We hope you've fully recovered from the Red Wedding, because there's plenty more drama, action and death coming your way this spring. HBO has unveiled its spring premiere dates, with Game of Thrones set to pick back up on April 6 at 9 PM. And if you prefer your political power grabs to take place in the Oval Office rather than on the battlefield, never fear: Veep will premiere right afterwards, at 10 PM. The network has also announced the starts of several new shows and the tentative air dates of several new miniseries and movies that are sure to make a major impression on the Emmys committee.
First up is Silicon Valley, which will follow Veep on April 6 at 10:30, before the second season of Vice picks up later that week on Friday, April 14. Emily Mortimer will take a break from flirting with Jeff Daniels on The Newsroom on Wednesday, April 19, when her new sitcom Doll and Em premieres with two back-to-back episodes. Later in the spring will bring the premieres of The Leftovers, the new series from Damon Lindelof and Ryan Murphy's The Normal Heart, which will air sometime in May. Finally, Olive Kitteridge will make its debut at some point later this year, before HBO wraps things up with the fifth and final season of Boardwalk Empire.
Just in case you're having a hard time keeping all of that straight, we've created a handy rundown of HBO's new and returning shows, presented in the order we're most excited for. You can also check out the complete list of premiere dates and times here.
8. Vice Unfortunately, it seems like the second season of this news show will end up getting lost in the midst of all of the other big spring premieres. Sorry, Vice, but unless you've got a Red Wedding of your own up your sleeves, we're going to find it hard to tear our attention away from Game of Thrones.
7. The Normal HeartIt might be a little early to start making Emmy predictions, but you should consider putting your money on this one. Based on a Tony Award-winning play, The Normal Heart deals with the beginning of the HIV-AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, and with the politics and prejudices that came with being gay during that period of time. The cast includes Taylor Kitsch, Matt Bomer, Mark Ruffalo and Jim Parsons, and is bound to earn the network the same kind of ratings and accolades that Behind the Candelabra earned last year. Our only reservation is that it's directed by Ryan Murphy, who can be a bit inconsistent when it comes to the quality of his projects, but we're willing to ignore our hesitation for a story this intense and touching.
6. Olive KitteridgeBased on Elizabeth Strout's novel, this miniseries tells "the poignantly sweet, acerbically funny and devastatingly tragic story of a seemingly placid New England town wrought with illicit affairs, crime and tragedy, told through the lens of Olive whose wicked wit and harsh demeanor mask a warm but troubled heart and staunch moral center." You might not be hooked based on the description, but with a cast that includes Frances McDormand, Richard Jenkins and Bill Murray, this is definitely going to be a miniseries worth checking out. Oh, and did we mention that Tom Hanks is producing it? Sold.
5. Doll and EmCo-written by actress Emily Mortimer, Doll and Em is a semi-improvisational comedy about the effects of a Hollywood actress hiring her best friend to be her personal assistant. Doll will be played by Dolly Wells, the series' co-writer and Mortimer's real-life best friend. Not a lot of information has been released about the show, but we're imagining something along the lines of Extras or Flight of the Concords in tone, both of which were shows that dealt with friendship and showbusiness, in their own unique ways. The premise has us intrigued and we're hoping that the show itself manages to live up to it.
4. Silicon ValleyThis new sitcom, which comes from the mind of Office Space and King of the Hill creator Mike Judge, centers around tech billionaires in Silicon Valley, "the modern-day epicenter of the high-tech gold rush, where the people most qualified to succeed are the least capable of handling success." Judge has said that he hopes the show will be Entourage for the San Francisco set, and will focus on a similarly close group of friends, who are unprepared for the success that comes their way. With Veep as a lead-in, Silicon Valley should manage to do pretty well, as there is likely to be a good deal of overlap between audiences. There's still plenty more to find out about this show, but it's already go us intrigued, so Judge is off to a pretty good start.
3. The LeftoversWe've still got a good deal of time to go before The Leftovers hits airwaves, but we're already pretty excited. Based on the novel by Tom Perotta, the story revolves around the people who were left behind on earth after a Rapture-type event caused a good deal of the population to simply disappear from the face of the earth. The compelling premise is compounded by a cast that includes Christopher Eccleston, Justin Theroux and Liv Tyler, and the series is being adapted by Damon Lindelof. Fans of Lost know that he knows how to create an addicting television show, but we are a little bit worried about how well he'll managed to pull the whole thing together. He'll have a difficult time making the show stand out from all of the other apocalyptic dramas currently on television, but we have faith that The Leftovers will become our newest addiction.
2. Game of ThronesWith a cast of thousands, and characters constantly dying, getting kidnapped and losing limbs, it can be a little hard to keep track of everything that's going down in Westeros. This season, Danerys has a ship, and army and her dragons, and she's more determined than ever to regain her throne. Sansa and Tyrion are living unhappily ever after, Jamie's lost his hand, but not his friendship with Brienne, Arya's still on the run and Joffrey's got a wedding of his own coming up. And since we know how well wedding tend to in this universe, it's bound to be entertaining. It's impossible to predict what will happen next on this show, which is what makes it so addicting, but at least we can always take comfort in the fact that no matter what happens, Jon Snow will continue to know nothing.
1. VeepWhen last we left Selina Meyers and her well-meaning but generally-incompetent staff, they had just found out that the President had decided not to run for re-election, which would put her at the top of the ticket, and bring her that much closer to her dream of a seat in the Oval Office. Of course, since this is Veep, there's no way that her presidential preparations will go smoothly, and that's just what we can't wait for. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is wonderful as Selina - and she's got the Emmys to prove it! - and there's very little we love more than watching her hurl insults at Jonah or embarass herself at a major press event. And since the last season of Veep predicted the government shutdown in the spring, it's probably best to tune in just in case they manage to foreshadow any more major political crises.
Holy finale, Batman. My brain hurts. Zero percent of my Homeland finale predictions from last week came true, so now everything I said last Sunday night just makes me sound like a raving lunatic. I can hear the showrunners giggling in my ear with their perverted sense of personal glee, because they obviously think/know that they’re so goddamn smart. This finale sort of turned itself out and brought some serious goods – without fully resolving some of the more contentious plot points of the second season (I think), and the major twists gave us a mini-reboot while letting a lot of old questions linger (I think?). There’s a lot to juggle. Let’s get down and dirty.
The show starts off with a very blatant homage to “The Weekend,” the much-celebrated episode from season one where Carrie and Brody hashed out a lot of secrets while pretending to have playful sex. I don’t know if we’re pointing to the fact that the relationship in the old lake cabin is still a case of high manipulation, but I can’t put my trust in Brody. While Carrie and Brody are doing weird domestic tasks and kissing on the lips, Quinn is hiding in the forest, keeping tabs on his mark. The minute Brody is alone, Quinn is supposed to pull the trigger. Carrie is opening up about the disappearance of her mother, Carrie is in bed with Brody, and Carrie is off to buy croissants. Quinn sneaks up behind Brody while the creepy ginger is deep in his morning prayer… but Quinn can’t follow through. Carrie still has no idea that Quinn exists as a assassin. Before entering the real world, Carrie has to make a decision about her future with Brody; Carrie can’t be in love with Brody and keep her job at the CIA – she’ll have to make a choice.
Through all of this, Saul is locked up in a holding chamber of sorts at the CIA. Estes is growling into his phone, making sure Quinn does his job. Quinn is eating tuna right out of the can. It is possible that Quinn is eating cat food since it is too dark to get a good look at the label on his dinner. Regardless, the first half of this finale moves with such horrifyingly deliberate pace that I tried to stay calm and tried to keep my body under control. I think I changed sitting positions every three minutes. There was a deep atmosphere of dread – Carrie and Brody might function fine in their alternate universe, but returning to the real world makes everything spin out of control. In Saul’s own words, “something terrible is going down.” Sure, Saul was speaking about the assassination of Brody, but still. It applies.
Quinn decided not to kill Brody on his own accord. Because, according to Quinn, he is “the guy that kills bad guys.” Is Brody a bad guy? Not in Quinn’s eyes – without Brody, Nazir would still be alive. Also, Estes would destroy Carrie for the second time if Brody was to die, and that wasn’t something Quinn was ready for. I think Quinn is maybe in love with Carrie, and I believe his judgment is a little cloudy. But that’s just me. I want Brody dead, sorry I’m not sorry. Brody just can’t actually love Carrie, and I will do anything to protect Carrie’s heart. Brody is too smart and stoic for that bullshit. Quinn lets Estes know that if Brody ever turns up dead, there’s a bullet in Quinn’s gun for Estes’ head. Killing bad guys. Yikes.
The mechanics of regular life begin to churn, and everyone begins to slowly fall back into their old roles. Brody catches up with Mike, delivering the news about his split with Jessica and the fact that Mike’s opportunity to permanently swoop in has arrived. Dana gets a French braid. Chris has a soccer game. Jessica has bad hair. God, this family knows what they want out of life. This finale sort of clears up all of the domestic drama that lingered inside the Brody household, opening up new roads for that awful wife and those awful kids.
