Ray Subers, our colleague at Box Office Mojo, reports on Day 3 of Comic-Con.
With an influx of families and other weekenders, Saturday is probably the busiest of Comic-Con’s four days. Fortunately, I had already gotten a solid feel for how lines work at the Con, and was therefore able to get in to a substantial number of panels throughout the day.
My first panel was for Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants. Admittedly, I haven’t watched the show in years, but the panel itself was an absolute blast. In attendance was a wealth of cast and crew along with SpongeBob himself, Tom Kenny. They showed a five-minute making-of video, which was both funny and enlightening. Next, they took questions from the audience, most of which came from the children in attendance. After three days of listening to adults mostly ask wordy, awkward questions, the kids’ simple yet hilarious inquiries were a breath of fresh air. My favorite of the day came from a very young child with clear studio executive aspirations who asked “How much does it cost to make an episode of SpongeBob?” To conclude the panel, they premiered a straight-to-DVD episode called ‘Trench Billies,’ which finds SpongeBob and Patrick unwillingly adopted in to a Beverly Hillbillies-type underwater clan.
I was going to stay behind for the premiere of The Event, but had to run to a Leverage press event instead. This seems like a good choice in hindsight, as we were able to spend a considerable amount of time with each of the actors in attendance. While Timothy Hutton and Beth Riesgraf had lots of interesting insights to share about the show, the most fun came when Aldis Hodge and Christian Kane (sipping on a Bud Light) sat down at my table. They spent nearly 20 minutes joking around with us, sharing good stories, and reflecting on the show’s success and how that’s affected their lives. Neither of them appeared to have any ego whatsoever, and they seemed truly grateful for all of their success.
After Leverage, I made my way back to the exhibit halls for the SyFy Channel’s Warehouse 13 and Eureka panels. Both panels began with an extended trailer and were hosted by a member of the other show. The hall was packed with excited fans of the shows, which are clearly perfectly engineered for the Comic-Con audience. Each cast seemed to have good chemistry, and there was the nice added bonus this year of having James Callis (Dr. Gaius Baltar on ‘Battlestar Galactica’) in attendance thanks to his new role on Eureka. As far as newsworthy items go, ‘Eureka’ announced that Felicia Day will be taking on a guest-starring role, while future crossover episodes between the two shows are strongly being considered.
Next up was the premiere of the pilot episode of CW drama Nikita, which I admit wasn’t my cup of tea. While it had solid action and an intriguing premise (though I liked it better when it was called Alias), it was riddled with painful expository scenes and spy show clichés. The unfavorable rumblings I heard afterward don’t bode well for word-of-mouth, though I won’t attempt to deny the drawing power of a scantily-clad Maggie Q. Speaking of Maggie Q, she came on stage afterward with fellow star Lyndsy Fonseca and executive producer Craig Silverstein, though it was a brief appearance and was mostly spent trying to describe how this ‘Nikita’ differs from prior incarnations.
My final panel of the day was for Fox’s Human Target, which developed a nice little following through its first season. Mark Valley, Chi McBride, Jackie Earle Haley and new showrunner Matthew Miller were on stage to discuss the second season of the show, including the addition of some regular female cast members like ‘Rome’s Indira Varma. Chi McBride, who killed with a William Shatner impersonation, was talking about some of the other TV shows he’s done, paused, and said “I’m just doing my IMDb page.” Thanks for the shout-out, Chi!
That’s all for my Comic-Con 2010 coverage. My personal highlight was definitely The Walking Dead panel (this is a guaranteed hit), while the most disappointing presentation was probably for The Cape. Overall, the Con was exhausting, stressful, and tons of fun, and I’m glad to have been able to experience it with the rest of the excellent IMDb team.