TV panels at Comic-Con kept fans intrigued

Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:06am EDT
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By James Hibberd

SAN DIEGO (Hollywood Reporter) - Ratings may be softening for serialized TV shows, but at Comic-Con hard-core fans were as adoring as ever, and the cast and creators of returning shows received rock star receptions.

Panels for NBC's "Heroes," ABC's "Lost" and NBC's "Chuck" were among the convention's most popular. All three shows are resetting their storylines next year to various degrees.

For "Lost," fans camped overnight outside the San Diego Convention Center for seats in the cavernous Hall H, a space Comic-Con typically schedules for high-profile film panels like "Avatar."

During the entertaining and carefully produced session, producers confirmed fan suspicions that several deceased characters would be coming back for the final season. Elizabeth Mitchell and Jeremy Davies will be back on the show, along with Ian Somerhalder ("Vampire Diaries"), and almost certainly more.

Last May's finale concluded with a bomb exploding that could reset the last several years of the character's lives. The final season, producers say, will in some ways resemble the first.

In the first season, the characters "were running around the jungle, things felt intense and surprising and there was a sense of emotional discovery about the characters," said executive producer Carlton Cuse. "We have a way that we're going to be able to do that in the final season too."

The show will also employ a new narrative device that's unique to the final season.

"The time-travel season is over, the flash-forward season is over," executive producer Damon Lindelof said. "We're going to do something different."   Continued...

<p>People walk past a poster promoting Showtime network's Dexter TV series at the 40th annual Comic Con conference in San Diego, July 25, 2009. REUTERS/Mike Blake</p>