Saul greets Estes with the new nickname Javert, which is a wonderful Les Miserables reference – Saul must be excited for the 2012 holiday movie season! Estes lets Saul know that he’s in the clear, and uses the word “redacted,” which is a word I really enjoy because I think it sounds cool. Saul looks slightly confused, but he packs up his things. One of the greatest touches to this episode is the attention to the little things, the miniscule physical steps these characters put themselves through. Everyone is gearing up for the dual funeral event of the year – Estes is speaking at Walden’s service at the CIA while Saul oversees the sea burial of Nazir. While Brody gets ready to head to Walden’s event, Dana questions Brody about the day of the vest (aka the season one finale). Brody tells the truth. Just like that. Dana fully understands what her father was going to do, from the horse’s mouth; the bonds of family are strained to their limit but remain unbroken, because Brody presents himself as a changed man. As much as I’ve disliked Dana this season, I do think she has a wonderfully complicated relationship with her father, a mix of bizarre respect and bitter hatred.
*A brief detour: during this sequence of events, Saul enjoys some milk that he requested from Estes, therefore putting himself on the opposite end of the milk spectrum than Dana. In this milk theme, Dana is clearly the mole. Boom.
Saul and Carrie have their hallway reunion after a few days apart, and Saul lets Carrie know that she’ll be offered a position as station chief. Carrie noticeably balks, sputtering on about needing time before she makes a decision. Saul gives Carrie his coldest eyes and iciest tone, laying down the law nice and thick – Carrie cannot be in love with Brody because Brody will always be a terrorist; “it’s crystal clear.” Carrie is upset, going on the attack, but Saul keeps his cool. Because Saul is always right. I absolutely adore Mandy Patinkin on this show, and I really hope there are many awards waiting for him now that season two has wrapped. The man really knows his way around the f-word, and that’s something I greatly respect.
Saul calls Carrie the smartest and dumbest person he knows, and he’s (yes, always) right. I love this interaction because, in sharp and somewhat brutal fashion, the question of Brody’s trustworthiness is pushed into the foreground of Homeland. Sure, it’s an element of the show that simmers under almost every single conversation, but here we see an unraveling woman and her steadfast mentor hashing out these buried emotions in the open. It makes for exhilarating television, and one of the reasons that Homeland is still so great amid any missteps. Some of those missteps are about to come, hiding behind greatness. Oh boy.
We get nice juxtaposition between the two funerals, where Saul wears a nice hat on the boat dispensing of Nazir and the Vice President’s wife has taken too many Xanax to take off her sunglasses at her husband’s funeral. Understandable. There’s a mention of Walden’s involvement with capturing Osama bin Laden, which may have just been Estes’ way of taking Saul’s earlier upcoming movie reference and putting Zero Dark Thirty on the table. Nice move, Estes! There’s also some great veiled references to the drone attack that killed Issa, which I appreciated greatly. Carrie and Brody make a brief getaway from the funeral so Carrie can explain that she’s picking Brody over her profession. This is the worst decision ever, Carrie. Brody makes a weird face during their exchange and Carrie questions him about what he’s feeling; he shakes it off, the opposite of sadness. Brody then notices that his car has been moved, sitting right in front of Langley. The car explodes.
Everything in this finale has been so measured and meticulous, so this explosion literally rocks the fabric of the entire episode. Is everyone dead? When Carrie comes to, she aims her gun at Brody, screaming and using her best dangerous words. Claire Danes uses that steely force with tiny chin wobbles as only she can do. Dirty, battered, and bleeding – Carrie and Brody work through their insecurities and distrust, resulting in Carrie having a mini-breakdown. She loves Brody, as Brody reminds us that Nazir is mentally insane. Nazir would do anything to follow through with his plans – turn himself in, commit suicide, use Roya as a diversion, keep Brody in the game? LET’S HOPE SO. Obviously. Carrie realizes that no one will believe Brody, so she takes Brody and runs. As Carrie is wont to do.
Carrie and Brody head out, planning some outrageous route that wiggles up through Canada and ends on the Island of Misfit Toys; Carrie has always had an escape plan for herself in her back pocket. First, Brody needs a fake passport if he’s running. Back in DC, Saul arrives on the scene to learn that there are almost 200 dead; Carrie and Brody are still missing and therefore presumed dead. Cynthia (the VP’s wife), Finn, and Estes are all confirmed dead. Wow. With Estes out of the picture, Saul is in charge. Saul gets the most beautiful call in the history of everything while dealing with the smoking remains of the attack – Sarita, Saul’s estranged wife, checks in to make sure everything is okay. She hears his pain when he mentions that Carrie is missing in action. Saul left Carrie a voicemail that is maybe the saddest, sweetest moment of their relationship. Sarita is coming back to the United States. “Yes,” Saul whispers. I’m glad this couple is back in action.
Brody gets his picture taken by the fake passport man, and then hangs around until the paperwork is complete. The news is on a television, and we see that the terrorist group behind the bombing has released the video Brody recorded in the season one finale, the video that Saul found at the beginning of the season. NO WAY. YES WAY. Another element of my prediction is put right down, correct? Brody can’t be working for Nazir if this group was so willing to give up his secret to the entire world? I’m terribly confused by the motive behind this zany move, and I will still never trust Brody. Brody’s family is also watching this unfold on the television set in their living room while being questioned by the CIA; to say Chris and Dana aren’t doing well is an understatement. Dana needs some of Cynthia’s Xanax/Valium/Whatever. Also, Cynthia’s sunglasses.
We can’t undo that video of Brody. The video is now out in the world. Which brings me to my big issues with the final moments of the finale – are we really making Brody into a good guy? The gnarly meat of his character was always the fact that he so genuinely played with the line between flawed evil and struggling good. Can we take Brody as simply good guy, driven by his love for Carrie? I don’t think so, and I’d hate to see his show fall apart from that development. Regardless, Carrie has to say goodbye to Brody in the woods – she can’t say goodbye to her job, to the CIA. Not now. Again, the emotion in this scene doesn’t work for me because I will never believe that the emotional connection between these two is honest. I think Carrie has lost herself in Brody, but I feel like Brody knows how to take care of his romance. And by “take care of his romance,” I mean behave like a triple agent of death. I just can’t with this man. Brody heads out into the darkness, making his weird journey to momentary safety. Carrie climbs back into her car.
Who knows how this will all play out next season. I can’t even think about that because my soul feels like it’s melting out of my eye sockets. Carrie returns to Saul as he prays over the 200 dead, and the look of joy in seeing Carrie alive brings an end to the season. Season one was a miraculously ambiguous and ambitious foray into dramatic long-format storytelling; season two wasn’t as practiced and immediate, but I appreciated the desire to expand. Television needs to push, and it just might be the case that Homeland tried to push a little too hard in its sophomore run. However, I always prefer pushing too hard over not pushing enough. We’ll need to build the hunt for these “new” terrorists in season three, but will Brody be a major player? How far will we jump in time before the next episode? Questions! I just want to handcuff someone to a pipe in an old mill and make him/her answer all of my questions via FaceTime.
All in all, I’m pretty damn happy with the big moves in this finale – the pacing in the first half of the episode versus the second half gave me the shivers, especially with the funerals acting as the switch. Save for the development of Brody, we’re in a good place. I like my characters down and dirty! I like hating my characters most of the time! Network execs, please stop making everything so squeaky-clean! Pray for Carrie. Pray for Brody. Pray for Homeland. I can’t wait to go to bed next Sunday with a clear mind, like Carrie after she was zapped last year. Cool, empty comfort. I love-hate my cloudy Homeland brain. I’m going to miss it. I’m going to miss you. Don’t get lost in the woods. This isn’t goodbye. Goodnight.
[Photo Credit: Showtime]
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Over the next few months, we’ll see new series soar, old series sour, and so much Jersey Shore madness, we’ll want to shower. Let’s face it: The Fall TV season is intimidating. With dozens of new and returning shows hitting our small screens, we know we have some big choices to make. So, to help you determine what to watch, we’re digging deep into the most notable series premiering this season. Where did each show leave off? Where is it headed? And who should you watch it with? Today, we're checking out Beauty and the Beast, the CW's spin on the classic fairy tale that makes Beauty an NYPD cop and the Beast a recluse hiding in a semi-abandoned warehouse (that may or may not be in Brooklyn).
Series Name: Beauty and the Beast
Premiere Date: Thursday, October 11 at 9 PM ET on the CW
Number of seasons on air: Nada. This is the first one.
Cast: Smallville's Kristin Kreuk is back for another round of a fantasy/sci-fi series as Catherine (or, if you prefer, Beauty), an NYPD Detective with a tragic past and awesomely shiny hair. The Beast to her Beauty is played by Jay Ryan (Terra Nova), a man as attractive as he is mysterious. Nina Lisandrello is Cat's heavily New Yorker-accented partner in crime (at the NYPD), Det. Tess O'Malley.
Synopsis: The series begins with a prologue: It's 2003 and Cat is a bartender at a New Jersey bar, where she is slingin' shots in order to save money for law school. One fateful night, our heroine has car trouble after closing the bar and calls her mom for help. Good ol' Mom comes to Cat's rescue with a handy pair of jumper cables. But — and here's where things get rough — a gang of of well, gangsters? (this is unclear), gun down Mom in the parking lot. Cat flees on foot, and is rescued in the nick of time by some "beast" who promptly disappears into the wilderness. Fast forward to present day, and Cat is a detective working to bring bad guys to justice. One case leads her on a wild goose chase to a man, Vincent Keller, who was declared dead. Could Vince (let's call him Vince) be Cat's mysterious beast?
You'll like it if: You have felt a hole in your life that can only be filled with Kristin Kreuk since Smallville went off the air. You prefer your cop dramas with a healthy dose of voiceover narration. You dig dudes with scars.
