (The Mist), Norman Reedus (The Boondock Saints), Steven Yeun (The Big Bang Theory), Jeffrey DeMunn (The Green Mile); series creator/writer/director/executive producer Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption); executive producer Gale Anne Hurd (The Terminator); executive producer Robert Kirkman (creator/writer of The Walking Dead comic book series); and makeup artist and consulting producer Greg Nicotero discuss the success of season one of AMC's series The Walking Dead and reveal what to look forward to in season two, which will air on AMC thisfFall. Join the panelists for a one-on-one Q&A session and an official sneak preview of season two. Ballroom 20

In a certain way, this team has as much to prove going into season two as they did in season one. Last year’s panel was a doozy, so expect some big announcements here, too.

2:15-3:15 Exclusive Screening of ABC's Newest Supernatural Series, The River— From the studio that brought you Lost comes a new adventure set deep in the Amazon. Executive producers Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity), Michael Green (Green Lantern), and Zack Estrin (Tru Calling), along with cast members Joe Anderson (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn), Eloise Mumford (Lone Star), and Leslie Hope (24), present an exclusive screening and a Q&A of their much-anticipated new series, The River. All attendees will get a limited-edition Comic-Con giveaway. Room 6A

We honestly don’t know a lot about this other than that people who have seen it LOVE it. And we always trust people.

3:30-4:30 Entertainment Weekly Presents...Totally LOST: One Year Later— EW's Lost gurus Jeff "Doc" Jensen and Dan "Dan" Snierson wax nostalgic about the past, perhaps with a surprise guest or two, and discuss how they're "moving on" in the wake of Lost's departure from the air a year ago. The duo will look to the future by previewing promising TV obsessions. Room 5AB

I will be mildly shocked if Damon Lindelof, who is hanging around at CCI anyway, doesn’t make a “surprise” appearance at this panel. OR WILL HE??? No, he will, but he’ll be dead 50% of the time.


10:30-11:30 Marvel Television— Marvel's head of TV Jeph Loeb brings the inside scoop on Marvel's latest series that take your favorite heroes from page to screen. Get a first look at the premiere of The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes season two, a sneak peek at a certain ultimate webslinger, and a few other surprises from Marvel Television. Room 6BCF

Considering the amount of unknowns about Marvel’s TV plans, any chance to hear more from master deflector Jeph Loeb is always a treat. But seriously, Loeb is a great moderator who knows how to tease things out just the right way at a panel, so this should be a good one. Ask him when there’s going to be a freakin’ Power Pack animated series already, you know? Not that I have any stake in that happening or anything.

12:15-1:00 Futurama— Futurama is back! Again! On stage will be creator/executive producer Matt Groening, executive producer David X. Cohen, and stars Billy West (Fry, Professor Farnsworth, Dr. Zoidberg), Katey Sagal (Leela), John DiMaggio (Bender), and Maurice LaMarche (Kif Kroker, Calculon, Morbo). Get a sneak peek at never-before-seen footage of Futurama reincarnated as Japanese anime, along with a thrilling preview of this summer's new season on Comedy Central. Moderated by Bill Morrison. Ballroom 20

I went to the Futurama panel at SDCC three years ago, and still consider it one of the high points of my life. Really. Do not miss this, as the voice actors are incredibly charming, hilarious, well spoken, and bigger geeks about the show than you are.

1:00-2:00 Community— The cast and creative team from Sony TV's critically acclaimed NBC series -- Joel McHale (The Soup), Chevy Chase (Hot Tub Time Machine), Donald Glover (30 Rock), Yvette Nicole Brown (Rules of Engagement), Danny Pudi (Greek), Gillian Jacobs (Choke), Jim Rash (Reno 911), and Ken Jeong (The Hangover Part II), and executive producers Dan Harmon (The Sarah Silverman Program), Joe Russo (Arrested Development), Anthony Russo (Arrested Development), Neil Goldman (Scrubs), Garrett Donovan (Scrubs) and Russ Krasnoff (The Soloist) -- come together for an animated discussion and Q&A session about what's in store for viewers this fall! Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront

Community is the best damn sitcom you possibly aren’t watching. And if nothing else, this is a hilarious cuff who knows how to make people laugh off the cuff, so get ready for… Some laughing. Worst sentence ever, but let’s be honest: you’re skimming this anyway.

