Comic-Con boasts heavy TV lineup

Mon Jun 29, 2009 2:39am EDT
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By James Hibberd

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - TV studios plan a strong presence at Comic-Con, the annual fan convention that seems to feature a greater number of series each summer.

Next month's lineup at the San Diego confab includes a few titles beyond the usual sci-fi and fantasy genres. Procedurals such as Fox's "Bones" and USA's "Burn Notice," Fox's musical "Glee" and Discovery's "MythBusters" are in the mix.

Warner Bros. TV is bringing 11 shows to the event, the most the studio has featured.

"Comic-Con is the one place where Warner Bros. cross-divisionally presents a face to the consumer," said Lisa Gregorian, the studio's executive vp marketing.

One returning WBTV program is CBS' "The Big Bang Theory," which the studio brought to the event for the first time last year. Most sitcoms would not be a good fit for the Comic-Con crowd, but the geek-friendly "Big Bang" drew an enthusiastic response. The studio hopes to make a panel for the show a regular event, particularly after its ratings surged last fall.

When selecting programs for Comic-Con, Gregorian said any show with a mythology automatically belongs, and even genre series not premiering until midseason should screen.

"Our philosophy is that if it's ready, and it's great, and you're not making a lot of changes to it, you should show it to the fans," said Gregorian, whose midseason program "Human Target" will be shown.

ABC Studios is hosting at least seven panels, including one for the final season of ABC's "Lost," credited as the first TV show to launch at Comic-Con.   Continued...

<p>Crowds attend the opening night at the 39th annual Comic Con Convention in San Diego, California July 23, 2008. REUTERS/Mike Blake</p>