You won't like it if: You're a Beauty and the Beast purist who prefers the Beast to be transfigured due to magic, not science.
Who to watch with: Fellow Smallville fanatics, friends who have an encyclopedic knowledge of the Beauty and the Beast mythology, or your little sister.
Who not to watch with: Your boyfriend. He'll hate it.
What to yell at the TV: "You dropped your phone!" "Call for help!" "Run away!" "Kill the beast!" "ROARRRRRR!"
What to eat while watching: Red meat.
What to drink while watching: The anecdote to beastism. Oh wait, that doesn't work. Try a beer instead.
Best line from the premiere: "What were you doing on the F train?"
Worth checking out: Meh. If you hate politics and won't be tuning into the Vice Presidential Debate, you might as well tune in.
[Photo Credit: Ben Mark Holzberg/CW]
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Last week, I had absolutely no interest in watching the presidential candidates debate. I'm not one of those mythical "undecided voters" that you hear so much about. (Seriously, who are these people who haven't made up their minds yet? I've never met one. They're like the millions who actually watch Two and a Half Men.) Rather, I know the issues I care about and how each candidate stands on them, so I don't need to listen to them blather on for hours. It seems so boring and I have already made up my mind.
But you know what's not boring? Reality TV! And the election is sort of like a great reality show, where there are contestants, the audience voting for an eventual winner, and all of those judges in the press. Like one of the lamer seasons of The Real World, the casting got all messed up (Sarah Palin, I never thought I'd miss you so!) and the election has been especially boring. Why don't we steal some tricks from the reality TV handbook to jazz things up a little?
Challenges: Everything from Survivor to RuPaul's Drag Race has challenges where the winner gets some sort of advantage. Both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are pretty physically active, maybe we can have them run an obstacle course, like American Ninja Warrior or solve some sort of crazy puzzle. Why not both? Give the winner all the electoral votes from a state like New Hampshire or Iowa. That's what they get for holding their primaries first, they get their election decided like this.
Bring Back Old Cast Members: This is a trick that Big Brother relies on year after year, letting old contestants back in the game for another shot at winning the big prize. We already had Bill Clinton giving a rousing speech at the convention, but what if he was actually in the race? Where has Ross Perot been? Or Ralph Nader? Don't you think they deserve a slot just to keep things interesting? We like seeing people we recognize other than the guy who's already in office.
Celebrity Mentors: What would The Voice be without all those celebrities teaching people how to sing? It would just be a bunch of spinning Barcaloungers, that's what. Let's get some celebrities to tell these guys what to do. Obama can get his good friend Oprah Winfrey and Romney can get, I don't know, a famous Mormon like Marie Osmond. I bet Kelsey Grammer would be there for him. Or maybe we can get the actors who played fictional presidents like Martin Sheen from The West Wing and Cherry Jones from 24. I don't know what they would say, but famous people make everything better.
Have Them Work with Other Contestants: The best part about every season of The Apprentice (either celebrity flavored or original recipe) was the final challenge where the two competing for the big prize had to use all the people they had defeated to get there as lieutenants. Half the time the losers would be all lazy or try to sabotage things and it would be awesome. So Romney would be saddled with Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and all the other wonderful Republican nominees. Obama would joust with Hillary Clinton and that rapscallion John Edwards. Now that would be a show no one could stop watching.
Change the Judges: All we talk about these days is who is going to be on the judging panel for American Idol or The X Factor. Maybe we should get some squabbling political judges to host these here debates. Jon Stewart and Bill O'Reilly got tons of press for their recent debate, why not let them duke it out on national television? Same thing goes with Bill Maher and Ann Coulter, who debated publicly several years ago. Why get one person who is impartial when you can get two really partial people to balance each other out and squabble the whole time? It's working for Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj.
Bring Out the VPs: The best part of The Amazing Race is that everyone is saddled with someone who can improve their standing, bring them down a notch, horrendously embarrass them, or ruin the race altogether. In politics, this person is known as the Vice Presidential candidate. Look at what Sarah Palin did for John McCain. It was genius. I think that Joe Biden and that guy who looks like Nathan Scott should be a lot more involved. Let's really get them front and center so that the pairs' destinies are really linked. I think that is just good TV.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
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Over the next few months, we’ll see new series soar, old series sour, and so much Jersey Shore madness, we’ll want to shower. Let’s face it: The Fall TV season is intimidating. With dozens of new and returning shows hitting our small screens, we know we have some big choices to make. So, to help you determine what to watch, we’re digging deep into the most notable series premiering this season. Where did each show leave off? Where is it headed? And who should you watch it with? Today, we're checking out Homeland which just cleaned house at the Emmys and is one of the best damn shows on television.
Premiere Date: Sunday, September 29th, at 10 PM on Showtime
Tagline: CIA Agent Carrie Mathison (Clair Danes) was a rising star in the bureau's Middle Eastern division until she went overboard researching a case and her boss Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) and others discovered that she is secretly bipolar. She went over the edge investigating Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), an American POW that returns after years of being held captive by terrorists. Carrie thinks he has turned terrorist himself. When she gets no backing from the bureau for her case, she starts trailing him (illegally) on her own and starts a relationship with him. Is he as bad as she thinks he is and is she as crazy as everyone thinks she is. And just what do aliens have to do with any of it? Oh, nothing. Brody's wife is just played by one on V.
All the Cliffhangers: For those of you who didn't watch season one, you need to go get the DVD right now and get into it. You won't be able to stop watching until it's all done. For those of you who have, you know that Carrie went over the deep end and off her medication and every other idiom for being absolutely insane when constructing her case against Brody. She even went to his house and told his wife and family that he was a terrorist and made this crazy color-coded chart on the wall of her apartment that showed how he was connected to master terrorist Abu Nazir. While she was yelling at his family he was, you know, trying to blow up the Vice President of the United States, so she was kind of right to go bonkers. But the season ends with Carrie going into the hospital to get electro shock treatment which will probably make her forget everything she discovered about Brody. Brody is running for Congress and he tells Carrie never to talk to him again.
How It Starts Out: We see Carrie living with her sister, taking her meds, and enjoying a very peaceful life picking vegetables in her garden to make lasagna. She's teaching English as a Second Language and trying to get healthy. Brody has been elected to Congress and the Vice President he once tried to suicide bomb is now going to ask him to be his running mate when he runs for president.
But Wait, Doesn't Carrie Have to Be in the CIA?: Yeah, this show is kind of pointless unless she is. How does she get there? Well, there is an asset (this isn't accounting class, that's what spies call informants) who knows something about a bombing and will only talk to Carrie. Her old bosses have to go to her house and grovel to get her to travel to the Middle East to talk to this women.
That Means There Will Be Head Scarves?: Of course!
Watch for Yourself: The first 20 minutes of the season premiere are already available. What are you still doing reading this? Go watch! (Then come back and read this.)
Ratings: The ratings for the finale were the biggest of the show's history, scoring about 3.75 million viewers between the original airing and the encore presentation (what networks call repeats) that night. That's the biggest finale in Showtime history. It was also almost 3 million more than its debut, which means people were picking the show up as it went along. Between that and the Emmy buzz, the second season premiere should be huge.
Accolades: Just about every damn Emmy out there. Danes and Lewis both won for Outstanding Actor and the show won for its writing staff as well as for Outstanding Drama, besting favorites Mad Men and Breaking Bad.
Who to Watch It With: How about President Barack Hussein Obama? It happens to be his favorite show. I doubt you can get him to come to your place though. Those secret service guys will take up a lot of space!
Moment We're Most Excited For: The trailer shows a moment when Carrie shows up at Brody's door and says hello. It's going to be amazing.
Moment We're Least Excited For: The trailer shows a moment when Carrie shows up at Brody's door and says hello. Don't do it Carrie! I'm cringing already.
What You Will Yell at the Screen: "Don't do it Carrie!"
Not to Miss Fashion Accessory: I don't know why, but I love the way Claire Danes looks in a head scarf when she's over seas. It makes her seem powerful and vulnerable and chic all at the same time. Also Brody is finally wearing something other than uniforms and boy does this devilish ginger look dapper.
All the Things Carrie Does: Carrie only seems to ever curse, run, and cry. That's kind of how you could sum up the first season, Carrie cursing, running, and crying. Oh, and touching her forehead. She does that a lot too. And saying, "But Saul!" Why hasn't anyone made a "But Saul!" supercut?
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: Showtime]
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Oh, the Emmys. These awards can be so crazy and unpredictable! Haha. Just kidding. That was a joke. The Emmys is sort of like a high school prom — the theme changes slightly every year and there is a different king and queen, but it's always the same party with the same streamers in the same gymnasium. That said, who would ever miss their prom?!
Certainly not me, but it does make discerning who is going to be Prom King and Queen — oh, sorry, Best Actor and Actress — kind of easy. And, just like in high school, the person holding the scepter isn't always the one who is most deserving. So, in anticipation of the Awards on Sunday, Sept. 23, here are my picks for who will win... and who should win. I didn't pick a Miss Congeniality, because we all know it would go to Heather Locklear anyway.
Best Drama Series
Game of Thrones
Will Win: Breaking Bad: The long reign of Mad Men will probably be coming to an end after four consecutive wins and the Academy will most likely reward this other critic's darling, which has a lot more punch and pizazz that voters usually like. That's what being on meth will do to ya! That is, unless these two AMC shows cannibalize each other's votes and we get another winner.
