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How will fans choose between "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." and "The Walking Dead"?
Comic-Con is slowly but surely recognizing the appeal of many of its TV panels, and this year more shows than ever before will appear in Hall H. Every now and then, though, the Con and its partners will still make a decision so baffling that it feels like the schedule and room assignments were drawn at random from a hat. Case in point: "The Walking Dead" is one of the most popular shows on television at the moment, as well as a natural draw for a Comic-Con crowd given its origins and subject matter, so of course it's in Hall H on Friday afternoon — when it will be directly competing with a panel for ABC's new "Marvels Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." over in Ballroom 20. Between the "Avengers" tie-in, the presence of Joss Whedon (and, we're guessing, Clark Gregg and some other actors) and the very strong likelihood that the pilot will be screened during an extra-long timeslot, this is a panel that could have filled Hall H several times over and still left frustrated fans waiting on line outside. Instead, it's in the smaller room, and going head-to-head with the monster that is "Walking Dead." So which will the fanboys and fangirls choose? Lines for both rooms will already be absurd due to other panels before and after that day ("Walking Dead" is being followed by "Game of Thrones" and "Amazing Spider-Man 2," while "S.H.I.E.L.D." will be preceded by "Bones" and "The Legend of Korra"), so it may come down less to plausibility of getting in than to the allure of Whedon + unknown pilot versus a hugely popular zombie show. Either way, expect a few thousand people throughout the convention center to be unhappy when they don't get into one or the other.
- Alan Sepinwall