TV Heartbeat Guide to San Diego Comic Con 2015! What’s New? Who’s Missing? Getting into a Panel!

It’s almost here! The most wonderful/crazy/hectic time of the year known as San Diego Comic Con! In the past 10 years, TV has steadily taken center stage at this pop culture convention and now there’s so much to see and do. Let’s break it down!

Who’s stepping up their game?

Comic Con International organizers finally figured out that several shows were in DRASTIC need of a bigger room for their panels so, hallelujah! A few shows will be more accessible. (And there was much rejoicing!)

Last year, Outlander made a huge splash with a standout booth (complete with standing stones and Castle Leoch) and a major red-carpet premiere. While Outlander won’t have either this year, the show’s Saturday panel will be in Ballroom 20 which hold 4x as many people. Let’s hear it for the power of Outlander’s fans! We’ll get our first look at the new season and could we even get a new casting announcement as well? Fingers crossed! Entertainment Weekly got one of the first official images off the season 2 set so here’s our fist look at Claire in France, all gussied up to stop a war:

outlander season 2 teaser

Outlander-related festivities will kick off a day earlier with Sam Heughan’s presence on the Entertainment Weekly’s Brave New Warriors panel (Friday, Hall H). And don’t forget to visit Random House which is hosting a (ticketed) signing on Saturday.

Orphan Black is also getting a room upgrade to #6BCF which will double the amount of folks who can see the panel. While Orphan Black’s presence is rather minimal at the BBC America store (1 shirt and a calendar which is pretty lame), you can also see Jordan Gavaris on the Entertainment Weekly Brave New Warriors panel (yeah Fee!!!). The cast will also make a brief appearance at the Nerdist stage and also at the Orphan Black offsite event aka Alison’s Victory Brunch which is headed to the larger House of Blues on Saturday. Also, the guys will sit down for a fun chat at Nerd HQ. This may be the last time we see Dylan Bruce with the Orphan Black guys since he’s departing for Heroes Reborn.

BBC A OB 2015 exclusive

Vikings from the History Channel is also increasing its presence with a booth INSIDE the exhibit hall! It’s down on the far side by the gaming section so make sure you head down to booth #437! Similar to last year, the booth will offer the chance to make a little movie. You’ll choose your weapon and splatter someone for a sharable video and you can walk away with a drinking horn. Also, there will be a pub crawl/raid around town on longships and a few lucky fans will take a cruise on the harbor with the cast. (Pick me! Pick me! Lol!)

Raging seas! (Photo courtesy of History Channel)

Raging seas! (Photo courtesy of History Channel)

Welcome to the party!

A couple of new shows are kicking off with a huge bang this year!

  • Starz is shifting their considerable focus from Outlander to Ash vs. Evil Dead. (Goodbye men in kilts! Hello guys with chainsaws! Yeah, that’s not the same. Sigh!) Still, Ash vs. Evil Dead should be fun with a panel which will reveal the first trailer for the show.  On the exhibit floor, Starz will have a re-creation of a set piece at the booth. Anyone who cosplays Evil Dead should stop by the booth for a special prize. Be warned, SDCC put the panel in a smaller room and Bruce Campbell/Evil Dead fans are numerous — it’ll be tough to get into this panel.
  • Fox is going nuts promoting Ryan Murphy’s Scream Queens with a screening, joint panel with American Horror Story, amusement park ride (in the Petco Interactive Zone) and an ice cream cart.
  • NBC is hoping no one remembers the narrative mess known as the last seasons of Heroes. The re-boot, Heroes Reborn will get a Hall H panel on Sunday and will also be the focus of NBC installation between the Hard Rock and trolley tracks.
  • But the show with the juiciest room and time slot is Fear the Walking Dead which has a panel in Hall H after its mother show, The Walking Dead. This “companion” show will take place in Los Angeles and begins as the plague is breaking. Fear the Walking Dead debuts late summer and will finish right before The Walking Dead starts up its new season in October.

ash vs evil dead poster teaser_1200x1800_Final

Other shows are hoping to build an audience before they debut with a special screening of the first episode. Here’s the elevator pitch for each show so you can judge where you want to spend your time.