Should Win: Homeland: What this race really needed was some new blood... and there was no show bloodier than the first season of this Showtime hit. Not only was it twisty and unpredictable, it also had amazing performances and told a story that comments on the world we live in now, even a decade after 9/11.
Best Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Will Win: Modern Family: There is no doubt, this is everyone's favorite comedy. Even Ann Romney likes it! Even as it ages, there is no beating this crowd-pleaser.
Should Win: Girls: I was very skeptical of this HBO comedy when it started and I still can't stand most of the characters that populate Lena Dunham's Brooklyn, but that doesn't mean this show shouldn't be recognized. The season ended up being smart, funny, touching, insightful, and speaking to an audience that is otherwise ignored. This is one of those shows that, looking back, will be hailed as a watershed, and not just because it had a girl running through the streets on crack. Though that does help.
Best Leading Actor in a Drama Series
Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Damian Lewis, Homeland
Will Win: Bryan Cranston: He's won every year he's been eligible and with good reason. Walter White is an absolute monster and it takes someone with the skill of Cranston to turn in a nuanced performance without turning him into another hammy version of Scarface. It leaves us all asking, "Malcolm in the where now?"
Should Win: Damian Lewis: Speaking of nuanced monsters, did you catch the range of emotions Lewis had to go through as a POW who may also be a secret terrorist? And he's not even an American. Does he get extra credit for the great Mid-Atlantic accent (and the shirtless scenes)?
Best Leading Actor in a Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Louis C.K., Louie
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Who Will Win: Louis CK: Wow, most of these nominees are staler than the bag of Bugles that fat Betty Draper left under the couch. Mr. CK ('cause he's nasty) is the only one doing anything exciting or original these days. This will be the ultimate consolation prize for his show not winning any other awards.
Who Should Win: None of these other jokers.
Best Leading Actress in a Drama Series
Kathy Bates, Harry's Law
Glenn Close, Damages
Claire Danes, Homeland
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Who Will Win: Claire Danes: Can you say no to Angela Chase, especially with that head of preternaturally shiny hair? (It's so shiny!) But Danes did earn every vote as a trouble plagued CIA analyst who will do anything to stop a man she thinks is a terrorist. Including cussing more than a sailor who stubbed his toe.
Who Should Win: Elisabeth Moss: Another season and another great turn for Peggy Olson, especially with her arc allowing her to come into her own and leave Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Pryce. What does this girl gotta do to win an award?
Best Leading Actress in a Comedy Series
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation
Who Will and Should Win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus: The Academy loves to reward a veteran and, as the only Seinfeld survivor to go on to a successful TV career, Louis-Dreyfus is definitely a vet. But it was her turn as this simultaneously harried and charismatic Vice President that makes her actually deserve this award. Her reading a PSA script from a teleprompter was done as a bit to run with the closing credits, but it was one of the funniest minutes of comedy on the air last year.
Best Miniseries or Movie
American Horror Story
Hatfields & McCoys
Hemingway & Gellhorn
Who Will Win: American Horror Story: Ryan Murphy scared the bejesus out of all of us. No, it wasn't because of the frights in this horror story, but because the show did everything a TV show shouldn't do: It had a storyline that only lasted one season, it kill off the leads, and it honed a talented acting troupe for seasons to come. His risk should pay off for the ultimate reward. No, I don't mean he'll be visited by a guy in a gimp suit (though he might like that).
Who Should Win: Hatfields & McCoys: I'm still not entirely convinced that AHS is a miniseries or movie or if it should be competing in the Best Drama category. If it's not a miniseries, then the statue should go to this crowd-pleaser, which not only brought back the genre as we used to know it, but proved it could be a gigantic hit.
Best Leading Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Woody Harrelson, Game Change
Clive Owen, Hemingway & Gellhorn
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia (Masterpiece)
Idris Elba, Luther
Kevin Costner, Hatfields & McCoys
Bill Paxton, Hatfields & McCoys
Who Will Win: Kevin Costner: The miniseries or movie categories were basically invented so that the Emmys could get movie stars to attend. And it does this with the promise of gold. It probably won't be any different this year than last year when Kate Winslet won.
Who Should Win: Idris Elba: Call it the Revenge of Stringer Bell.
Best Leading Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Julianne Moore, Game Change
Connie Britton, American Horror Story
Nicole Kidman, Hemingway & Gellhorn
Emma Thompson, The Song of Lunch (Masterpiece)
Ashley Judd, Missing
Who Will and Should Win: Julianne Moore: With four movie stars in this category, poor Connie Britton (who is quite deserving in her own right) doesn't stand a chance. While Kidman may be the bigger star, it's Moore's stunning transformation into Sarah Palin that should rivet voters. We can almost see her winning from our house.
Best Reality Competition
The Amazing Race
Dancing With The Stars
So You Think You Can Dance
Who Will Win: Amazing Race: Ugh, again! When will it end?
Who Should Win: Anyone else: Amazing Race has been a snooze since the Bush Administration, but Academy voters don't know any other shows and think an around the world vacation with their significant other sure looks fun. That's why they keep voting for this. Enough! There are plenty of reality shows on TV — choose someone else! I would go with The Voice, for being the only show to shake up the singing competition formula with any real results.
Best Reality Host
Tom Bergeron, Dancing With The Stars
Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance
Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race
Ryan Seacrest, American Idol
Betty White, Betty White's Off Their Rockers
Who Will Win: Betty White: The Academy thinks she needs one more trophy before her retirement (or something worse). Also, they have absolutely no respect for the reality categories. For shame!
Who Should Win: Cat Deeley: If you do not think this leggy Brit who is as quick with a punchline as she is with a compassionate shoulder for contestants to cry on doesn't deserve to win, then you are an idiot with no eyes. There, I said it. Speaking of no eyes, she also chooses all her own outfits and they are often – how should I put this? – unique. We need her to show up on stage wearing one.
Best Variety Program
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
Real Time with Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live
Who Will Win: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart: I just got off the phone with 2018 and it's still going to win then too. Just accept it.
Who Should Win: Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: You have to appreciate the daffy way he creates viral videos with everything from Barack Obama to the Real Housewives franchise. This is a man who knows that the future of the genre is as much on YouTube as it is on the boob tube.
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Giancarlo Esposito, Breaking Bad
Brendan Coyle, Downton Abbey
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
Jared Harris, Mad Men
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Who Will and Should Win: Giancarlo Esposito: One of the most terrifying villains on television didn't yell and scream and shoot up the place. He took over with quiet determination and a calm exterior that belied a deadly inner life. Esposito's Gus Fring was a study in self-restraint and his end will go down in TV history.
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Who Will and Should Win: Christina Hendricks: She's long been known for the curves of her body, but this season, it was the curveballs her character threw when she decided to kick out her husband, take her destiny in her own hands, and finally get herself on equal footing with the men (of course, only by making a horrible sacrifice). She's made her portrayal of one of the most complicated women on TV look absolutely easy, so it's about time she had a busty gold lady of her own.
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Ed O'Neill, Modern Family
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live
Max Greenfield, New Girl
Who Will Win: Someone from Modern Family: Just pick one. Does it matter. Maybe Ed O'Neill. Is it his turn yet? Fine, then Ty Burrell. Whatever.
Who Should Win: Max Greenfield: It's a hard job stealing a show called The New Girl while having a Y chromosome, but Greenfield's fully-realized Schmidt was the character who audiences really wanted to see, even as they knew he should be stuffing $10s into the douche jar.
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Kathryn Joosten, Desperate Housewives
Who Will Win: Mayim Bialik: Since the boys will be shut out in the acting category, it looks like good old Blossom's work as one of this show's girl geeks is going to get some deserved attention. But look for a possible Kristen Wiig upset for her final season on SNL.
Who Should Win: Merritt Wever: She's long been the funniest thing on Nurse Jackie and she should finally get some recognition for a character that is just on the right side of wacky and vulnerable when she needs to be. If she doesn't get nominated more often, the Academy is on more drugs than Jackie.
Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Sarah Paulson, Game Change
Frances Conroy, American Horror Story
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story
Judy Davis, Page Eight (Masterpiece)
Mare Winningham, Hatfields & McCoys
Who Will and Should Win: Jessica Lange: There is no one we'd rather watch chew the scenery and destroy lives with a syrupy southern accent than Ms. Jessica Lange. Also, remember the rule about giving these trophies to movie stars?
Best Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Ed Harris, Game Change
Denis O'Hare, American Horror Story
David Strathairn, Hemingway & Gellhorn
Martin Freeman, Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia (Masterpiece)
Tom Berenger, Hatfields & McCoys
Who Will Win: Ed Harris: I honestly have no idea on this one, but the fact that Ed Harris has been nominated for an Oscar and is competing in a category for movie stars makes him the best bet. Who Should Win: Denis O'Hare: Between Larry Harvey and his Russell Edgington on True Blood, this hard-working character actor finally deserves to scare up a trophy. Scare up. Get it? Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan [Photo Credit: Wenn] More: 2012 Emmy Awards: See the Full List of Nominees! Emmys 2012: 10 Burning Questions! Emmys 2012: Snubs, Shockers and Surprises!
To most of us, Saturday mornings mean sleeping in and cartoons; but not to presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. The ex-governor used his weekend to work, announcing his vice president pick: Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan. A quick Facebook search on the name turns up hundreds of hits. So what do we really know about this guy? Here are 10 things you probably didn't know about the guy with the common name.
1. He has a sense of humor. Alert the media! While campaigning with Romney earlier this year, Ryan helped play an April Fool's Day joke on the presidential hopeful. Romney showed up to an event where he was supposed to be speaking to a crowded room, only to find the ballroom completely empty.
