Networks Go All in on Comic-Con

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Network executives and series talent are headed to San Diego this week, as Comic-Con enjoys an enormous TV presence when it goes down July 20-23. Syfy, Freeform, Showtime and Comedy Central are among the multitude of networks planning to put on a show at the annual event.

Showtime celebrates Twin Peaks with a cast panel July 21 including Kyle McLachlan, Naomi Watts and Tim Roth and moderated by Damon Lindelof, co-creator of The Leftovers. “Select cast members” will sign autographs afterwards, Showtime said.

Starz will do an Outlander panel, starring Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan, among others, July 21, with cast members signing autographs at the network booth. Cartoon Network is showcasing OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes, which premieres Aug. 1. Guests can step into a booth resembling Gar’s Bodega, where K.O. works. Cartoon Network will also feature Steven Universe and Ben 10.

Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, stars of Comedy Central hit Broad City, will be on a panel July 22. Fans of the series can also view the Broad City Life-Size Coloring Book at the San Diego Wine & Culinary Center. Fans of USA’s Mr. Robot can grab an E Corp card loaded with E Coin currency, which can be spent at participating shops in the Gaslamp Quarter. And fans of Freeform’s Shadowhunters can attend a panel July 20, and those of History drama Vikings can see a “bona fide Vikings long-ship set ablaze in the San Diego Bay,” History said.

Syfy will have 15 series panels or screenings at Comic-Con, and Zachary Levi will host a three-night live TV event while there. The network is a logical fit at Comic-Con, say its chiefs. “As the only network dedicated to [sci fi] 24/7,” said Alexandra Shapiro, executive VP, marketing and digital, Syfy and USA Network, “we can’t wait to celebrate in a big way.”

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.