Networks, studios tubthump more shows
Comic-Con is starting to look a little more like TV-Con.Networks and studios plan to tubthump more shows than ever at the annual confab set for July 23-26 at the San Diego Convention Center. Over the years, the event has turned into an invaluable promotional platform through which Hollywood can push its new properties to the 126,000 fans that flock to the Con. And it’s grown significantly in importance for the TV biz after successfully courting the crowd there to launch new shows such as NBC’s “Heroes” and “Chuck” and Fox’s “Fringe.” Positive reaction to early footage seen at the confab can generate strong buzz across the Web that can influence a fan base months before a bow. And in the age of Twitter, that buzz can be instantaneous. “What’s happening at Comic-Con is the fan community gives you an immediate reaction to your project in a big way,” said Lisa Gregorian, exec VP of worldwide marketing for the Warner Bros. TV Group. “It’s live testing.” This year’s event may play an even bigger role in spreading the word; for the first time, Comic-Con will take place a few days before the Television Critics Assn.’s summer press tour. “It’s a total game-changer,” said Chris Alexander, 20th Century Fox TV’s senior VP of publicity. “Previously, Comic-Con would be the place where you would just interact. Now, it’s the place to break news.” Nearly all of the studios and nets traveling south on the 5 Freeway plan to have their cast members and creatives present for panel discussions and will screen pilots at the Convention Center. They’ll build massive booths on the show floor where they’ll host autograph signings and offer giveaways. Here’s what some studios and nets have in store:
- Warner Bros. is making the trek with 11 shows, the most for the company. Those include news skeins “Eastwick,” “Human Target,” “Past Life,” “V” and “The Vampire Diaries,” as well as returning series “Fringe,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “Chuck,” “Smallville,” “Supernatural” and “Batman: The Brave and the Bold.”
- Twentieth Century Fox TV has nine shows going: “24,” “Bones,” “Dollhouse,” “The Simpsons,” “American Dad,” “Futurama,” “Family Guy” and spinoff “The Cleveland Show,” along with other newcomer, “Glee.”
- ABC won’t screen the pilot for “Flash Forward” but will host a panel during which it will screen selected scenes. “Lost,” with its anticipated final season ahead, will have a presence as well.
- Sony will be promoting toon “The Spectacular Spider-Man,” currently airing on boy-friendly Disney XD.
- NBC once again will be at the Con to promote the new season of “Heroes.”