2. Politics can be very dog eat dog, but that's okay; Ryan is used to it. Romney's running mate used to drive the Wienermobile. Yep, the very same orange and yellow hot dog on wheels that sells Oscar Meyer meat products from a side window.
3. He is 42-years-old — the same age as Romney's oldest son, Tagg. Think it's okay for him to call him Dad?
4. He enjoys long walks on the beach, his favorite color is clear, and one of his hobbies is bow hunting. (Okay, we're kidding about the long walks on the beach and the color clear.) But the outdoorsman — and avid fly fisherman — does enjoy channeling his inner Katniss from time-to-time. His hunting weapon of choice? A bow and arrow.
5. He cites Ayn Rand's best-selling books as some of his favorite reads. We're sure it has nothing to do with the fact that the first four letters of the author's name are the same letters found in his last name.
6. A fan of the military style workouts, P90X, Ryan admits he tries to be very careful about what he eats. His father, grandfather, and great-grandfather all died of heart attacks at the ages 55, 57, and 59 respectively.
7. In high school the Prom King wasn't voted "Most Likely to Succeed," but he was voted something equally important for surviving on the campaign trail: "Biggest Brown-Noser."
8. He is married to tax attorney Janna Little to whom he has three kids: Elizabeth Anne, Charles Wilson, and Samuel Lowery. The family of five live in Janesville, WI.
9. He tweets. You can find him under @RepPaulRyan.
10. He has an eclectic taste in music. On his iPod you'll see everything from Beethoven to Led Zeppelin.
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Did anyone catch Total Recall over the weekend? I don't mean the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger version, I'm talking about the brand spanking new one with Colin Farrell. Oh, you didn't know the difference? You weren't the only one who saw the new flick and thought you were having a flashback to the first film? While not a shot-for-shot remake (and what purpose does one of those serve?) it was remarkably similar to the source material. That seems like some sort of creative failure. If you're going to make a movie just like the first one, why bother redoing what was a perfectly good movie in the first place?
In the spirit of not making the same mistakes over and over again and because we get more and more remakes, reboots, and rejuvenations every year, here are some simple rules for the producers of these movies. Learn from history or your bound to repeat your movie.
Differentiate Yourself: The hardest part of being an identical twin is finding some way to prove that you're an individual. The same goes for remakes. Each new movie has to find its own voice. Either the story is adapted and modernized (Clueless was just a "reboot" of Jane Austen's Emma) or it blends into the original. That is the problem with Total Recall. Every action scene is pretty much the same. It's been more than two decades since the first movie and advances in technology and tastes in action movies have changed dramatically. And let's not forget that movie prices have risen steeply as well. If you're not going to give me something new and different for my $12.50 ($17 if it's in IMAX and $18 plus naming rights for your first born if it's in 3D) then I'm just going to watch the old one on Netflix for basically free.
Lay Off the References: Aside from improving on the original, the other point of a remake is to expose a new audience of kids raised on their own pop cultural touchstones to the things that previous generations held dear. That means most of the people Hollywood is courting never saw the original. (Lucky for Russell Brand no one in his regular audience can cry foul for what he did to Aurthur.) If that's the case, why are some remakes packed to the gills with references and in jokes that only devotees of the original will get? Yes, tipping the hat to long-time fans is appreciated, but not at the expense of those who haven't seen the source material (hear that, every comic book movie ever). While not the best, Clash of the Titans did this well, making a quick joke about Bubo the mechanical owl and then moving past it. Of course all movies need to keep the iconic moments of the film intact. Titans would have been nothing without "Unleash the Kraken," after all.
Only One Cameo: Sorry, Holly Robinson Peete, but you probably should have been cut from the 21 Jump Street movie. Same goes for everyone who wasn't Johnny Depp. Like I said before, don't burden this thing down with nostalgia. Sure Holly was inoffensively given a role as a cop in the movie, but if we're spending all our time waiting to see the next famous person to pop up, we're not paying attention to the new stars.
Dark and Brooding Isn't the Answer: The reason The Dark Knight and Batman Begins were so incredibly successful is not because they were dark. They were hits because they took what had become a really hokey franchise (hello, nipple suits) and turned it into a superhero epic with greater depth. This does not mean that making everything brooding and angsty is going to make your movie better. Right, Miami Vice? Do you hear me, The Amazing Spider-Man? What rebooters want is to add more dimension to their movies, and if that comes with an emo soundtrack, great. But that's not the only way.
Say in the Same Genre: It's never a good decision to take a movie out of how it was intended and turn it into something else. For instance Dark Shadows as a gothic-soap opera could have been good. Dark Shadows as a comedy lets in all the campiness that a remake quickly falls into. The Brady Bunch movie works because it turns a comedy into an even campier comedy. So, let's have the dramas stay dramas, shall we. No one needs another Stepford Wives debacle.
Wait: It's hard to put a time limit on when a film should be remade or rebooted, but 10 years seems to be safe. But that could still be too soon. Just like pornography, it's hard to give an exact definition, but I know a movie was retooled too soon when I see it.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
Total Recall Review
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Less Transformers more Act of Valor director Peter Berg's Battleship is a bombastic idiotic and ear canal-shattering love letter to the Navy slathered with a summer blockbuster sugarcoating that sufficiently masks any glimmer of heart. Following suit with their previous adaptation Transformers toy company Hasbro has transformed their popular board game into a sci-fi action movie as stiff and lifeless as the plastic pieces used to play. The saving grace is Berg's fondness for the ridiculous injecting Top Gun-level machismo into his tale of aliens vs. boats. Silliness is cinematic buoyancy for a movie as lazy as Battleship.
Continually finding himself in trouble's way roughneck Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch of TV's Friday Night Lights and John Carter) enlists in the U.S. Navy alongside his boy scout brother Stone (Alexander Skarsgård) and under the supervision of his lady friend Sam's (Brooklyn Decker) overbearing father Admiral Shane (Liam Neeson). Alex works his way up the chain of command quickly earning the rank of Lieutenant just in time for the annual competitive skirmish with the Japanese Navy. It's all fun and games until — per usual — aliens drop down from the stars and wreak havoc on Hawaii. With most of the fleet trapped on the outskirts thanks to a ship-proof forcefield Alex is forced to command his own ship and take down the intergalactic adversaries with old school style. Discombobulated radar in alien waters means Alex and his team are shooting blind — will B11 be a hit or a miss?
Kitsch spends most of his time rubbing shoulders with Petty Officer 'Weps' (Rihanna) and the rest of his diligent crew whipping up ways to defeat the alien forces who only go on the offensive when attacked. That's just the beginning of the storytelling's illogic moment after moment favoring Michael Bay-inspired mayhem and tensionless spats of screaming aboard the ship's bridge over coherency. There's an Independence Day-inspired moment where an alien creature palms Kitsch's face unleashing imagery of their devastated home planet to his mind. Maybe? That never comes back and an explanation of why the aliens are here why we're fighting them or if they're really that bad at all never comes into play. Kitsch and his men just know the world's under attack and we have to blow the opposition to smithereens.
Ensuring attentive brains are never too focused the perspective in Battleship is ever-shifting jumping from Alex's Destroyer to Sam and her paraplegic rehab patient Lieutenant Colonel Mick Canales together on the run from alien ground troops. Around Battleship's halfway point when the duo partners with a twitchy scientist (Hamish Linklater) and Mick rises above his disability to beat the living daylights out of an extraterrestrial is when Berg throws his hands in the air stops caring and pulls out all the stops. Giant alien roller balls that rip up everything in their path? Check. Bouncing space ships that can only be combated using water displacement theory? Check. Navy vets returning for one…last…job? Check check. Before the finale of this 131 minute monstrosity Kitsch and his Japanese counterpart Yugi Nagata (Tadanobu Asano) sit down to play an actual game of Battleship. Sure it's with actual missiles but there's a grid there's a target and there's shouting out of corresponding numbers. For those worried about board game fan service it's there (but don't sit around waiting for the infamous tagline).
Unlike his turn in John Carter Kitsch is perfectly suited for the bro atmosphere of Battleship where every moment of drama begs for hammy delivery and crazy eyes. Decker too is an asset to the overly epic blockbuster — a step up from the reductive arm candy roles of the Transformers movies. Everyone else is barely a blip on the radar; Neeson is deprived of a single badass moment while Rihanna proves she can memorize and playback scripted lines as well as pop song lyrics. Berg has control of his action in a way that's more enjoyable than the previous Transformers films but it still plays like a tired clone. The initial two-thirds of Battleship that takes itself too seriously is exhausting. The final barrage is pure lunacy. Whether you can stay afloat for that long is the true test of heroism.
Comic-Con. The mecca of pop culture.
Movies, TV, Comic and Gaming enthusiasts will gather in the temperate California town for a five-day, pop culture extravaganza, where the top dogs in every field come to showcase their latest and greatest products. Whether it's the Hall H premiere trailer of a new summer blockbuster, the cast meet and greet in Ballroom 20 for the hot new TV show or just a sit down with some insightful creator-types in a dark and dingy backroom, SDCC is always full of surprises and this year looks to be no different.
We'll be there on the ground floor picking up all the news bites as they break, but you can check out the schedule for the first two days below -- and better prepare for the onslaught of updates!