  • Blindspot (NBC) – Amnesiac Jamie Alexander’s tattoos hold clues to big mystery.
  • The Player (NBC) – Wesley Snipes is a security expert in Las Vegas.
  • Limitless (CBS) – Jack McDorman gets brain-boosting drug. Bradley Cooper will appear in a episode or two.
  • Lucifer (Fox) – Based on Neil Gaiman characters, Lucifer lives in modern day LA.
  • The Shannara Chronicles (MTV) – Based on the long-running Terry Brooks epic fantasy saga this could be a big show. Taking a cue from Game of Thrones, studios are launching shows based on books series where there’s plenty of material and Brooks has over 20 books in this world — millions of readers can’t be wrong, right?
  • Minority Report (Fox) – Continues the story of one of the pre-cog twins after the events in the movie.
  • Colony (USA) – Josh Holloway and Sarah Wayne Callies live in LA which is seized by intruders.
  • The Expanse (Syfy) – This series is set 200 years in the future after man has colonized the solar system.
  • Containment (The CW) – Deadly epidemic sweeps through Atlanta.
  • Supergirl (CBS) – Supe’s cousin is a newspaper reporter.


There’s also a whole bunch of other shows that are paneling, but not screening full episodes.

  • Hand of God (Amazon) – Ron Perlman is a judge who experiences a religious epiphany during a family tragedy.
  • Damien (A&E) – Damien Thorn grows up after the events in Damien.
  • The Man in High Castle (Amazon) – What happens if the Allies didn’t win WWII?
  • Into the Badlands (AMC) – A warrior and a young boy journey through dangerous lands.
  • Childhood’s End (Syfy) – Miniseries based on Arthur C Clarke novel where Earth is peacefully overtaken by the alien Overlords.
  • The Muppets (ABC) – It’s time to start the music, it’s time to light the lights…
  • Outcast (Cinemax) – Man adjusts to life post demonic exorcism.
  • DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (The CW) – Various villains/heroes from Arrow and The Flash get together. They haven’t really started filming so they may show some footage at the DC/WB TVapolloza on Saturday night.
  • Bastard Executioner (FX) – New show from Kurt Sutter (Sons of Anarchy) which takes pace in medieval England where a war-weary knight is forced to become an executioner.
  • SuperMansion (Crackle) – Stop-motion comedy with Bryan Cranston.

Some shows have already premiered to the world, but they are making their first foray to San Diego. So please welcome 12 Monkeys, Powers, Dark Matters, Scream and Sense8!

12 Monkeys (1)

The usual suspects

A bunch of veteran shows are returning and following their usual pattern of panels and whatnot including: Game of Thrones, Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter, Sharknado, the dreaded Once Upon A Time booth, The Originals, Supernatural, Vampire Diaries, The 100 and Grimm.

  • Walking Dead fans who can’t get into Hall H for the panel can attend Walker Stalker Con at Petco Park and meet some of the folks killed off in previous seasons.
  • It’s the return of Sherlock, but once again, Sherlock and Watson aren’t here. Sadness. I’d love to hear the two of them talk about this show!
  • American Horror Story will be a part of the FX Arena and will also do a signing, but they haven’t announced who’s coming yet. So we don’t know if Lady Gaga will be the latest musician to show to promote an acting gig to make this the most musical-but-not-musical con ever. (She’d join half the Backstreet Boys and KISS.)

The Walking Dead FYC Q And A! Andrew Lincoln! Norman Reedus! Melissa McBride! Danai Gurira 35

Getting the band back together

Oddly, there is also a Miami Vice reunion without Crocket or Tubbs. This 30th anniversary reunion is to promote a new Miami Vice comic book. Babylon 5 is also reuniting with the full cast.

