'True Blood,' 'Walking Dead' lead the Comic-Con 2011 Friday TV schedule
'Bones,' 'Torchwood,' 'Spartacus' and more will also hit San Diego
Get ready for TV madness on Friday, July 22 at San Diego's Comic-Con.
A busy day will see Comic-Con favorites like "The Walking Dead," "The Big Bang Theory" and "Bones" entertain Ballroom 20 before the day's big panel, a little HBO vampire drama titled "True Blood."
But if you don't like the crowds in Ballroom 20, there will be humor aplenty in the Hilton Bayfront's Indigo Ballroom, where offerings like "Children's Hospital" and "The Venture Brothers" will be paneled.
The day will also offer fans their first chance to see ABC's midseason drama "The River" and the new version of "ThunderCats," plus a rare chance to spend time with original stars of "Star Trek" and "Batman."
Comic-Con Friday is so packed with TV offerings that this overview doesn't even mention panels for ABC Family's "The Nine Lives of Chloe King," Comedy Central's "Ugly Americans," Adult Swim's "Black Dynamite" and "Robot Chicken," Syfy's "Alphas," TNT's "Falling Skies" and more.
Here are many (but not all) of the TV highlights of Friday, July 22 at Comic-Con:
"Torchwood: Miracle Day"
10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Who: Stars John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Mekhi Phifer, Bill Pullman, Alexa Havens and Lauren Ambrose join writer Jane Espenson.
Lowdown: Russell Davies won't be there, but "Buffy" and "Battlestar" favorite Jane Espenson is about as good a proxy as fans could hope for in this panel that kicks off an insanely busy day in Ballroom 20. Be prepared to settle in for the long haul.
"Star Trek: The Captains"
10:15 - 11:15
Who: William Shatner, Avery Brooks and moderator Kevin Smith.
Lowdown: If you're skipping the Ballroom 20 madness, why not spend an hour with The Shat and Kevin Smith, as they discuss the upcoming EPIX documentary produced and directed by Shatner himself.
"Locke & Key"
10:30 - 11:30
Who: Nobody will be at the screening, but the screening is immediately followed by a panel featuring comic creators Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez, plus series developer Josh Friedman.
Lowdown: FOX passed on the pilot for "Locke & Key," but this will be your chance to see the pilot and decide for yourself. And maybe, if everybody in the room rushes out and blogs about the pilot's awesomeness, some cable network may decide to pick it up. Or at least that's what the producers may be hoping for.
"The Walking Dead"
11:15 - 12:15
Who: Stars Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun and Jeffrey DeMunn visit with comic creator Robert Kirkman, series creator Frank Darabont, executive producer Gale Anne Hurd and makeup/effects mastermind Greg Nicotero.
Lowdown: Get an official sneak peek at "Walking Dead" Season Two and ask all of your questions about which plotlines from the comic are still on-tap for the upcoming episodes. Last year, "Walking Dead" filled a smaller room, but this year we don't expect any empty seats in Ballroom 20.
"The Venture Brothers"
11:45 - 12:30
Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront
Who: Series creators Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer, plus star James Urbaniak.
Lowdown: If you're not in the Ballroom 20 chaos, why not grab some laughs over at the Indigo Ballroom with "Venture Brothers."
"The Big Bang Theory"
11:30 - 1:30
Who: Stars Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik, Kaley Cuoco and Melissa Rauch join producers Chuck Lorre, Bill Prady and Steve Molaro.
Lowdown: Over the past couple years, "The Big Bang Theory" has reliably filled and entertained Ballroom 20. It's worth it just for the banter between Cuoco and Parsons, which serves as a reminder of why the Sheldon/Penny scenes are the best "BBT" has to offer.
1:30 - 2:30
Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront
Who: Rob Corddry, Jon Stern, Malin Akerman, Lake Bell, Erinn Hayes, Rob Huebel, Megan Mullally and Paul Scheer.
Lowdown: Probably "Children's Hospital" shouldn't have been scheduled this close to "Big Bang Theory," but few Friday panels are likely to offer more off-the-cuff hilarity than this get-together for the beloved Adult Swim medical parody.
