Warner Bros. Television is once again helping to get things started at Comic Con in San Diego this year by giving TV fans attending Wednesday's Preview Night an early look at some of their pilots. As it's the fifth straight year they've done this, it seems fitting that they will showcase five new series headed to TV. This includes one show involving a serial killer, another about a cult, one about a super-hero, another set in a post-apocalyptic America, and one set in a creepy building. Those looking to escape the madness of the exhibit floor may prefer to "settle" for some thrills
The Ballroom 20 sneak during Preview Night are a great way to ease into the whole SDCC experience and going by my own experiences in previous years, there's usually plenty of seating. While all of the pilots being shown during Preview Night are set to be screened in panels later during the Con, this is a good opportunity to make sure you get to see the pilots (in case lines or scheduling conflicts prevent you from making it to the screening and Q&A). And for those of you who are looking to attend the individual panels for each pilot, we've included the details for each of them along with the trailers and series info below.
Here's a rundown of the five pilot sneak previews lined up for Preview Night in Ballroom 20 (starting at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, July 11)
666 Park Avenue - ABC
Based on a book series by Gabriella Pierce and starring Lost's Terry O'Quinn and Desperate Housewives Vanessa Williams, 666 Park Avenue is ABC's upcoming new supernatural-themed drama series, set in a building in New York where scary and mysterious things happen. The story follows a young couple who move into the building to manage the place, and soon learn of its dark history. ABC has this series set up to follow Once Upon a Time and Revenge on Sunday nights this fall, and given the spooky setting and the promise of drama we're shown in the trailer, that seems like a great fit.
Panel info: Friday, July 13 at 12:45 p.m. in Room 6BCF - The pilot will be screened and series stars (Vanessa Williams, Terry O'Quinn, Rachael Taylor and Dave Annable) and executive producers David Wilcox and Matthew Miller will be in attendance to answer questions afterward.
Arrow - The CW
Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg and David Nutter are reinventing DC's Green Arrow with this new drama series headed to the CW on Wednesday nights this Fall. The series will focus on billionaire Oliver Queen, a man who spent five years marooned on an island only to return home ready to wage war on crime using a set of newly acquired skills. Whether or not it's a winner remains to be seen, but at the very least,Arrow fills the super-hero slot among the handful to pilots set to be screened during Preview Night.
Panel Info: Friday, July 13 at 3:00 p.m. in Ballroom 20 - A screening of the pilot will take place and afterward, stars Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy and executive producers Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg will be in attendance to answer questions, along with pilot director/EP David Nutter.
The Following - Fox
Unfortunately, Fox's promising looking serial killer thriller from Kevin Williamson won't make its way onto network TV until Midseason 2013, but Comic Con attendees will have the opportunity to check out the pilot, which stars Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy, the former an ex-FBI agent and the latter, a convicted serial killer responsible for a nationwide string of murders. I've actually seen this pilot and it's one of my favorites of the ones I've seen. It's creepy and dark and full of potential for an intriguing story. If the trailer strikes your interest, check it out during the Preview Night screening or the panel on Saturday.
Panel Info: Saturday, July 14 at 4:00 p.m. - A screening of the pilot will take place after which creator/executive producer Kevin Williamson, E.P. Marcos Siega and stars Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy will be on hand to answer questions about the series.
Revolution - NBC
From J.J. Abrams (Lost) and Eric Kripke (Supernatural), Revolution is headed to NBC's Monday night line-up and is set in a world where all forms of energy cease to exist. The pilot episode of this post-apocalyptic series follows a young woman whose father is killed by the local militia, resulting in her setting off on a "daring coming-of-age journey" which may involve uncovering the secret of the blackout. I've seen this pilot also and in addition to a great cast and a promising story, I really love the look of this one. There's a great visual style to the series opener that really sets Revolution from other shows on TV.
Panel Info: Saturday, July 14 at 6:00 p.m. in Room 6BCF - Panel includes a pilot screening and a Q&A with Eric Kripke and stars Billy Burke, Giancarlo Esposito and Tracy Spiridakos.
Cult - The CW
Last but not least, we have Cult, the CW's midseason thriller/drama from the creator of Farscape (Rockne S. O'Bannon) and the producers of Chuck (Josh Schwartz, Jason Ensler). The series follows a reporter and a TV researcher who begin to see a link between a number of disappearances and a popular TV show called Cult, which may involve obsessed viewers taking their devotion to dangerous levels. The show-within-a-show idea sounds like it could be tricky, but it could be interesting if executed right.
Panel Info: Friday, July 13 at 11:30 a.m. in Room 6BCF - Following a screening of the panel, series creator Rockne S. O'Bannon and stars Matt Davis, Jessica Lucas, Alona Tai and Robert Knepper will answer questions about the show.