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With nearly 90 television shows paneling at San Diego Comic-Con, the race is on to see what footage wows the crowd — and which falls flat.
The pop culture confab is a prime example of the Peak TV landscape: scores of series all competing for eyeballs in a bid to cut through a cluttered landscape and break through to become the next Stranger Things. With the emergence of new platforms including CBS All Access and DC’s forthcoming SVOD service DC Universe, creating and maintaining buzz all the way through to launch is no small task. For many outlets, the marketing blitz starts at Comic-Con with a trailer designed to wow the genre crowd and become the talk of the town.
Here, The Hollywood Reporter rounds up all of the TV trailers that debut at SDCC through the four-day geek-fest. (This story will be updated as each new trailer is released through Sunday.)
Supernatural (The CW) | The network’s longest-running drama arrived in San Diego with big expectations after a rocking performance from Kansas rocked the Con last year. The drama starring Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki and Misha Collins remains a fan favorite and came armed with new footage and news that the stars of its female-led spinoff, Wayward Sisters, would return to the flagship.
Riverdale (The CW) | The Archie Comics take offered the first real details at season three and also announced the season’s new villain.
The Purge (USA Network) | JasonBlum brings his horror thriller to the small screen, with the trailer for the drama series launching at the show’s first Comic-Con panel. Gabriel Chavarria and Jessica Garza star in the drama, which will air both on USA Network and corporate sibling Syfy. Debuts Sept. 4.
Deadly Class (Syfy) | Set in a dark comic book world against the backdrop of late-1980s counterculture, the drama follows a homeless teen recruited into a storied private school where the world’s top crime families send their next generations. Maintaining his moral code while surviving a ruthless curriculum, vicious social cliques and his adolescent uncertainties soon proves to be vital for the boy. The drama is described as a coming-of-age journey full of ancient mystery and teen angst. Benedict Wong stars in the series from brothers Joe and Anthony Russo. (Premieres in 2019.)
Disenchantment (Netflix) | The Simpsons and Futurama creator Matt Groening goes back in time to tell the tale of a hard-drinking princess (Broad City‘s Abbi Jacobson), her faithful elf (Nat Faxon) and a demon named Luci (Eric Andre) striking out on their own in the Dark Ages. It premieres Aug. 17 and promises to do for the distant past what Futurama did for the distant future.
Roswell, New Mexico (The CW) | The reboot of the Jason Katims series doesn’t debut until midseason but crash-landed at Comic-Con with an unofficial panel outside of the convention center where lucky attendees caught a first glimpse of the drama.
The Orville/Family Guy (Fox) | Seth MacFarlane had another busy Comic-Con, this time hosting panels for both Family Guy and The Orville and unspooling first-look trailers for season 17 and season two, respectively, of the Fox favorites.
Arrow (The CW) | Stephen Amell’s Oliver/Green Arrow faces old enemies and new — including The Longbow Hunters — when season seven returns.
Legends of Tomorrow (The CW) | The fourth season resumes with a new showrunner and a lot of new faces, including a monster expert and Nate’s father.
The Flash (The CW) | Season five’s big bad has been revealed as Chris Klein will play DC Comics character Cicada.
Supergirl (The CW) | The series starring Melissa Benoist will make TV history in season four with the introduction of the first transgender superhero — Nia Nal (aka Dreamer) — to be played by trans activist Nicole Maines.
The Gifted (Fox) | The Marvel drama used the San Diego fan fest to unspool the first look at season two of the series starring Stephen Moyer and Amy Acker. Matt Nix returns as showrunner.
Legacies (The CW) | Showrunner Julie Plec officially debuted her third series in The Vampire Diaries franchise at Comic-Con, unspooling the first footage of The Originals spinoff starring Matt Davis and Danielle Rose Russell. The drama about a teenage Hope is set in Mystic Falls at the Salvatore Boarding School for the Young and Gifted.
The Simpsons (Fox) | The 30th season of The Simpsons will also bring the 29th (or XXIXth) installment of “Treehouse of Horror,” a brief bit of which (an Invasion of the Body Snatchers riff) fans at Comic-Con got to see. The coming season will also feature Netflix exec Ted Sarandos as himself in an early 2019 episode and a couch gag with the cast of Bob’s Burgers.
Preacher (AMC) | Preacher is halfway through its third season, but judging from this look ahead at the remaining episodes, there’s plenty more madness yet to come. The trailer shown at Comic-Con gives fans a first glimpse at the Allfather and vampire Eccarius, plus some choice anti-endorsements from groups who object to the show.
Homecoming (Amazon) | Based on the narrative podcast of the same name, Homecoming stars Julia Roberts (in her first series-regular role) as a case worker helping veterans and holding onto a dark secret. The psychological thriller, with a pilot directed by Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail, premieres Nov. 2.
Lore (Amazon) | Season two of the horror anthology promises more creepy imagery and its mix of cinematic and documentary footage as it explores six new scary — and true — stories. It premieres Oct. 19.