1:45 - 2:45
Who: Stars David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel will be joined by creators Hart Hanson and Stephen Nathan.
Lowdown: Ummm... Do you think "Bones" fans are going to have some opinions regarding last season's huge finale twist? Yeah. We do, too. And if nothing else, Comic-Con fans always love asking David Boreanaz if he'd be willing to do a "Buffy" movie. Plus, the panel will feature an appearance by the stars of the "Bones" kinda-spinoff "The Finder."
2:15 - 3:15
Who: Producers Oren Peli, Michael Green and Zack Estrin will be joined by stars Joe Anderson, Eloise Mumford and Leslie Hope.
Lowdown: Want a prediction: No new TV show is going to leave Comic-Con with more hype than ABC's supernatural found-footage drama "The River." It doesn't have a premiere date or a time slot yet, but after screening its pilot, it'll have tongues wagging.
"Eureka" and "Warehouse 13"
3:00 - 5:15
Who: Lots of people from Syfy's "Eureka" and "Warehouse 13"
Lowdown: This is the price of holding a seat through the full day in Ballroom 20. Yes, you get "Walking Dead" and "Torchwood" and "Bones" and "Big Bang Theory," but if you want to still have your place reserved for "True Blood," you're not going anywhere.
3:00 - 4:00
Who: Stars H. Jon Benjamin, John Roberts, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman, and Kristen Schaal will be joined by producers Loren Bouchard and Jim Dauterive.
Lowdown: When the stars of FOX's animated comedy "Bob's Burgers" get together, ANYTHING can happen. Wackiness will most certainly ensue. The panel will also apparently feature footage from Season Two, which won't premiere on FOX until midseason.
3:30 - 4:30
Who: Producers Michael Jelenic and Ethan Spaulding, plus art director Dan Norton.
Lowdown: If you're a "ThunderCats" fan, this is your chance to see the premiere episode a full week before it premieres. An early peek at Lion-O, Tygra, Panthro, Cheetara, Wily Kit and Snarf in their fresh incarnations? Who could pass that up?
5:30 - 6:30
Who: Most of the important stars and producers of "True Blood."
Lowdown: If you can't get anywhere near Ballroom 20 for what will certainly be a Friday highlight, don't worry. We'll be live-blogging. If you can get near Ballroom 20, expect plenty of talk about witches, vampires, werewolves and nudity.
5:45 - 6:45
Who: New star Liam McIntyre is joined by Lucy Lawless, Manu Bennett, Dustin Clare, Katrina Law and executive producer Steven S. DeKnight.
Lowdown: Get your first look at the new star of "Spartacus," "McLeod's Daughters" veteran Liam McIntyre. As with the "True Blood" panel, this one will feature lots of talk about nudity, blood and gleeful violence. We're not sure whose great idea it was to have "True Blood" and "Spartacus" go head-to-head.
"The Hub: 'Batman' : 45th Anniversary of the Original Series"
6:00 - 7:00
Who: Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar.
Lowdown: Seriously. Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar. If you have even an iota of nostalgia in you for the camptastic '60s "Batman" series, missing this panel would be a tragedy.
7:00 - 8:00
Who: Creator Shane Brennan, star LL Cool J and other "NCIS: LA" cast members TBA.
Lowdown: Yes, Comic-Con. You've reached this point. "NCIS: Los Angeles" is getting its own panel in a fairly large room. This would be a good panel to attend if you like to be involved in "Comic-Con is losing its soul and it has become a huge network/studio cast-grab" debates. To justify its presence, the full title of the panel is "Teching Out with 'NCIS: LA.'"
7:30 - 8:30
Who: Stars Emmanuelle Vaugier and Anna Silk, plus producers Jay Firestone and Michelle Lovretta.
Lowdown: Meet the stars and producers of Syfy's new succubus drama "Lost Girl." It may not be cool, but it's truer to the Comic-Con spirit than celebrating "NCIS: Los Angeles."
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.