Well, the interest meter just moved up considerably because West Wing Emmy-winner Allison Janney will co-star with Matthew in Mr. Sunshine. Mr. Sunshine is an ABC pilot they'll be filming, and it's about a guy who reaches his 40th birthday and wonders if he can continue just getting by on his charm and nonchalant style.
Mr. Sunshine is set in San Diego, where Perry's character manages an aging stadium. Janney is playing Crystal Cohen, the lady in charge of the place. That's right; she's Matthew's boss.
Sam is actually not a formally trained chef or a caterer turned cook or a restaurateur or any of the other types that have made their way to TV. I looked him up and Sam Zein was a regular Joe, working for a pharmaceutical company, who dumped it all to make a TV show about travel, which turned into a food program instead. FitTV, which is part of Discovery, probably bought the show because they liked Sam. And that's the beauty of the show.
But, as the Monday morning after the madness dawns, we'll take a few minutes and review the major impressions left by the four day weekend.
What happened? What were the biggest themes of the convention and what didn't happen that everyone was hoping would. In other words, what was Comic-Con 2009, and where did it fall short?
As the Comic-Con premiere trailer shows, the fourth season of Dexter unveils the deadly title character's new arrival, a baby boy (Harrison). The kid is obviously cute (right), and he plays well off of the simmering sinister visage of his fictional fathr.
The little prince is featured in a massive ad campaign throughout downtown San Diego ads, inside the convention center, on buses and cabs, etc.
Saturday is usually the busiest at Comic-Con International -- the day when crowds hit their peak. It was certainly the busiest day so far for me on the convention beat.
In an eight-hour period, I piled up several exclusive, one-on-one interviews for TV Squad. They're set to run soon as Comic-Con winds down for 2009.
Word is going around that the popular entertainment world will descend on Los Angeles next year, leaving the San Diego Convention Center behind.
It's not the first time this possibility has been raised, but the sheer and ever-growing size of the convention is making it look more likely.
Check it out and enjoy some shots I took while on the run from event to event -- like the perfect Mystery Science Theater 3000 Torgo (right) from the Rifftrax panel.
You can check out the gallery here:
This is where most of the stories you read online at TV Squad and other sites (at least I think there are other sites) are written and filed. General attendees don't get a chance to see it. It's press-only, huge, air-conditioned, and chock full of free wi-fi. It's a bit of a hike to get to, but that's a quibble.
Since it's a reporter's job to be out collecting news on the floor or in the press conferences and not to sit around, it's half empty most of the time. And, amazingly, a lot of the reporters here don't know it exists and never use it.
So, shush. Let's keep it that way.
If you're a panel organizer who wants press coverage at Comic-Con International, form a VIP or press line. I realize the odds that anyone actually organizing panels at the convention is reading this right now are low, but I'll record this for future generations -- like a sweaty time capsule.
Every year, the schedule of events for fans and press gets more and more packed. From curtain up until close, something worth covering is going on. Press scrambles from event to event to make sure readers unable to attend keep up on the news.
Visistors to the floor of Comic-Con International can visit the FlashForward booth and share "what they saw" during their glimpse into the future for The Mosaic Collective.
Obviously, it's all part of the make-believe fun here on the Comic-Con floor. The overheated crowds haven't started blacking out yet. But, this kind of audience participation is a key marketing theme around here.
Beginning during tonight's special preview night and running through to close on Sunday evening, I will be hitting every panel, press conference and premiere party he can before collapsing into a stupor Monday morning. My fellow Squadders will also be eyeballing the news coming from the con and providing news reports from TV-related panels and other events that I can't get to.
You'll be able to keep up to date on the breaking news here and via TV Squad's Twitter Feed.
Those sets will only be on sale through July 20. Fox is making 5,000 of the numbered sets, which will include a special Comic-Con faceplate and a "lenticular letter" by show creator Joss Whedon. The sets available at Comic-Con will most likely feature some extra goodies.
If you're a Dollhouse fan heading to the big show in July, I highly recommend picking one of these up and hanging around the hot dog vendors in the late afternoon. That's where I spotted Mr. Whedon during last year's Comic-Con. The man is very fan-friendly. He was nice enough to chat with me for a bit and even pose for a picture. Unfortunately, I went home without an autograph. I didn't have any copies of his Buffy or X-Men comics for him to sign, and I was too timid to ask him to sign my man breast. (Ah, opportunities lost.)
It gave us new insights into Sarah's character and deepened her connection to Chuck. There was still plenty of action, but oh how I love that back story.
Guest star Nicole Richie -- looking pretty, but in need of a milkshake or two to put some meat on her bones -- is not much of an actress. Still, she can play a jealous skank with aplomb, and that was her role here.
As Heather Chandler, Sarah's former classmate at San Diego's James Buchanan High, Chuck discovered things about Sarah heretofore unknown. Good for us viewers, too. If you haven't watched the show yet, beware plot revelations after the jump.
(Check out part two of this four-part report)
This should have felt like the home stretch. I should have felt like the end of it all was near. But a glance at the day's schedule reminded me I was going to be running around like a madman all day, trying to make some of the most popular panels of the weekend.
Saturday was a schedule that Rich and I had been contemplating since the schedule was released. The problem: With only two people, how would we get me from the extremely popular Lost panel in Hall H, all the way over to the other extremely popular Dollhouse panel, while Rich covered The Office? It simply wasn't possible. So, we made the decision that Rich would sit in Ballroom 20 after covering Futurama and The Simpsons, right through the oddly-placed Dean Koontz panel, and save my seat for Dollhouse. The Office would have to suffer.
I haven't been to San Diego in several decades but, like many cities, there are certain things you expect to see. Tall buildings, traffic jams (especially during Comic-Con), crowds of people, citizens and tourists alike, milling about on the sidewalks and in the restaurants that surround the city. But a herd of cows? Well, on the U.S.S. Midway museum, perhaps, but not in the middle of downtown.
Yet, here were a herd of cattle in a paid parking lot on 5th Avenue, right in the heart of the Gaslamp District. Was it a throwback to pioneer days? Did a cowboy and his herd get lost? Was it a protest by PETA? No, silly, it was a television show promotion. Which one it was is revealed after the jump.
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