Comic-Con Countdown: The first day
For those of you attending Comic-Con in San Diego, my hat is off to you. After looking at the schedule for the opening day, Thursday, July 24th, it is a wonder that your eyes don't grow glassy and that vein on the side of your temple doesn't throb with all of the events listed for that day. For those of you not attending, you may be breathing a sigh of relief that you won't have to decide what to attend and what to miss.
Granted, we here at TV Squad are only going to Comic-Con to cover the television-related events. Still, there are quite a few of them going on Thursday, starting when the convention opens and ending as the next day creeps into the night. Panels cover the gamut: public television shows, show revivals, anniversary panels about shows that have been revived, and Robert Smigel. So, if you are going, bring some comfortable shoes, plenty of snacks, and a ton of questions.
If you are not going, but are still interested in seeing what's going on in San Diego, here is a list of TV-related events for the first day of the convention. If you are interested in the complete list of events you can go to Spout blog for Thursday's full Comic-Con schedule.
Times and events are subject to change
10:00-11:00 Click & Clack's As the Wrench Turns -- Behind the scenes at PBS's new primetime cartoon, based on the famous radio show Car Talk. Catch a sneak peek of a new episode, plus Q&A with the creators: Tom Sito (The Lion King, Osmosis Jones), Bill Kroyer (Tron, Garfield the Movie), Stephen Silver (Kim Possible), Floyd Norman (101 Dalmatians), Helen Jen (TMNT), Tom Minton (Pinky and the Brain), and executive producer Howard Grossman.
10:00-11:00 The Gene Roddenberry Legacy: Roddenberry in the 21st Century -- Building on his father's legacy with Star Trek, Rod Roddenberry and Roddenberry Productions are bringing the Roddenberry philosophy into the 21st century, through their work on the forthcoming feature documentary Trek Nation, as well as the development of original content in webcomics such as Rod & Barry and Gene's Journal. This panel features exclusive Comic-Con looks at new Roddenberry content and projects currently in development. Featuring Eugene "Rod" Roddenberry, Trevor Roth (COO of Roddenberry Productions), and Paul Keller.
10:30-11:30 Freaks, Geeks, and Tiny Toons -- Warner Home Video brings the hit animated television series Tiny Toon Adventures and Freakazoid! to DVD on July 29. This panel features Bruce Timm (storyboard artist, character designer), John McCann (Douglas Douglas, Hero Boy story editor), Paul Rugg (Freakazoid writer), Sherri Stoner (writer, producer, story editor), Paul Dini (writer, story editor), Jean MacCurdy (executive producer), Rich Arons (producer, writer, director) and Andrea Romano (voice director).
11:15-12:15 30th Anniversary Battlestar Galactica Panel -- Richard Hatch (Tom Zarek/Apollo), Bear McCreary (BG composer), producer Tom DeSanto (Transformers, X-Men), and Dr. Kevin Grazier (science consultant) present an in-depth discussion of the Battlestar universe from the classic to the re-imagined and beyond, including BSG trailers and Q&A.
11:45-12:45 Knight Rider: First Look at the New Series and Q&A with Cast and Executive Producers -- On the heels of NBC's hit sequel movie based on the iconic 1980s television classic, Knight Rider has been reinvented as a supercharged action series showcasing the new KITT (Knight Industries Three Thousand). Be the first to see exclusive footage from the new series. Moderated by Television Week deputy editor/columnist Josef Adalian, who participates in a Q&A session with executive producer/showrunner Gary Scott Thompson; executive producer David Bartis; and the cast: Justin Bruening (Cold Case), Deanna Russo (NCIS), Sydney Tamiia Poitier (Veronica Mars), Paul Campbell (Battlestar Galactica), Yancey Arias (Kingpin), Bruce Davison (X-Men) and Smith Cho (Blades of Glory).
12:00-1:00 The New Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's: English-Language World Premiere - Be the first to see the English language version of the new Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's television series. Plus, meet the team behind the show, including --straight from Japan -- producer Teruaki Jitsumatsu (Transformers: Robots in Disguise). Yumi Hoashi of Konami, and representatives from UpperDeck, 4KidsEntertainment, and Playmates Toys will also reveal what's in store for Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's fans and, while supplies last, offer a few surprises for lucky attendees!
