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San Diego Comic-Con: What to expect for TV fans

From Westworld to Archer and Stranger Things


San Diego Comic-Con is here and, for fans of everything and anything television, this year seems to have been crafted with you in mind.

Every major network from the CW to Netflix to HBO, Fox, ABC and CBS will have a panel for at least one of their shows at the convention. Spread out over the course of nearly five days, this year’s San Diego Comic-Con promises to be one of the best for those obsessed with Stranger Things, The Flash, Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead.

Along with many, many more shows.

It’s become evident in the past few years that SDCC has quickly become a place for television fans to gather more so than almost anyone else — but that’s not very surprising. Comic-Con has always been a place dedicated to fandoms, allowing those within them to participate in different conversations about the shows that they love and share stories about their favorite characters.

Television has become one of the go-to mediums for genre and nerd entertainment; just look at the CW’s success crafting an entire universe based on DC characters. The network and executive producer Greg Berlanti keep adding new things, building connections between shows up almost every season, all thanks to the heavily invested, loyal audience

With SDCC here, it can be hard to try and figure out which panels to pay attention to and when certain panels are. That’s why we put together this handy-dandy list for you. Go through and see which panels you’re interested in as broken down by network. A fan of Game of Thrones but don’t care much for Arrow? Just skip over the CW and head straight to HBO.

San Diego Comic-Con runs from Wednesday, July 19 through Sunday, July 23. A more general breakdown of the biggest panels to keep an eye on can be read here.

The Defenders - Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Daredevil, Luke Cage Netflix


Stranger Things: With the show’s second season just around the corner, expect to hear a few more details about what the residents of Hawkins are going to get up to. With Will Byers back from the Upside Down — and a portal to a terrible, new dimension accompanying his return — things are sure to get quite a bit worse for the town. The one thing we shouldn’t expect out of this panel? A trailer. Netflix just released a new trailer for the season and that will have to hold you over for the next little bit.

Panel time: 3:00 p.m. PT/6 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 22

The Defenders: After two years, Netflix and Marvel are ready to bring their four superheroes together for the small-screen equivalent of The Avengers. Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Luke Cage and Iron Fist will join forces to take on the dreaded criminal organization, the Hand, and take down Madame Gao. The Defenders’ four lead actors should be making an appearance at the convention. Unlike Stranger Things, expect Netflix to bring a new trailer for The Defenders.

Panel time: 5:15 p.m. PT/8:15 p.m. ET on Friday, July 21

Logan Westworld Episode 5 HBO


Game of Thrones: This is one of the rare years where Game of Thrones will have a presence at Comic-Con while a season is airing on HBO. The seventh season kicked off this past weekend and now we’ll have the cast and showrunners delivering a panel and answering fan questions. What is going on in this season? Where are the characters headed? Usually, the Game of Thrones panel is nothing more than celebratory fanfare, but this could prove to be a little bit different.

Panel time: 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET on Friday, July 20

Westworld: One of HBO’s most talked-about series last year will be at Comic-Con with its own panel. Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy’s sci-fi series about a theme park where visitors can live out their wildest and most violent fantasies is set for a second season next year, but we wouldn’t expect much out of this panel beyond an interesting discussion. Nolan and Joy may announce new cast members or confirm a few fan theories, but don’t expect a trailer. It’s still far too early.

Panel time: 4:15 p.m. PT/7:15 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 21

Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) stands in front of the Walking Dead crew with a baseball bat Image: AMC


Fear the Walking Dead: The second half of Fear the Walking Dead is quickly approaching and, considering the cliffhanger the show’s third mid-season finale ended on, we’re expecting some teases of what’s to come. Most importantly, we are expecting to get some kind of teaser out of this panel. The show will return to air soon, so expect something from AMC.

Panel time: 11:15 a.m. PT/2:15 p.m. ET on Friday, July 20

The Walking Dead: The Walking Dead is preparing for one of the biggest fights in the series’ history. Rick has gathered his troops and is ready to take on Negan, one of the most despicable villains the show has ever featured. We are expecting to see some kind of tease for the season — but this isn’t a great time for the show. John Bernecker, a stuntman on the show, recently died following an on-set accident. Production on the show had to stop and they only recently went back to work. It’s a somber time for those on the series, so while they’ll be at SDCC to promote the show, attention may be elsewhere. We will at least here a little more about what showrunner Scott M. Gimple has in store for Negan.

