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This story first appeared in the July 20 issue of The Hollywood Reporter.
With more than 63,600 square feet of space, 130,000 promo bags and 100-plus actors and producers set to attend, Warner Bros. Television should have no trouble making a splash at Comic-Con.
The studio — which is hosting 14 panels for shows including Fox’s The Following, CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, The CW’s The Vampire Diaries and ABC’s 666 Park Avenue — continues to have a bigger presence at the fan convention than anyone else on the TV front.
When the studio moved into the convention’s floor exhibitor space in 2006, it became one of the first entertainment companies to take up residence in aisles traditionally dedicated to DC Comics and Marvel Entertainment. Now with its 3,600-square-foot booth — as well as a 60,000-square-foot festival space in neighboring Bayfront Park — the studio is living up to WBTV chief marketing officer Lisa Gregorian’s stated Comic-Con philosophy: “Go big or go home.”
As part of the push, three WBTV properties — Big Bang, Fringe and Supernatural — will hold events in the 7,500-person Hall?H, which traditionally has been reserved for film panels.
“You’re starting to see TV take a different position at Comic-Con, one we didn’t see five to seven years ago,” Gregorian says. WBTV’s Arrow, an adaptation of DC’s Green Arrow comics starring Stephen Amell, also will have a strong presence, with The CW series one of three freshman entries in the Convention Center’s second-largest hall, Ballroom 20 — a confidence-booster for a new show.
Evidence of its geek credibility can be found in its pedigree: Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim — the duo behind Warner Bros.’ adaptation of Green Lantern — executive produce alongside Fringe co-exec producer and frequent Green Arrow scribe Andrew Kreisberg, who penned the pilot.
Arrow is The CW’s first superhero effort following the 10-season run of Superman origin story Smallville and represents a big bet for the younger-skewing network.
“I’ve never really done fight stuff on television or in front of the camera,” Amell, 31, tells The Hollywood Reporter, noting that he underwent three weeks of archery training for the role. “Although the sex scenes remain the most physically demanding things I’ve ever done on TV.”
Check out Comic-Con posters for WBTV’s 666 Park, Arrow, Big Bang Theory, Following, Nikita, Supernatural and Vampire Diaries, exclusive to THR, in our gallery.
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