'Game of Thrones,' Sarah Michelle Gellar lead Comic-Con Thursday TV highlights
Bruce Campbell, 'Beavis and Butthead' and a slew of 'Lost' stars will also appear
In what is becoming a Comic-Con tradition, the TV slate for the event's opening day (Thursday, July 21) is dominated by USA favorites like "Psych" and "Burn Notice," plus a Showtime roster ruled by "Dexter."
But Showtime and USA don't have Comic-Con Thursday to themselves, as new shows like NBC's "Awake," The CW's "Ringer" and FOX's "Napoleon Dynamite" will attempt to generate positive buzz, while MTV's "Beavis and Butthead" celebrate its triumphant return.
Our guess for the day's biggest TV-related panel, though? HBO's "Game of Thrones," bringing many of its stars out Ballroom 20 to recall the fantasy's first season and look forward to starting production on Season 2, with shooting just days away.
Here are some (but not all) of the Comic-Con TV Highlights for Thursday, July 21.
"Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe"
10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Who: Star Bruce Campbell and "Burn Notice" creator Matt Nix.
Lowdown: Last Comic-Con, Campbell and Nix revealed plans for their "Burn Notice" TV movie. This year, they'll tease the DVD release of "The Fall of Sam Axe," but mostly Campbell will spend an hour basking in the adoration of several thousands of his fans. He'll crack jokes, pay audience members for compliments and do all of the things that have made him an absolute icon at events like this.
11:15 - 12:15 a.m.
Who: Stars Golden Globe Nominee Piper Parabo, Christopher Gorham, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Kari Matchett, Anne Dudek and Peter Gallagher will be joined by producers Doug Liman, Chris Ord, Matt Corman, and Dave Bartis and moderator Oded Fehr.
Lowdown: Got questions about the second season of "Covert Affairs"? The USA spy drama makes its Comic-Con debut in the comfortable hammock position between audience favorites Bruce Campbell and "Psych."
12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
Who: Stars James Roday, Dule Hill, Maggie Lawson, Tim Omundson, Kristen Nelson and Corbin Bernsen will b joined by producers Steve Franks, Kelly Kulchak and Chris Henze in a panel moderated by co-star Kurt Fuller.
Lowdown: It doesn't seem like an obvious Comic-Con match, but with a room packed with devoted fans, "Psych" delivered one of the most entertaining panels of last year's Con. Maybe Dule Hill will tap-dance again?
1:45 - 2:45 p.m.
Who: Stars Ioan Gruffudd, Nestor Carbonell and Kristoffer Polaha will be joined by producers Pam Veasey, Nicole Snyder and Eric Charmelo. Oh and Sarah Michelle Gellar will also be there.
Lowdown: After an exclusive sneak peek at the new CW drama, fans will get to pepper Sarah Michelle Gellar (in only her second Comic-Con appearance) with questions about "Buffy" and Nestor Carbonell with questions about "Lost." We'll see if Ioan Gruffudd gets a little "Fantastic Four" love.
2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Who: Stars Jon Heder, Tina Majorino, Efren Ramirez, Jon Gries, Sandy Martin and Diedrich Bader and producer Mike Scully
Lowdown: The stars of indie smash "Napoleon Dynamite" attempt to remind fans about the existence of "Napoleon Dynamite," while also teasing their FOX animated comedy.
"Game of Thrones"
3:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Who: We've got stars Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington and Jason Momoa (and possibly more) on a panel moderated by franchise author George R. R. Martin.
Lowdown: This seems like a no-brainer as one of the Con's biggest TV panels, with the combination of a beloved novel series and a mostly revered HBO drama. How many people will show up dressed as Dothraki? And what announcements will be made about the show's upcoming second season? It's a safe bet that we'll be live-blogging this panel at HitFix.
3:45 - 4:45 p.m.
Who: Star Jason Isaacs and producers Howard Gordon and Kyle Killen.
Lowdown: NBC doesn't have a time slot or premiere date yet for this dream-weaving thriller, but it's already attracting more buzz than most fall premieres. Be the first on your block to see the full pilot, enjoy a brief Q&A and then become insufferable with your taunting of mere mortals who will have to wait until midseason for "Awake."
4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront
Who: Series creator Adam Reed will be joined by stars H. John Benjamin, Aisha Tyler, Chris Parnell, Judy Greer, Amber Nash and George Coe.
Lowdown: You'll have to leave the Convention Center and miss "Game of Thrones" and "Awake" to see your favorite stars from the FX animated favorite. Dukes! But we're sure the cast and creator Reed will have no trouble keeping folks amused with teases from their dead-pan espionage comedy's third season.
"TV Guide Presents: Fan Favorites"
4:15 - 5:15 p.m.
Who: Nestor Carbonell, Johnny Galecki, Jorge Garcia, Leslie Hope, Zachary Levi, Joe Manganiello, Julie Plec, Matt Smith, Kevin Williamson, Deborah Ann Woll and more.
Lowdown: Gee. Do you think the Comic-Con faithful will be able to have some fun with this panel of favorites? You've got a Doctor, two "Lost" favorites, a vampire, a werewolf and more.
"Beavis & Butthead"
5:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Who: Mike Judge
Lowdown: Beavis and Butthead are returning to MTV later this year. Mike Judge will showcase the first footage from the new episodes and will probably make funny voices if you ask him nicely.
"Showtime: Tired of Ordinary Television?"
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Who: Michael C. Hall leads a eight "Dexter" stars and producers, while "Shameless" will be represented by William H. Macy, Emmy Rossum and John Well and if that's not enough? "V" and "Firefly" star Morena Baccarin will appear to present clips from her new drama "Homeland."
Lowdown: "Dexter" has long been a Comic-Con favorite and Showtime will fill two full hours built around the lovable serial killer and two shows that aren't nearly as crowd-compatible.
6:15 - 7:30 p.m.
Who: Elijah Wood, Fiona Gubelmann, Dorian Brown, David Zuckerman and Randall Einhorn.
Lowdown: This might surprise you: Comic-Con audiences are going to really, really, really be happy to see Elijah "Frodo" Wood. Anything else will be gravy.
Comic-Con International runs from July 21-24 at the San Diego Convention Center. Unfortunately, all passes are currently sold out.
Look for continuing updates on Comic-Con 2011 before and during the annual pop culture extravaganza on HitFix.