Comic-Con: What to Expect From the Big TV Panels

With a seemingly endless number of panels, here's how some of the new and returning shows plan to cut through the Comic-Con clutter.
From left to right: Courtesy of HBO, CBS, Netflix and AMC

Cutting through the clutter of 450-plus scripted series in the Peak TV era is a challenging task. But being able to grab headlines during San Diego Comic-Con may be even harder as nearly 100 panels highlight the best in TV alone. And that tally doesn't even count the seemingly endless number of film, comic book and other assorted panels happening during the four-day event. With so many options of what to see — and we're not even counting the convention floor and activations outside the convention center — here's a look at what to expect from the biggest TV panels set to take place during the July 20-23 pop culture geekfest.

Game of Thrones (Friday, 1:30-2:30 p.m., Hall H) The hottest show on television returns for what's likely to be an artful display of avoiding spoilers. With the season-seven premiere having already aired, the panel will not offer SDCC attendees an early look at episode two. Still, that's an hour of Q&A — moderated by what's being billed as a "special guest from Westeros" — to allow stars Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy), Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm), John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth), Liam Cunningham (Ser Davos Seaworth), Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei), Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark), Conleth Hill (Varys) and Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) a chance to offer up enough of a cryptic tease to go viral.

Stranger Things (Saturday, 3-4 p.m., Hall H) Netflix's surprise breakout makes its Comic-Con debut to tease the highly anticipated second season and even unveil never-before-seen footage. In addition to creators (and brothers) Matt and Ross Duffer and exec producer Shawn Levy, returning stars Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Finn Wolfhard, Caleb McLaughlin, David Harbour, Joe Keery, Charlie Heaton, Natalia Dyer will be joined by new additions Sadie Sink, Sean Astin, Paul Reiser and Dacre Montgomery for what will no doubt be an animated panel. 

Westworld (4:15-5:15 p.m., Hall H) Now that the show is a proved hit, could the cast and creators of HBO's Emmy darling Westworld offer a tease about the highly anticipated Samurai World? Or will spoiler-phobe Jonathan Nolan keep the cast tight-lipped about the mysteries of its sophomore drama? Still, expect a lively discussion from stars including Ed Harris (the Man in Black), James Marsden (Teddy), Thandie Newton (Maeve), Evan Rachel Wood (Dolores) and Jeffrey Wright (Bernard/Arnold), among others, in a panel moderated by Reggie Watts.

The Walking Dead (Friday, 12:15-1:15 p.m., Hall H) In keeping with the show's annual SDCC tradition, the cast and creators of AMC's zombie drama will debut the season-eight trailer and announce a premiere date. And given the timing, expect exec producers including Robert Kirkman and Greg Nicotero to pay tribute to the late George Romero and, possibly, lead the cast in a moment of silence for late stuntman John Bernecker. Set to appear are stars including Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira and Melissa McBride, among others. (We'll miss you, Steven Yeun, Michael Cudlitz and Sonequa Martin-Green.)

Timeless (Thursday, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Room 6BCF) How does a show get canceled and renewed in less than a week? A very vocal fan base. While production on season two of the NBC drama hasn't even begun, stars Abigail Spencer, Matt Lanter and more join creators Shawn Ryan and Eric Kripke to say thank you the right way: in person. (And maybe Ryan and Kripke will outline some broad strokes about season two.)

Star Trek Discovery (Saturday, 2:30-3:15 p.m., Ballroom 20) Welcome back Sonequa Martin-Green! The actress moves from The Walking Dead to the CBS All Access drama as the cast and producers make their debut at Comic-Con — without former showrunner Bryan Fuller, who exited months ago. Following multiple production delays, will the drama — launching in the fall on CBS before moving exclusively to its digital platform — offer another trailer or screen something more substantial? Here's hoping it's more footage than this lackluster trailer. Still, a seal of approval from the Trekkie-filled ballroom will go a long way as the series faces its biggest mission yet. Guest star Rainn Wilson moderates.  

Outlander (Friday, 5-6:30 p.m., Ballroom 20) Series showrunner Ronald D. Moore, author Diana Gabaldon and fellow exec producer Maril Davis join stars Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies, Sophie Skelton and Richard Rankin to preview season three of of the time-traveling romance. Judging by the length of the 90-minute panel, moderated by series fan and actress Jenna Dewan-Tatum, it appears as if fans may get an extra-long look at the new season. 

Once Upon a Time (Saturday, 10-10:45 a.m., Ballroom 20) The rebooted ABC fairy tale drama brings superfan Yvette Nicole Brown to moderate a panel with producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz with what's expected to be the Comic-Con debut for a handful of new castmembers. (And yes, we're expecting some familiar faces to be there, too.) 

Marvel TV (Legion and Inhumans: Thursday, 5-7:15 p.m., Ballroom 20; The Gifted and Defenders: Friday, 3:45-4:45 p.m. and 5-6:15 p.m., Ballroom 20) With several new series debuting in the coming months, the comic book company looks to make a big splash at the annual convention with panels for Netflix's The Defenders, ABC's Inhumans and Fox's The Gifted and season two of the X-Men-inspired FX drama Legion. In addition to offering a sneak peek at the series premiere, The Gifted will release a new trailer. Meanwhile, Legion may make some news at it's first-ever San Diego Comic-Con panel.

DC TV (Saturday, 3:30-6:30 p.m., Ballroom 20) As the DC Universe expands again with the upcoming addition of black superhero drama Black Lightning, The CW's entire team of vigilantes will, again, touch down at Comic-Con to tout their upcoming seasons. Expect casting announcements at the panels for Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow and (potentially) Lightning as well.