12:00-1:00 Doctor Who - Writer Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat, and executive producer Julie Gardner discuss their creative process and experience working on the BBC's Doctor Who -- Britain's most successful sci-fi franchise -- with exclusive clips and a Q&A session.
12:30-1:30 William Katt: Greatest American Hero Comic -- Join Alex, Justin, and Pete from Pulp Secret for one of the biggest announcements at this year's Comic-Con, an event that's been 25 years in the making. Catastrophic Comics' William Katt (Greatest American Hero), Christopher Folino (Gamers), and Derek McCaw (Fanboy Planet) along with Arcana Studios' Sean O'Reilly (The Clockwork Girl) are on hand for an interview and Q&A.
1:00-2:00 Bongo Comics -- Celebrate 15 years of mischief and merriment with Bongo Comics. Managing editor Terry Delegeane and creative director Bill Morrison host a panel featuring the writers and artists who create the comics and books based on Matt Groening's (The Simpsons) phenomenal TV shows. Find out what's in the future for the upstart comic book company that Bart built.
1:00-2:00 Torchwood -- Writer Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat, executive producer Julie Gardner, and actors John Barrowman, Gareth David-Lloyd, Naoko Mori and Burn Gorman discuss their creative process and experience on working on BBC America's highest-rated show ever -- Torchwood -- followed by a Q&A session.
1:15-2:00 How to Tell a Story -- Get a deep insight into the craft of storytelling from these masters in the field: David Gerrold (TV writer, author of 30+ novels, Star Trek: The Trouble with Tribbles), William F. Nolan (TV and film writer, author of over a dozen novels), George Clayton Johnson (Twilight Zone, Star Trek, Ocean's 11, Logan's Run), John Truby (owner, John Truby's Writer's Studio, author, Anatomy of Story), and Marc Scott Zicree (TV writer, executive producer, Sliders; author of The Twilight Zone Companion).
2:00-3:00 The Middleman -- Creator and executive producer Javier Grillo-Marxuach and The Middleman actors Matt Keeslar and Natalie Morales discuss the bizarre world of The Middleman. Based on the graphic novels by Javier Grillo-Marxuach, The Middleman follows the surreal life of twenty-something Wendy Watson as she gets recruited by a top secret agency to fight comic book-esque criminals under the guidance of her straight-laced boss, The Middleman.
3:00-4:00 Wizard's First Rule -- Sam Raimi and Ken Biller (Star Trek: Voyager) give you a first look at the upcoming television series Wizard's First Rule. The one-hour weekly series, premiering in late fall, is based on Terry Goodkind's bestselling epic fantasy series The Sword of Truth, which follows the extraordinary transformation of woodsman Richard Cypher into a magical leader who joins with a mysterious, beautiful woman to stop a bloodthirsty, sinister tyrant. Join Sam and Ken for a moderated interview and audience Q&A session!
4:00-5:00 TV Costume Designers -- Characters created by writers and comic book illustrators are made real for the screen via the artistry of costume designers. Meet the women and men who are the costume designers on this year's most popular television productions. Panel moderator Hope Hanafin, costume designer and VP of the Costume Designers Guild, Local 892, hosts costume designers Shawna Trpcic (Firefly), Roland Sanchez (Lost), Debra McGuire (Heroes), Amanda Friedland (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), and Cynthia Bergstrom (Buffy, The Vampire Slayer).
4:00-5:00 Star Trek Without a Blueprint: How Books and Comics Keep Expanding the Boundaries of the Star Trek Universe -- Andy Mangels (moderator and Star Trek author), Margaret Clark (executive editor, Pocket Books), Andy Schmidt (senior editor, IDW) and Star Trek authors Kevin Dilmore, Dave Mack, Scott Tipton, and Dayton Ward discuss the future of Star Trek publishing. Also appearing is Star Trek: The Next Generation star, and TV Squad's very own, Wil Wheaton.
