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Lionsgate to Launch Comic-Con Channel in May

Comic-Con International and Lionsgate have set May 7 as the launch date for Comic-Con HQ, their newly named subscription video-on-demand platform.

The companies had announced plans in April for the ad-free service, which will include original scripted and unscripted series, recurring daily and weekly entertainment commentary,  live and archival programming, film and TV genre titles, and behind-the-scenes access and bonus features from genre titles.

Comic-Con HQ will launch with free beta access on May 7 — which is Free Comic-Book Day this year — with its official premiere in June leading up to Comic-Con International: San Diego on July 21-24. The price for the channel has not yet been set.

“For nearly half a century, Comic-Con has served as the definitive common ground where the fans of genre entertainment come together to express their passion for comics and pop culture,” said Seth Laderman, exec VP and general manager for Comic-Con HQ.

“Comic-Con HQ aspires to extend that exchange 365 days a year, bringing everything we love about Comic-Con to the world in ways never before seen and experienced. The new platform will provide a year-round destination to enjoy all facets of the community and access the vast diversity of content the world has come to expect from the largest and longest-running pop cultural celebration of the year.”

David Glanzer, chief communications and strategy officer for Comic-Con International, said,  “CCHQ is welcoming both attendees and fans new to the Comic-Con phenomenon to join our community and enjoy all aspects of the experience in ways never before imagined.”

Monday’s announcement disclosed that gaming personality Adam Sessler, former host of G4’s “X-Play,” will executive produce programs on comics, science and gaming, along with hosting his own interview series. Other formats being developed include a general pop culture news show, a late-night talk show, a weekly movie talk in partnership with Complex’s Collider and an all-female panel on pop culture from women’s perspectives.

The original scripted and unscripted series debuting on the platform include: the scripted comedy series “Kings of Con,” inspired by real-life fan convention experiences from “Supernatural” stars Richard Speight and Rob Benedict; the science entertainment program “Impossible Science,” starring magician Jason Latimer; and the previously announced unscripted series “Her Universe,” hosted by founder Ashley Eckstein, following contestants as they design their geek couture concepts for the catwalk of a live San Diego Comic-Con fashion show.

The platform is promising San Diego Comic-Con access with live-streamed programming, airings of select Comic-Con panels and immersive access to the convention floor and sanctioned events such as the Masquerade and the Eisner Awards. It will also offer an “eclectic collection” of licensed film and TV series from science-fiction, fantasy, cult classics, action/adventure and horror.

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