Farewell tour

It’s always sad to see a show sign off, but at least fans can say a proper goodbye to both Falling Skies and Hannibal. Both shows are airing their final season so this is it!

Hannibal showrunner Bryan Fuller will be signing a limited edition Funko Pop! version of himself. The Pop! toy will only be sold during this signing so circle the Funko booth and watch their twitter feed for more details.

Mads Mikkelsen

Who’s missing?

Each year, there are always a few shows that don’t make it. I was hoping Fox would bring The X-Files since they are filming now for a January premiere. Unfortunately, they are not.  There will be a team of people wandering around the city with an X for you to take pictures with. I hope its not as lame as it sounds! Let’s hope they show up for NYCC in October!

x-files first look reboot mulder and scully2

My dream panel would have been for Twin Peaks since that gum I like is back in style again. But it’s way too early for them to have anything to talk about yet so the show’s absence isn’t a surprise. I am surprised that Showtime ducked out altogether and isn’t bringing Penny Dreadful which was well received last year. Perhaps Showtime will return next year with both shows. (Please!)

Twin peaks cooper audrey

Shadowhunters, the new ABC Family series based on the best-selling Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Claire, is also skipping out on San Diego, but the author has tweeted that perhaps they’ll show for NYCC.

Also mysteriously absent? The Marvel Netflix shows and, well, Netflix in general. (Sense8 is holding a panel since the creator is here, but it’s not official a Neflix panel.) It’s a shame Daredevil and AKA Jessica Jones aren’t showing.

DareDevil netflix charlie cox

Arrow isn’t getting a panel this year since it’s folded into the Warner Bros./DC TV extravaganza on Saturday night along with The Flash.

Flash Arrow crossover

Other shows missing from the list this year include: Sleepy Hollow, Bates Motel, Legends, Beauty and the Beast, Reign, Bones, Defiance and The Blacklist.

Getting into a Panel

Some panels are definitely going to be harder to get into so make sure you plan accordingly. It’s all about the room and what’s scheduled before and after your panel of choice since they do not clear rooms between panels.

  • For Hall H, they will be giving out wristbands the day before to guarantee spots for the first panel. Read this for more information on when and where the wristbands will be given out.  The lines for the wristbands will start well ahead of when they will give them out so you probably can’t walk up to the line when they start wristband distribution. Welcome to Comic Con!
  • After the first panel fills, they will let new people in as people leave. Friday’s Entertainment Weekly’s Brave New Warriors panel with Sam Heughan will be particularly tough to get into since people will be camping out and waiting all day for the Star Wars panel which is next. Friday and Saturday will be the toughest days to get into Hall H.
  • As an alternative, they are broadcasting some panels from Hall H and Ballroom 20 in the Omni playback room. They won’t play any trailers or clips that get previewed, but you’ll get to hear the conversation. Attendees will vote on which panels will get replayed so cheer on your favorites!
  • Ballroom 20 can be a pain to get into, depending on the panels. On Saturday, there should be a lot of people leaving after the Seth MacFarlane animation block so if you’re somewhat close to the front when those panels end, you may have a good shot of getting into the Outlander panel. The room does hold over 4500 people so the line may be scary. Remember that the Hannibal fans are quite passionate and this is the last panel for the series which is ending.
  • Orphan Black fans are also quite passionate so you may want to circle the line for #6BCF a little early since many will grab a seat a few panels early. Also, you can catch the panel for Colony which has a great pedigree and half the fun of SDCC is discovering new stuff while enjoying your favorites.
  • For Vikings, there should be some turnover after the Teen Titans panel so learn about Amazon’s The Man in High Castle and secure a seat to go raiding with the cast.

Whew!! So much going on this week! I’m wishing everyone the best of luck in getting into their favorite events. I also hope you find a few new discoveries as well!

Stay tuned!

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For more adventures, follow me on twitter: @Cambear

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