8:07pm PT by Lesley Goldberg, Kate Stanhope
Comic-Con: 7 Must-See TV Booths on the Convention Floor
The doors to San Diego Comic-Con officially opened to press and select badge-holders Wednesday with Preview Night, ushering in fanboys and media alike to a sprawling convention floor where broadcast, cable and streaming outlets alike hope their flashy (and pricey) booths have what it takes to cut through.
With nearly 100 panels set for Thursday through Sunday and more activations outside the Convention Center than can be truly counted, the stakes are high to attract new and returning fans to some of the biggest bets on the small screen.
The Hollywood Reporter walked through the epic show floor Wednesday and below highlights some of the must-see TV booths hoping to gain an edge over other comic book and movie displays.
Warner Bros. (Booth 4545)
The convention floor staple this year brings a re-creation of the living room from CBS' The Big Bang Theory where fans can actually take photos sitting in Sheldon's spot (bazinga!).
The independent TV studio behind all things DC TV also boasts life-sized Funkos from The CW's Arrow and Supergirl — the only ones of these characters in the world — as well as a selfie station complete with angel wings to support season two of Fox's Lucifer. Fun fact: Warner Bros. Television chief marketing officer Lisa Gregorian says the company who made the wings — named Mother Plucker, yes really — sifted through 11,000 feathers to find the perfect 1,600 to comprise the custom-made wings. That's some quality control right there.
WBTV always has a massive presence at Comic-Con as its trademark tower offers a select few a chance to escape the crowded aisles and get a bird's eye view of the madness from above.
AMC/The Walking Dead (Booth 4237)
After introducing a number of new communities during season seven, the AMC zombie drama is gearing up for its October return with a walk-through photo-op that includes several impressive walkers (looks like Greg Nicotero's work), a life-size Negan standing next to an oven (RIP the Saviors' doctor), a walk through the Heapsters' trash heap complete with the spiked zombie and ending with an opportunity to sit on King Ezekiel's throne — next to a his (stuffed) tiger Shiva, of course.
ABC (Booth 4245)
With fan-favorite fairytale drama Once Upon a Time rebooting itself with a largely new cast, the Disney-owned network is going all-in with a 360-degree immersive hologram/LED showcase. The five-minute presentation features star Colin O'Donoghue's Captain Hook introducing a short trailer previewing the "new curse" that awakens, the "new savior" who emerges and "a new book" that opens this fall. Take a brief trip through Neverland and the Enchanted Forest and feel like you're out at sea with Hook. And then finish your immersive experience by challenging Hook to sword fight.
The booth will also feature a special Once Upon a Time mystery showing on Friday for diehard fans. Also look for the ABC booth to spotlight upcoming sci-fi freshman drama The Crossing, starring Steve Zahn, on Fridays and Sundays as the virtual sword fight changes over to jumping experience.
Funko (Booth 5341)
Always one of the most overwhelming lines all Comic-Con long, the Funko booth had already given away all 150 tickets to shop at the booth on Wednesday before the doors to Preview Night even opened. Among the hottest figures this year? A Comic-Con exclusive featuring Game of Thrones' star-crossed lovers Tormund and Brienne.
TBS (Booth 3629)
After premiering the pilot episode of People of Earth last year at Comic-Con, TBS goes big to promote the upcoming season two return of the alien abduction comedy.
Once inside the "abduction experience," attendees can take a load off in one of three vibrating chairs as they watch the show's virtual reality experience made exclusively for Comic-Con and featuring one of the show's main alien life forms, Jeff (Kevin Hall).
At the end of the experience, users can see photos of themselves during their VR experience (and send it to themselves). Other giveaways include an exclusive People of Earth comic book and, on trend for 2017, People of Earth-branded fidget spinners.
After the experience, fans can get a special comic! pic.twitter.com/h3d0mfAhZv— Kate Stanhope (@katestanhope) July 20, 2017
Starz (Booth 4029)
Once again, the pay cabler brings out the big guns (err, should we say hammers) for returning period drama Outlander. Everything from the old-time candles to the aged manuscripts is designed to transport viewers back in time.
The multi-level setup is protected by guards wearing — what else? — kilts.
Once inside the booth, fans can select one of several t-shirt designs as well as free tote bags adorned with the title of the beloved book series.
Netflix (Booth 3729)
The streaming giant debuts its first-ever booth on the exhibition floor specifically to promote TV shows Stranger Things and The Defenders as well as upcoming movies Bright, starring Will Smith, and Death Note. In addition to the art of the various properties surrounding the booth, attendees can walk inside a tunnel of video images showing portraits and other media from all four projects to truly immerse themselves in the Netflix experience.