Wednesday, July 20 (Preview Night)
6:00-9:00 Special Sneak Peek Pilot Screenings: Alcatraz, Person of Interest, The Secret Circle, and Supernatural: The Anime Series — Comic-Con and Warner Bros. Television proudly continue their annual Preview Night tradition with exclusive world premiere screenings of the pilot episodes of three of the most highly anticipated TV series pilots of the 2011-12 television season -- Alcatraz, Person of Interest, and The Secret Circle -- as well as Supernatural: The Anime Series, the first-ever anime adaptation of a U.S. television series.Ballroom 20
Alcatraz—From executive producer J. J. Abrams (Super 8, Fringe) and showrunner Elizabeth Sarnoff (Lost) comes Alcatraz, a chilling new drama revolving around America's most infamous prison and onetime home to the nation's worst criminals. The series stars Sarah Jones (Sons of Anarchy), Jorge Garcia (Lost), Jonny Coyne (Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life), Parminder Nagra (ER), Santiago Cabrera (Heroes), and Jason Butler Harner (Fringe), with Robert Forster (Jackie Brown) and Sam Neill (Jurassic Park). Abrams, Bryan Burk (Super 8, Fringe), and Sarnoff are executive producers; Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt (both Kyle XY) are co-executive producers. Alcatraz will premiere in midseason and air Mondays 9/8c on FOX.
Person of Interest—Jim Caviezel (The Thin Red Line), Michael Emerson (Lost), and Taraji P. Henson (Hustle & Flow) team up in Person of Interest, a thought-provoking crime action-drama from The Dark Knight's Jonathan Nolan and J. J. Abrams' Bad Robot Productions (Super 8, Fringe). Set in New York City, with all of its multifaceted elements of justice (cops, criminals, corruption), this procedural centers on an ex-CIA agent, presumed dead, who partners with a mysterious billionaire to prevent violent crimes. Kevin Chapman (Rescue Me) also stars in the series, which is executive produced by Nolan, Abrams, Greg Plageman (Cold Case), and Bryan Burk (Super 8, Fringe). Person of Interest is from Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Bad Robot Productions and Warner Bros. Television. The series will air Thursdays at 9/8c on CBS this fall.
The Secret Circle—The ordinary becomes the extraordinary in The Secret Circle, a romantic drama full of mystery, intrigue, and danger from executive producer Kevin Williamson (The Vampire Diaries) and based on the book series by L. J. Smith (The Vampire Diaries). The series chronicles the story of a young girl who discovers not only that she is a witch and part of a secret coven but that she is the key that will unlock a centuries-old battle of good versus evil. Britt Robertson (Scream 4), Thomas Dekker (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), Gale Harold (Queer as Folk), Shelley Hennig (Days of Our Lives), Phoebe Tonkin (H20: Just Add Water), Louis Hunter (Out of the Blue), Jessica Parker Kennedy (Valemont), Ashley Crow (Heroes), and Natasha Henstridge (Species) star in the series, from executive producers Williamson, Leslie Morgenstein (The Vampire Diaries), Gina Girolamo (Alloy Entertainment), Andrew Miller (Nothing), and Richard Hatem (Supernatural). The series will air Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW this fall.
Supernatural: The Anime Series—Warner Bros. Television's hit series Supernatural (Fridays 9/8c, The CW) makes history this summer as Supernatural: The Anime Series is released in the United States, the first-ever live-action series to be reimagined in Japanese anime style. Inspired by the U.S. series' sensational following oversees, Warner Home Video Japan and renowned animation studio Madhouse -- working with the full approval of series creator Eric Kripke -- produced the anime series, which mirrors the story arc of Supernatural's first two seasons, providing supplemental stories ranging from prequels and spinoffs to untold tales that fit within the Supernatural mythology. The all-new, 22-episode animated series will be distributed July 26 by Warner Home Video on Blu-ray, DVD, On Demand, and for Download.
Thursday, July 21
10:00-11:00 TheOneRing.net: Hobbit Talk— From the decade-old and perhaps most influential fan site on the Interwebs (and a consistent breaking news source), staff vets Clifford Broadway (Quickbeam) and Larry D. Curtis (MrCere) take a good, hard look at the latest from the two Hobbit films' production. Since this isn't a studio affair, you'll get the street-level latest (authorized and unauthorized) as well as spy reports, rumors, and even informed opinions. Surprise guests are a possibility; audio and visuals are a given with a Q&A and all sorts of fun. Room 7AB
10:00-11:00 Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe— For fans of USA's hit series Burn Notice who've always wanted to know what happened before Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell) teamed up with Michael Weston and Fiona, Comic-Con attendees are invited inside the USA made-for-TV movie Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe, debuting on DVD exclusively at Comic-Con! The Burn Notice prequel chronicles what turned out to be the last military mission of former U.S. Navy SEAL Lieutenant Commander Axe and the expedition that took him from the jungles of Colombia to sunny Miami Beach. Go one-on-one with Bruce Campbell, star of Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe, and Burn Notice creator, writer, and executive producer, Matt Nix. Ballroom 20
10:00-11:00 Journey— Get into the indie spirit with thatgamecompany and the PlayStation Network: From the developers who brought you Flower and flOw, comes one of this year's most highly anticipated PlayStation 3 exclusives, Journey. Meet and chat with thatgamecompany's Jenova Chen and Kellee Santiago as they (along with special guests) provide insight on their creativity and the inspiration behind their work and discuss what it takes to be successful as an independent developer. Room 23ABC
10:00-11:00 Deadliest Warrior: Vampires vs. Zombies— Vampires and zombies have terrorized and tantalized their way through pop culture for decades, from Dracula to the Twilight Saga to Walking Dead. SPIKE TV and its Deadliest Warrior franchise are going to finally answer the question: Which of these mythical creatures would come out on top in a fight to the finish? Deadliest Warrior steps outside the confines of history for this groundbreaking fantasy episode destined to rouse heated debates amongst fans in the blogosphere for months. The special episode features an array of icons of film and fiction who are authorities on the topic. Through these expert interviews, scientific tests, and careful analysis, They will determine who would win in a battle to the death between these two iconic groups, zombies and vampires. The Deadliest Warrior team of Richard "Mack" Machowicz, Dr. Armand Dorian, and Robert Daly, guests Steve Niles, Max Brooks, and horror legend Wes Craven, and executive producer of Deadliest Warrior and president of 44 Blue Productions Rasha Drachkovitch make their case for who is, indeed, the fiercest. Los Angeles Times writer and HeroComplex.com founder Geoff Boucher will serve as moderator. Room 25ABC
10:00-11:00 Kinect Star Wars Panel— Enter the Galaxy with studio head Jorg Neumann (Kinect Publishing) and lead producer Craig Derrick (LucasArts) as they discuss the highly anticipated title with USA Today's Mike Snider, sharing new game play from the iconic Star Wars universe, revealing an all-new mode, and unveiling an exciting announcement. All attendees will receive a limited-edition poster. Room 32AB
11:00-12:00 The World of 2027 in Deus Ex: Human Revolution: The Line Between Science and Fiction— How do video games incorporate real-life science into their storylines, weapons, and characters? This talk will provide fascinating insight into how "sci" was used to create the "sci-fi" in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, one of the most highly anticipated games of 2011. Mary DeMarle, lead writer for Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Eidos Montreal) and Will Rossellini, CEO of Microtransponder and consultant on the game, discuss how they created a realistic future vision for transhumanism and a world where mechanical augmentations have changed the fate of the human race. Room 5AB
11:15-12:15 Covert Affairs— For the first time, TV's sexiest spy show, USA Network's Covert Affairs, comes to Comic-Con! Spend some time with stars Piper Perabo (Annie Walker), Christopher Gorham (Auggie Anderson), Sendhil Ramamurthy (Jai Wilcox), Kari Matchett (Joan Campbell), Anne Dudek (Danielle), and Peter Gallagher (Arthur Campbell). Executive producers Doug Liman, Chris Ord, Matt Corman, and Dave Bartis also join the panel, moderated by the one-and-only Oded Fehr. Fans will get an insider's look into the action-packed world of Covert Affairs. Besides having questions answered about the exciting current season, fans will view exclusive video content featuring a sneak peek at upcoming episodes. There will also be surprise giveaways for audience members! Ballroom 20
11:15-12:15 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1— Summit Entertainment presents a sneak peek at the highly anticipated next chapter of The Twilight Saga. This is a must see for fans interested in the story's final chapters. You'll see exclusive footage from The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part 1 and be treated to a filmmaker and cast Q&A session providing details on the first half of the epic two-part finale. Hall H
11:45-12:45 Battlestar: So Say We All— Richard Hatch hosts a panel and fan discussion of the Battlestar Galactica universe, politics, and philosophy. Richard (Tom Zarek, Capt Apollo), Michael Taylor (Battlestar Galactica, Caprica, Blood and Chrome), Dr Kevin Grazier (BG science consultant), and surprise guests for this exciting round table and Q&A session. Room 6BCF
12:00-1:00 Spreading The Darkness: From Comic Book to Video Games and Entertainment— In a world of comic book icons, The Darkness has not only stood the test of time but flourished in various forms of media. Celebrate the upcoming 15th anniversary of The Darkness with the creators that know Jackie Estacado and his world the best. The Darkness creator Marc Silvestri (X-Men/Dark Avengers: Utopia) and team members from Digital Extremes and 2K Games discuss not only the comic but the upcoming video game, The Darkness II, arriving in October. Plus special surprise guests! And be the first to hear about an exciting announcement regarding The Darkness in other media. Room 9
12:15-1:00 Focus on Rick Baker— The multi-Oscar winning master of makeup effects will take us on an overview of his remarkable career with a special emphasis on his work with director Barry Sonnenfeld on Men In Black 1 & 2, as well as a first look at some of his creatures and makeup for the upcoming Men In Black 3. Appearing on stage: Rick Baker in conversation with Geoff Boucher of the Los Angeles Times' Hero Complex. Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront
12:30-1:30 Psych— Calling all Psych-o's! USA Network's Psych is back at Comic-Con with another hilarious panel featuring the stars and producers behind one of cable's most popular shows. Moderated by Psych's resident morgue-dweller and fan favorite, Woody the Coroner (acclaimed actor Kurt Fuller), the one-hour panel will be full of surprises and face-time with series stars James Roday (Shawn Spencer), Dulé Hill (Burton "Gus" Guster), Maggie Lawson (Juliet O'Hara), Tim Omundson (Carlton Lassiter), Kirsten Nelson (Chief Karen Vick), and Corbin Bernsen (Henry Spencer). Joining the cast are Steve Franks (creator and executive producer), Kelly Kulchak (executive producer) and Chris Henze (executive producer). The cast and creative team will share secrets and stories from the set as well as answer questions about the show. Expect exclusive videos, surprise giveaways, live performances, and an extended preview of Season 6 episodes screened only for Comic-Con fans! Ballroom 20
12:45-1:45 Animation Showcase— Sony Pictures Animation plunges Hall H into a 3D animation universe with previews of upcoming films with Aardman, the home studio of Wallace and Gromit, as they make their first trip across the pond to Comic-Con to present a first look at two of their upcoming animated feature films:
Arthur Christmas -- The 3D, CG-animated family comedy Arthur Christmas, an Aardman production for Sony Pictures Animation, at last reveals the incredible, never-before seen answer to every child's question: "So how does Santa deliver all those presents in one night?" The answer: Santa's exhilarating, ultra- high-tech operation hidden beneath the North Pole. But at the heart of the film is a story with the ingredients of a Christmas classic -- a family in a state of comic dysfunction and an unlikely hero, Arthur, with an urgent mission that must be completed before Christmas morning dawns. Producer Peter Lord and co- writer Peter Baynham discuss the animated film.