4:15-5:15 Afro Samurai: Resurrection Exclusive Worldwide Premiere! -- Afro Samurai picks up his sword once again for the second installment of this critically acclaimed anime! This action-packed panel features the creators behind the hit, including star and executive producer Samuel L. Jackson, original creator Takahashi Okazaki, musical artist The RZA (Kill Bill), and executive producer Leo Chu (Spike TV). Be the first to see the worldwide premiere of the exclusive Comic-Con trailer, dazzling artwork from the manga, and never-before-seen demos of the pulse-pounding video game.
4:30-5:30 HBO's True Blood -- Based on the popular Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris, True Blood is created by Alan Ball, creator of HBO's Emmy-winning series Six Feet Under. The series takes place in the not-too-distant future, when, thanks to the invention of synthetic blood, vampires no longer need humans for their fix and can walk freely, if not yet comfortably, among their living counterparts. With their integration into a small Louisiana town causing a stir, a love story ensues between Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), an innocent waitress with the unusual ability to read minds, and vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer, The Starter Wife). The series also features Ryan Kwanten (Summerland), Rutina Wesley (How She Move), Sam Trammell (Judging Amy), and Nelsan Ellis (The Inside).
4:45-5:45 "SCREAM" Like a Girl -- Spike loves women. And the coolest women on the planet are the ones who destroy aliens, defeat serial killers and battle evil villains with their superpowers! In honor of Spike's Scream Awards 2008 -- the first and most important televised event that celebrates the genius creative talent behind the powerhouse Hollywood genres of comic books, science fiction, fantasy and horror -- Spike brings you a candid discussion of these genres from the women they love, who are poised to rule the fanboy's universe! Moderator Kevin Smith hosts an all-female panel of actresses, artists, writers, directors, and producers in a discussion about working in these genres from their unique point of view. Twenty lucky panel attendees will win tickets to the 2008 Scream Awards.
5:00-6:00 The Pitching Hour -- Michael Polis (WildBrain Studios, YoGabbaGabba), Jermaine Turner (director, Disney/ABC Cable Networks Group), Jill Sanford (manager, original series, Disney Television Animation), Sam Humphries (MySpace Comics), Paula Gould (PEG PR), Jeremy Love (writer/producer, Gettosake Studios), and moderator Dan Evans (freelance development exec) will take an idea from conception through production for various media. This process will include creating a pitch document, obtaining agents, and getting a pitch meeting. The panelists will explain, through hypothetical example and humorous stories, the process that new creators should adapt to make their way into the Hollywood creative battleground. Knowing that each project is unique, there will be a Q&A to allow the audience to really hone in on the solutions to obstacles they may encounter. Also on hand will be IP lawyer Brendan McFeely to give creators insight on protecting their ideas as they navigate Hollywood!
5:30-6:30 The Science Behind Science Fiction -- Celebrate the world of science fiction when Jaime Paglia (writer and producer of Eureka) and Phil Plait (badastronomy.com) lead a panel discussion with Discover Magazine editors exploring when science becomes good science fiction.
5:45-6:45 Showtime: Dexter -- Showtime presents exclusives from the set of the highly anticipated third season of Dexter. Moderator Kristin Dos Santos (E!) presides over this revealing interview and Q&A session with the top stars and executive producers of Dexter, featuring Michael C. Hall, Julie Benz, Clyde Phillips, and John Goldwyn.
6:00-7:00 Life, Death, Life of Star Trek -- You've heard a lot of hype about sci-fi's first franchise lately, now it's time to see what it's all about and celebrate an illustrious 40 years of boldly going with this regular panel of unpaid, uncensored Treksperts, who pay homage to Trek's past and future. Daren Dochterman (ST: TMP Director's Cut Special Edition), Robert Meyer Burnett (Free Enterprise), Jeff Bond (The Music of Star Trek), and moderator Mark A. Altman (Free Enterprise) talk Trek like no one else can.
7:00-9:00 Comedy Central's TV Funhouse with Robert Smigel -- Robert Smigel and Dino Stamatopoulos (Morel Orel) reunite to discuss the most groundbreaking show to ever hit (and subsequently disappear) from basic cable.