Star Trek: Discovery (CBS All Access) | Showrunner Alex Kurtzman says fans will see Spock in season two of Discovery, and the teaser released at Comic-Con feints strongly in that direction. It also features new regular Anson Mount as Commander Christopher Pike. Season 2 launches in January 2019.
Walking Dead (AMC) | Season nine of the long-running zombie drama bows Oct. 7, featuring a jump forward in time following the conclusion of season eight’s “All-Out War.” Expect several key changes to the series when it returns, including the departure of Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes), whose exit was confirmed during the show’s Comic-Con panel. Also look for new series regular Samantha Morton to arrive as Alpha, the long-awaited villain from the comics.
Fear the Walking Dead (AMC) | Season four of AMC’s second zombie series returns from its midseason hiatus on August 12. What will life look like for Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) following the death of her mother, Madison (Kim Dickens)? It’s one of the key questions lingering in the air, though it may take a backseat to a more pressing concern: a storm bearing down upon Alicia, Morgan (Lennie James) and the other survivors of the zombie apocalypse.
Vikings (History) | The second half of season five debuts Nov. 28 and will feature the return of Clive Standen as Rollo. It will also deal with the fallout of Ivar the Boneless’ (Alex Hogh Andersen) military triumph and a shaken Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) trying to regroup and regain her status at Kattegat’s rightful leader.
Young Justice: Outsiders (DC Universe) | Five years after it was canceled, Young Justice is returning for a third season on the soon-to-launch DC streaming service. The trailer recaps the first two seasons and then previews season three starting at the 3-minute mark. A host of new characters will join returnees Artemis, Superboy, Nightwing and Aqualad on the show, which is expected to premiere in 2019.
Batwoman (The CW) | A Batwoman series was just announced, and the title role hasn’t been cast yet, but The CW is promising fans will see her in December during the annual crossover for its DC superhero shows. Her debut is teased at the end of this sizzle reel also promoting Arrow, Black Lightning, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl.
Better Call Saul (AMC) | The Breaking Bad prequel used its first-ever Comic-Con panel to promote its upcoming fourth season. The new season will introduce the character of Lalo, who was referenced but never seen on Breaking Bad. Tony Dalton will take on the role. Additionally, Breaking Bad‘s Ira (Franc Ross) will make his way to Saul this season. Season four bows Aug. 6.
Mars (National Geographic) | Produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, the series — which returns in the spring for its second season — examines the potential consequences that the planet would have on humans. The show is a scripted drama that includes special effects and documentary sequences.
Nightflyers (Syfy) | Based on Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin’s 1980 novella, the series starring Gretchen Mol is a big swing for Syfy. Netflix boarded the project early as a co-producer to help offset the costs associated with the ambitious space drama about a ship whose crew hopes to make contact with alien life. (The series has already changed showrunners.) A premiere date has yet to be announced.
Doctor Who (BBC America) | Jodie Whittaker made her first public appearance as the first female Doctor in the franchise’s 55-year run on Comic-Con’s biggest stage: the cavernous Hall H. As part of her introduction to Whovians, Whittaker unveiled the official trailer that shows her Thirteenth Doctor alongside her new companions. The new season debuts in the fall.
Mayans M.C. (FX) | The long-gestating Sons of Anarchy spinoff (from Elgin James and Kurt Sutter), set more than two years after the mothership ended, didn’t wait until its Sunday panel to release the first trailer for the J.D. Pardo-led drama. The pilot was redeveloped (much like the flagship) and will look to bring in its core fanbase on Sunday with a panel in Hall H. The drama debuts Tuesday, Sept. 4, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX.
Titans (DC Universe) | The first look at what to expect from DC Comics’ forthcoming subscription service DC Universe arrives in Titans. The drama, from executive producer Greg Berlanti, follows a group of young soon-to-be superheroes recruited from every corner of the DC universe. The series stars Brenton Thwaites as Dick Grayson (aka Robin) as he emerges from the shadows to become the leader of a fearless band of new heroes. Titans will help launch spinoff Doom Patrol, which is also set for the DC Universe SVOD platform.
Origin (YouTube Premium) | A group of people are sold the promise of a new life on a faraway planet that’s being colonized by a corporation called Siren. Of course, that doesn’t go as planned, and the 11 passengers have to figure out what went wrong and how they will survive, while also flashing back to the lives they left behind on Earth. Origin is set to premiere in the fall, with a specific date yet to be announced.
Project Blue Book (History) | Game of Thrones grad Aidan Gillen stars as a college professor recruited by the Air Force to spearhead a clandestine operation into UFO-related phenomena. David O’Leary created the drama, which counts Robert Zemeckis among its executive producers. Each episode blends theories and historical events. A premiere date has not yet been determined.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Disney SVOD) | Lucasfilm Animation’s Dave Filoni surprised fans at a panel celebrating The Clone Wars‘ 10th anniversary with the announcement that the show will return on Disney’s streaming service, set to launch in late 2019. The show will pick up where it left off when its initial run on Cartoon Network concluded in 2013.
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