4:30-5:15 Fringe Screening and Q&A— Fringe returns to Comic-Con with series stars Anna Torv, Lance Reddick, Blair Brown, Jasika Nicole, and John Noble and executive producers Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman for a Q&A with fans and an exclusive video presentation. Delve into parallel universes and alternate doppelgangers and join the discussion about this critically acclaimed thriller as Fringe continues to explore otherworldly cases with endless impossibilities. From Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, Fringe airs Fridays at 9/8c on FOX, and Fringe: The Complete Third Season will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 6. Ballroom 20

Possibly the best show currently on TV, almost the entire cast and crew gathers to talk about the trippy – and brilliant – last season of the show. That says don’t miss to us.

5:30-6:30 Teen Wolf— MTV's critically acclaimed hit series Teen Wolf is coming back to Comic-Con! Join the cast -- Tyler Posey, Crystal Reed, Dylan O'Brien, Tyler Hoechlin, Holland Roden, and Colton Haynes -- along with executive producer Jeff Davis (creator, Criminal Minds), and director/co-executive producer Russell Mulcahy (director, Resident Evil: Extinction) for a Q&A session, plus an exclusive sneak peak at the remaining four episodes. Room 24ABC

9:30-10:30 FX Pilot Sneak Peek Screening— Surprise! Stop by for a special Saturday night sneak peek at one of FX's most highly anticipated pilots. At press time, details of this exclusive screening event were unable to be released by FX, so please check the room sign outside of Room 6DE for updated details. Room 6DE

There’s seriously no way this could be POWERS, since they just started filming last week… But I’m going to pretend it’s POWERS.


11:45-12:45 One-on-One with Castle Star Nathan Fillion— Nathan Fillion (Firefly) and the cast of Castle offer a lively discussion about their popular ABC crime-solving series. If you at last year's panel, you'll remember the fun and surprises. Enjoy a sneak peek into season four and walk away with Double Rainbow! Room 6BCF

I mean, you know. It’s Nathan Fillion. Just try NOT to go to this.

12:30-1:30 BBC America's Doctor Who— Stars Matt Smith and Karen Gillan, along with writers and producers, make their first Comic-Con appearance for a panel and Q&A! They're bringing exclusive new footage of the new season to be shown ahead of its late summer return on BBC America. Doctor Who follows the adventures of the Doctor, the mysterious traveler who journeys throughout all of time and space, picking up companions along the way and almost always sidestepping danger. From award-winning lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat and starring BAFTA nominee Matt Smith as the Doctor and Karen Gillan as his companion Amy Pond, the second season's Part One delivered record ratings for BBC America and marked the first time Doctor Who filmed on American soil. Also starring Arthur Darvill and Alex Kingston, the Part One finale ended with the unveiling of a massive secret and the words "Let's Kill Hitler" on screen. Part One is now available on Blu-ray/DVD/iTunes, and Part Two premieres late summer on BBC America's Supernatural Saturdays. The panel will be moderated by Adam Rogers, senior editor, WIRED magazine. Hall H

The new Doctor and companion land at CCI for the first time, and we couldn’t be more excited. Time to get them to explain the first half of this season, don’t you think? Explanations are cool.

2:45-3:30 It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia— Join the hilarious cast -- Rob McElhenney, Glenn Howerton, Charlie Day, Kaitlin Olson, and Danny DeVito -- for a Q&A panel session. Hall H

FX’s gleefully profane cast will talk about Rob McElhenney getting fat for the upcoming season, and that’s worth 45 minutes right there.

3:30-4:30 Yo Gabba Gabba! Behind the Music— Since Yo Gabba Gabba! launched on Nickelodeon in 2007, it quickly became one of the most popular series on television with broad appeal among preschoolers, parents, teens and adults- thanks, in large part, to its musical content. Join Lance Robertson (DJ Lance Rock) and the cast of Yo Gabba Gabba! music composers for an exclusive behind the scenes discussion about what it’s like to compose Yo Gabba Gabba! songs for some of today’s most popular names in music and entertainment, such as Jack Black, The Killers, The Shins, The Roots, Weezer and more. Be the first to hear music being composed for the highly anticipated season 4 and 2011 live stage show, followed by a fan-led Q&A. Attendees of the panel also will receive exclusive giveaways. Room 6BCF

As we all have 18 month olds who are obsessed with this show, I’d imagine this will be the most packed panel of the Con. Right? Right. Anyway, if I don’t go to this, my daughter will cry.

And that’s it! Let us know what you’re looking forward to at SDCC, and we’ll see you soon!

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