Panel time: 12:15 p.m. PT/3:15 p.m. ET on Friday, July 21

Preacher: Executive producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have already teased quite a bit of what Preacher’s second season has to offer, so we’re expecting this panel to be a news heady one. Maybe new cast members? A possible in-depth update on what’s to come? It’s tough to say, but it’s likely that Preacher will bring along some kind of reel to show people. Expect to see something out of it, for sure.

Panel time: 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET on Friday, July 21



Arrow, Supergirl, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Black Lightning: If ever there was a network to rule Comic-Con, it would be the CW — and this panel is exactly the reason why. Over the years, the CW has cultivated an entire universe. As each of those shows head into their respective next seasons, prepare for the CW to celebrate their existence with clips. While we may not get full trailers, we are expecting to see some sizzle reels, behind-the-scenes featurettes and, of course, get the latest scoops on what’s to come. Yes, that does mean possible villain announcements and crossover episodes.

Panel time: 3 p.m. PT/6 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 21. Note: This panel will run for three hours.

Supernatural: One of the longest running shows on television is also one of the CW’s most beloved. Supernatural is headed into its thirteenth season, the question is what’s next for Sam and Dean Winchester? The CW has already done an episode devoted to fan fiction and taken the boys on a number of journeys. At this point, Supernatural is the definition of a show being made for fans and — as stated above — by fans. We should hear more about the thirteenth season, but this will be a celebration of everything the show has accomplished.

Panel time: 10:30 p.m. PT/1:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, July 21

Riverdale: Easily the CW’s biggest breakout show from last season, Riverdale is going to be one of the most anticipated panels at SDCC. We know the show is coming back for a second, longer season and we’re expecting to see a little something. Maybe a teaser? Due to the mystery that Riverdale shrouds itself in, we’re not anticipating to hear too much about what’s to come plot-wise on the show, but expect some confessionals about those intense scenes in the show’s first season. Maybe we’ll even get an update on whatever happened to Ms. Grundy!

Panel time: 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 22


Marvel’s Inhumans: Out of all the shows appearing at San Diego Comic-Con, none have as much to prove as Marvel’s Inhuamans. When the first trailer for the show was released just a few weeks ago, people were quick to criticize the footage for how underdeveloped it looked. From Medusa’s hair to the overall quality of the trailer, Marvel fans were concerned by what they saw. Now, with a panel that includes additional footage from the show, Marvel and ABC have to redeem themselves.

Panel time: 6:30 p.m. PT/9:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 19

Legion - David Haller and woman FX


Legion: Following the success of the show’s debut season, FX is bringing its cast of Legion and showrunner Noah Hawley to talk about the show’s second season and perhaps debut some new footage. We’re hoping to get a premiere date for the show’s second, 10-episode season and maybe some answers about that cliffhanger finale.

Panel time: 4:45 p.m. PT/7:45 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 20

The Strain: The Strain is currently in its final season, so we don’t have high hopes for anything specifically newsworthy about this. This panel is going to be a celebration of everything the show has accomplished.

Panel time: 3:45 p.m. PT/6:45 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 20

Archer: With Archer heading into the show’s ninth and penultimate season, we’re expecting to hear a little more about how things will play out. Creator Adam Reed has said the new season will differ from the eighth, so we have questions about what that means for Archer’s Dreamland. Hopefully we’ll get some answers at the con, but don’t expect any new material just yet.

Panel time: 5:15 p.m. PT/8:15 p.m. ET on Friday, July 21


Star Trek: Discovery: One of CBS’ most anticipated shows is Star Trek: Discovery. We’ve already received a full trailer for the series, but we’re expecting to get a little something new at SDCC with the premiere just around the corner. Showrunners Aaron Harberts and Gretchen J. Berg will be on-hand to answer questions about Vulcans, Star Trek continuity and whatever else fans have been wondering about since the show was first announced in November 2015.

Panel time: 2:30 p.m. PT/5:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 22

San Diego Comic-Con runs from July 19 through July 23. Polygon will be bringing you coverage all weekend long.