The Pirates! Band of Misfits -- In the 3D, stop motion-animated The Pirates! Band of Misfits, Hugh Grant, stars in his first animated role as the luxuriantly bearded Pirate Captain -- a boundlessly enthusiastic, if somewhat less-than-successful, terror of the High Seas. With a rag-tag crew at his side (Martin Freeman, Brendan Gleeson, Russell Tovey, and Ashley Jensen), and seemingly blind to the impossible odds stacked against him, the Captain has one dream: to beat his bitter rivals Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven) and Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek) to the much coveted Pirate Of The Year Award. It's a quest that takes our heroes from the shores of exotic Blood Island to the foggy streets of Victorian London. Along the way they battle a diabolical queen (Imelda Staunton) and team up with a haplessly smitten young scientist (David Tennant), but never lose sight of what a pirate loves best: adventure! Director/producer Peter Lord will be live on stage to talk about the movie.
1:00-2:00 World of Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft Swag Show— Blizzard Entertainment creative and licensed partners unveil and discuss World of Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft-inspired products. In attendance: Chris Metzen (Blizzard Entertainment SVP of creative development), Nick Carpenter (Blizzard Entertainment executive art director), Christie Golden (New York Times bestselling author), Hank Kanalz (SVP Digital, DC Comics and World of Warcraft comics editor), Sean Gailey (creative overlord, J!nx Clothing), and Cory Jones (Cryptozoic Entertainment president and chief creative officer). Moderated by Kat Hunter ( host of BlizzCon coverage on DIRECTV). Room 6BCF
1:00-2:00 Nickelodeon and DreamWorks Animation: The Penguins of Madagascar: The Return of the Revenge of Dr. Blowhole— Executive producers Mark McCorkle and Bob Schooley (Kim Possible), supervising producer Nick Filippi (Wolverine and the X-Men), creative consultant and voice of Skipper Tom McGrath (Madagascar 1 & 2), and cast members Danny Jacobs (Epic Movie), John DiMaggio (Futurama), Jeff Bennett (T.U.F.F. Puppy), James Patrick Stuart (Wolverine and the X-Men), and Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show) share an insider's look of how the show gets made, along with never-before-seen footage from their upcoming one-hour musical, The Return of the Revenge of Dr. Blowhole. Additionally, the all-star cast performs a table read of selected scenes, highlighted by the amazingly talented Danny Jacobs as the voice of King Julien, singing his booty off as he premieres a showstopper from the special. Followed by a Q&A session moderated by Rich Magallanes, vice president, animation for Nickelodeon. Room 23ABC
1:00-2:00 Archaia Entertainment: Immortals, the Graphic Novel— Before you watch Relativity Media's epic 3D film Immortals when it opens on November 11, dive into Archaia's prelude graphic novel, Immortals: Gods and Heroes, coming in September! Featuring original tales that expand on the movie's characters and written and illustrated by some of the top names in comics, Immortals: Gods and Heroes promises to prepare you for the visionary film directed by Tarsem Singh (The Cell, The Fall). Editor Nate Cosby (Jim Henson's The Storyteller) and contributors Dennis Calero (X-Factor), F. J. DeSanto (The Spirit), David Mack (Kabuki), Ron Marz (Witchblade), Jim McCann (Return of the Dapper Men), Ben McCool (Captain America), and some surprise guests give you a sneak peek at the graphic novel, plus provide some cool behind-the-scenes info of its production. Meet the two winners of the "Become Immortal" contest, whose likenesses will be drawn into the book. Plus, everyone in attendance will receive a voucher for a cool Immortals: Gods and Heroes giveaway at the Archaia booth! Moderated by Archaia editor-in-chief Stephen Christy. Room 32AB
1:45-2:45 Ringer— Sarah Michelle Gellar makes her highly anticipated television return in the gripping new thriller Ringer, as a woman who, after witnessing a murder, goes on the run, hiding out by assuming the life of her wealthy identical twin -- only to learn that her sister's seemingly idyllic life is just as complicated and dangerous as the one she's trying to leave behind. Be the first to see an exclusive sneak peek at the new series about family secrets and stolen identities, followed by a panel discussion with series stars Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy The Vampire Slayer), Ioan Gruffudd (Fantastic Four), Nestor Carbonell (Lost, The Dark Knight), Kristoffer Polaha (Life Unexpected), executive producer Pam Veasey (CSI:NY), and co-executive producers Nicole Snyder (Supernatural) and Eric Charmelo (Supernatural). Ballroom 20
2:00-3:00 Napoleon Dynamite— Original cast members from the hit indie film including Jon Heder, Tina Majorino, Efren Ramirez, Jon Gries, Sandy Martin, Diedrich Bader and executive producer Mike Scully (The Simpsons) present a new series following your favorite awkward teenager like you've never seen him before -- animated! Join us for a sneak peek at never-before-seen footage of the newest member of FOX's Animation Domination lineup and a "sweet" Q&A session. Room 7AB
2:00-3:00 FilmDistrict Studio Panel— FilmDistrict, the new studio that brought you Insidious, celebrates two upcoming features: Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, a Guillermo Del Toro production starring Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce, and Drive, directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, starring Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Ron Perlman, and Christina Hendricks. Exclusive footage will be presented and a Q&A will be held for both films. Hall H
2:00-3:00 Warner Premiere: H+ and Mortal Kombat: Legacy— From producer Bryan Singer (X-Men, X2, X-Men: First Class, Superman Returns) comes a Comic-Con exclusive first look at H+, the forthcoming Warner Premiere/Dolphin Entertainment web series directed by Stewart Hendler (Sorority Row) and written and created by John Cabrera and Cosimo De Tommaso. H+ takes place in a near-future world where a tiny and stunning new piece of technology lies at the center of a dark and epic mystery. Then, Mortal Kombat: Legacy, a hit web series with over 35 million views, takes the stage for a panel discussion with director Kevin Tancharoen (Mortal Kombat: Rebirth), Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Voyager), Michael Jai White (The Dark Knight), Darren Shahlavi (Sanctuary), Peter Shinkoda (Falling Skies), Matt Mullins (Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight) and Shane Warren Jones (Screwed). Fans will see -- for the first time -- the long-awaited final Mortal Kombat: Legacy episode! Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront
2:15-3:15 Street Fighter X Tekken— Legendary Street Fighter producer Yoshinori Ono provides the latest update on the highly anticipated fighting game Street Fighter X Tekken. Learn just what's in store for your favorite Street Fighter and Tekken characters in this explosive genre-defining game. Street Fighter fans are encouraged to come in costume as Capcom deems Thursday to be "Street Fighter Day." Katsuhiro Harada of Tekken will also appear to face Ono-san and continue their fierce rivalry over which fighting game franchise is the best. Followed by a Q&A session plus some special surprises! Room 6BCF
2:30-3:30 Hasbro Transformers Panel— Would you like to see what's new with Transformers? The marketing and design teams responsible for the current Transformers: Dark of the Moon line present all the latest toys at this panel. Also, see a sneak peek into the 2012 line. Includes Q&A time. Room 24ABC
3:00-4:00 Game of Thrones Panel and Q&A session— Based on the bestselling fantasy book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, HBO's Game of Thrones concluded its 10-episode debut season on June 19. The series, executive produced and written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, follows kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars and noblemen as they vie for power in a land where summers span decades and winters can last a lifetime. Some of the cast featured in the first season and appearing on this panel are (in alphabetical order) Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Ser Jaime Lannister, Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, Kit Harington as Jon Snow, and Jason Momoa as Khal Drogo. Moderated by George R. R. Martin, who also serves as a co-executive producer and writer on the series. Ballroom 20
3:15-4:30 20th Century Fox— At past Comic-Cons, 20th Century Fox has previewed Independence Day, X2, Avatar, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. You won't want to miss the excitement this year, as Fox presents first-looks at some of its most-anticipated pictures of 2011 and 2012. Hall H
