San Diego Comic-Con for the TV enthusiast (Friday)

I have to admit that when it comes to Batman, Sheldon Cooper, of CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, and I are in agreement.  Most superheroes have powers or abilities that make them unique.  Not just anyone can become Spiderman or one of the X-Men, but Batman is heroic only because of the technology he uses to fight evil.  I’m not sure Sheldon or I could become Batman, but it’s not a stretch to imagine that other people could.  I mention this at the start of my article covering the Friday and Saturday scheduling at Comic-Con to confess that I am not a Batman fan.

Despite this, there is an episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold that I would like to see, and its screening and a follow-up Q&A composes the first of Friday’s Comic-Con panels.  The panel will air the world premiere of the “Mayham of the Music Meister” episode, featuring the voice talent of Neil Patrick Harris (Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog) as the villainous Music Meister (10:00-11:00, Room 6DE).  The rest of us will just have to catch it the old-fashioned way when it airs on the Cartoon network.

If you prefer Harris’ Doctor Horrible co-star Felicia Day, check out the Meet The Guild panel with Day and the other creators and performers in her online video series.  They’ll be a sneak peek at the upcoming third season as well as a bonus Comic-Con video (10:30-11:30, Room 5AB).  For those more interested in science-fiction, there’s the 10th anniversary of Farscape panel, with a reunion to celebrate the beginning of the series (10:15-11:15, Room CBCF), or the Stargate Universe panel featuring the cast of the new Syfy show, including Robert Carlyle (24: Redemption) and Ming-Na (ER). The series’ co-creators will also be on hand (10:30-11:30, Ballroom 20).

One of the most eagerly awaited new shows is ABC’s Flashforward, about what changes when the entire population ‘flashes forward’ and gets a glimpse of where they will be in six months time.  ABC is grooming the show, starring Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love) and John Cho (Star Trek) to be a replacement for Lost, which will air its final season this year.  The panel includes never seen before footage and scenes from upcoming episodes (11:45-12:45, Room 6A).

Other first looks include panels on AMC’s six-part mini-series The Prisoner, staring Jim Caviezel (The Passion of the Christ), a remake of the 1960’s classic (11:30-12:30, Room 6BCF), Caprica/Battlestar Galactica with executive producers Ronald D. Moore, David Eick, and Jane Espenson along with stars Edward James and Esai Morales, to discuss the Battlestar mythlology (11:45-12:45, Ballroom 20), and the pilot screening of ABC’s new sitcom The Middle, with Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond).  Given that it sounds like every other sitcom, I can’t imagine it being a particularly exciting panel, but I haven’t seen the show so I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt (12:00-1:00, Indigo Ballroom).

A more interesting, and appropriate, show panel is The Big Bang Theory.  After its successful debut at last year’s Comic-Con the sitcom, staring Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons, returns for a special screening and Q&A with its creators and stars.  The entire cast will be present, as well as executive producers Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady (1:00-2:00, Ballroom 20).

If you’re ready to spend the rest of your day with cartoon characters, Nickelodeon’s The Fairly Odd Parents should do the trick.  The animated show, which revolves around a boy named Timmy and his fairy godparents, will present highlights from upcoming episodes (12:30-1:30, Room 5AB).  Later that afternoon, celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles brand with its co-creator Kevin Eastman and other panelists, as they discuss the evolution of the turtles (4:15-5:15, Room 6DE).  Finish the evening with a Comic-Con classic, as animation historian Jerry Beck presents some of the worst cartoons ever made (9:00-10:00, Room 6BCF).

If you’d prefer to go behind the scenes, grab a place in the Design Process for Film and Television panel discussing the importance of illustration and the role of conceptual departments in television and movies (2:00-3:00, Room 32AB).   Continue on to the Production Designers panel in room 30AB to hear designers from Dollhouse and The Dark Knight discuss their art and answer audience questions (4:30-5:30).  Alternately, attend the panel titled Adapting Comics to and from Film, Television, and Video Games with Hollywood screenwriting panelists including Marc Guggenheim (Eli Stone) (5:00-6:00, Room 8).

However, if you’re like me and your first interest is exclusive clips and the inside scoop from the stars, you have your choice of Fox shows, including the pilot screening of Past Life, a procedural about a detective and a psychologist who specializes in past lives working together to solve mysteries (2:15-3:15, Room 6A) or the first look at the eighth season of 24 with stars Kiefer Sutherland and Mary-Lynn Rajskub, as well as new cast member Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica) (2:15-3:00, Ballroom 20).

The afternoon continues with Bones, where showrunner Hart Hanson, and stars David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel, discuss what’s next for Booth and Bones (3:00-3:45, Ballroom 20) or Eureka in room 6BCF, with stars Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Erica Cerra, and Neil Grayston(3:15-4:15).

But after its miraculous renewal, the Dollhouse panel promises to be the most interesting, boasting the presence of mastermind Joss Whedon along with star Eliza Dushku (Echo).  The panel will include the screening of the unaired episode thirteen, titled “Epitaph One”, and a discussion of what’s in store for Echo in season two.  After the panel, Whedon will be spending forty-five minutes answering questions about his projects with Dark Horse Comics (4:00-6:00, Ballroom 20).

Still pleased about the triumphant Jericho fan campaign?  Celebrate with executive producers and writers from the show and learn all about the new comic continuation of the series, Jericho-Season Three: Civil War due out this fall (5:00-6:00, Room 7AB).

Or wait in line for what’s sure to be a popular panel on the most buzzed about new and returning TV shows in TV Guide Magazine: Sci Fi Hot List.  Participants include Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons of The Big Bang Theory, Zachary Levi (Chuck), Rebecca Romijn (Eastwick), Scott Wolf (V), John Cho (Flash Forward), and the executive producers of V, Flash Forward and The Vampire Diaries (6:15-7:15, Ballroom 20).

Finally, enjoy Syfy shows Eureka and Warehouse 13 on the big screen with the exclusive next new episodes between 8:30 and 10:30 in room 6DE.

Coming up: Comic-Con for the TV enthusiast schedules for Saturday and Sunday.

Comic-Con International takes place at the San Diego Convention Center July 23rd-26th.

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