3:30-4:30 Star Wars: The Old Republic : Join Us, It Is Your Destiny— BioWare and LucasArts are creating the most immersive MMO experience you've ever played with Star Wars: The Old Republic. Hear from BioWare developers as they discuss development of a story-driven MMO, debut new gameplay footage, and perhaps spring a few surprises along the way. Exclusive reveals, giveaways, guests, and Q&A! Room 6BCF
3:30-4:30 The Making of Transformers Prime— Join the Emmy Award-winning Hasbro Studios creative team as they walk audience members through the challenges they faced in developing and producing this awe-inspiring show that has helped redefine Transformers for a whole new generation of fans. The team will discuss all aspects of the show, including character and set development and design, the writing of this epic series, and the musical elements that have made this show a success. Key guests include Mike Vogel, Brian Lenard, Jeff Kline, Duane Capizzi, and Jose Lopez. Room 24ABC
3:45-4:45 Awake— Exclusive screening of Awake, the new NBC sci-fi drama about the power of the mind, to be introduced by star Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter) and executive producers Howard Gordon (24) and Kyle Killen (The Beaver). The screening will be followed by a brief Q&A session. Room 6A
4:15-5:15 TV Guide Magazine: Fan Favorites— TV Guide is back with an all-star panel for the fans! Moderated by editor-in-chief Debra Birnbaum, Fan Favorites features your favorite talent from your favorite shows -- in front of the camera and behind the scenes. Panelists include Nestor Carbonell (Ringer), Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory), Jorge Garcia (Alcatraz), Leslie Hope (The River), Zachary Levi (Chuck), Joe Manganiello (True Blood), Julie Plec (Vampire Diaries), Matt Smith (Doctor Who ), Kevin Williamson (Vampire Diaries), Deborah Ann Woll (True Blood), and others. Ballroom 20
4:45-5:45 Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season Four Preview— The epic conflict of Star Wars: The Clone Wars intensifies in the upcoming season, as new battle lines are drawn, new threats arise, and old enemies resurface. Take an unparalleled first look into this fall's action, drama, and adventure as the creators of hit series from Lucasfilm preview some of what will astound Star Wars fans in Season Four. Featuring supervising director Dave Filoni, CG lighting/FX supervisor Joel Aron, and other talents from behind the scenes at Lucasfilm Animation. Hosted by Pablo Hidalgo. Room 6BCF
4:45-5:45 Robert Rodriguez's Quick Draw Productions— Be the first to get a sneak peek at Robert Rodriguez's upcoming films. Robert presents Quick Draw's new slate featuring special guest collaborators. He will also show exclusive material from his latest top-secret project. Hall H
5:00-6:00 Beavis & Butthead— In 1993, Mike Judge (creator of Beavis and Butthead) and MTV knocked their heads together and launched a cartoon series starring a couple of lunkheads and unwittingly started an animated pop culture revolution. Now, Beavis and Butthead are coming back to MTV in 2011 to unleash on music videos, Jersey Shore, viral videos, and more. See the first footage from the new episodes, and join Mike as he discusses the duo's return to MTV! Room 6A
5:00-6:00 Batman: Arkham City— Get the inside scoop on Batman: Arkham City, the highly anticipated follow-up to Batman: Arkham Asylum, one of the top-selling games of 2009 and the Guinness World Record holder for the Most Critically Acclaimed Superhero Game Ever. Be among the first to see and hear new details about the next chapter in Batman's gritty, immersive world -- including some surprise game and character reveals—from panelists Mark Hamill (Star Wars), Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series), DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee, writer Paul Dini (Lost, Tower Prep), and game director Sefton Hill (Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman: Arkham City). Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront
5:30-7:30 Showtime : Tired of Ordinary Television?— This year at Comic-Con, Showtime saves! The casts and creative forces behind Dexter and Shameless give sneak peeks into the new seasons. And be the first to see an exclusive look at the new Showtime original series Homeland.Dexter -- See the exclusive world premiere of the new season's trailer, then moderator Ralph Garman (KROQ entertainment reporter) will preside over a revealing interview and Q&A session with the stars and executive producers, including Michael C. Hall (star/executive producer), C. S. Lee (Masuka), David Zayas (Batista) , guest star Colin Hanks (Peter Jackson's King Kong, Roswell), and more. Also appearing are executive producers John Goldwyn, Sara Colleton, Scott Buck, and Manny Coto.Shameless -- Come party with the cast and creative team behind the hottest new Showtime original series, Shameless. If you thought your family was dysfunctional, wait 'til you meet the Gallaghers. Get the inside scoop on what's in store for the new season as Mike Schneider (TV Guide Los Angeles bureau chief) leads an interview and Q&A with stars William H. Macy (Fargo, Jurassic Park III) and Emmy Rossum (Day After Tomorrow, Dragon Ball: Evolution ), plus more, along with executive producer John Wells (West Wing, ER, Southland).Homeland -- This fall, the war on terror comes home in the new Showtime original series Homeland from executive producers/writers Howard Gordon (24, The X-Files) and Alex Gansa (24, The X-Files, Numb3rs), starring Claire Danes (Terminator 3), Damian Lewis (Band of Brothers, Life), Mandy Patinkin (The Princess Bride, Criminal Minds), and Morena Baccarin (V, Firefly). Comic-Con favorite Morena Baccarin will make a special appearance to introduce exclusive footage from Homeland.
6:00-7:00 Gears of War 3— Epic Games design director Cliff Bleszinski, executive producer Rod Fergusson, and special guest contributors to the Gears universe offer a look ahead at the most-anticipated game of 2011. Includes a live game demo and key announcements. Moderated by X-Play (G4) co-host Adam Sessler. Room 6BCF
6:00-7:00 Entertainment Weekly: The Visionaries: A discussion with Jon Favreau and Guillermo del Toro on the Future of Pop Culture— EW moderates an in-depth conversation with Jon Favreau (Cowboys & Aliens) and Guillermo del Toro (Don't Be Afraid of the Dark), two filmmakers at the forefront of bringing geek culture to the masses and making blockbuster art out of pulp fiction. They will discuss their inspirations, their current work, and how they strive to put a personal stamp on blockbuster entertainment. Plus: How is new technology changing the way stories are produced and viewed? And what do they think the pop culture universe will look like a decade from now? Moderated by Jeff "Doc" Jensen. Hall H
6:15-7:30 Wilfred Screening and Q &A— Elijah Wood (Lord of the Rings, Happy Feet) stars as Ryan, a young man struggling unsuccessfully to make his way in the world until he forms a unique friendship with Wilfred, his neighbor's canine pet, played by Jason Gann (The Wedge, Mark Loves Sharon), who co- created and starred in the Australian version of Wilfred in 2007. While everyone else sees Wilfred as just a dog, Ryan sees a crude and surly man in a cheap dog suit. Elijah and Jason, along with Wilfred co-stars Fiona Gubelmann (Californication, Cold Case) and Dorian Brown (Roommates, Psych), executive producer David Zuckerman (Family Guy, American Dad, King of the Hill), and co-executive producer/director Randall Einhorn (The Office, Modern Family) discuss bringing this unique, live-action comedy to life. Room 6A
7:00-8:00 Writing Movies for Fun and Profit— Meet Thomas Lennon (Reno 911!, The State, I Love You, Man) and Robert Ben Garant (Reno 911!, The State, Bob's Burgers). Sure, you love their cult TV shows, but the movies they've written -- Night at the Museum I & II, The Pacifier, etc -- have made over a billion dollars at the box office. Their new book Writing Movies for Fun and Profit will teach YOU the secrets of the studio system and everything you need to know to break into the film biz and start earning piles of money by SELLING OUT. Join them for an informative and irreverent Q&A. Room 5AB
Episode 1. Yemen/Strip Club/Neomelodics/Fantasy Coffins
(AIR DATE 12/06/2010)
Members of the Vice team spread out around the globe to investigate a terrorist group in Yemen; a living-room-based strip club in Detroit; mafia pop stars in Naples; and ornate fantasy coffins from Africa.
Episode 2. North Korea/Russian Mobsters/Border Crossings/Dating A Girl In A Burqa
(AIR DATE 12/06/2010)
The Vice team gains access to North Korea for a three day tour; makes a run across a recreation of the Mexican-American border at a theme park; gets to know Russian mobsters who make movies about their crimes; and gets advice on dating burqa-clad women.
Episode 3. Vale Tudo/Ramallah Racing/Fake Afghanistan/Die Antwoord
(AIR DATE 12/13/2010)
Episode 4. Business of War/Sakawa Boys/Bulletproof Tailor/Norwegian Black Metal
(AIR DATE 12/20/2010)
Episode 5. Narco Cinema/Apartheid Town/The Sewers Of Bogota/Korean Boy Bands
(AIR DATE 12/27/2010)