Comic-Con 2012: Day 2

Here’s what went down on the second day of Comic-Con from San Diego:

– Diana Rigg, star of the 1960’s British TV series The Avengers (not related to the Marvel property), has joined the cast of HBO’s hit fantasy drama Game of Thrones as Olenna Redwyne, Queen of the Throns, as it was announced at a rather limp panel Friday at Comic-Con, as much of the regulars were filming season 3. Also joining the cast is Mackenzie Cook from the Pirates of Caribbean franchise.

Rigg headlined a short-lived sitcom for NBC titled Diana, which ran for fifteen episodes during the 1973-74 season (and at the time, the most popular woman named Diana in the U.S. was the one with the last name of Ross, which surely didn’t help matters much.) In recent years, Rigg hosted PBS’ Mystery! from 1989 to 2004.

Thornes third season premieres March 31, 2013 on HBO.

– Also coming back for a third season is AMC’s Walking Dead, whose new season debuts on October 14 with sixteen episodes. A trailer previewing the new season was shown at the Comic-Con panel, but mistakenly showed San Diego Padres highlights from the 2012 season instead, which also fits the definition of Walking Dead (Just kidding. Really, the footage consisted of survivors trying to clear the undead from a prison and fighting the zombies.)

– Staying on the AMC beat, the Emmy-winning Breaking Bad held its first (and last) Comic-Con panel, as it geared up for its big season premiere Sunday night for its heavily hyped final season. Appearing at the presentation – in hazmat suits – were stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul. Anna Gunn and Jonathan Banks were also on hand, sans the suits. The season opens with Cranston’s character celebrating the death of Gus in last season’s finale – though other characters on the show aren’t as in a festive mood. Meth is a hell of a drug…

– Coming off the triumph of producing one of the highest-grossing movies of all time, Joss Whedon has not decided if there would be a sequel to the Avengers, in a statement he made to a crowd at Comic-Con on Friday. The first Avengers movie has grossed over $1 billion worldwide. Whedon made those comments at a Firefly panel, which reunited the cast of the canceled-too-soon space Fox drama for the first time in ten years.  Whedon also announced the rights to air Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog was acquired by The CW for as one-time special, though no word on when the show would air. The series was created by Whedon during the 2007 Writer’s Strike and streamed online in three acts in 2008 and starred Neil Patrick Harris, Felicia Day and Nathan Fillion (of Firefly and now with Castle.) The three-act series is currently available on DVD and Blu-Ray.

– For the first time… um, anywhere, there is a contest where one wins a trip to space (the U.S. still has a space program?) The Big Bang Theory made it happen during their Comic-Con panel on Friday when a fan named Mercedes won a chance to go on a suborbital flight thanks to COR Aerospace with Astronaut Richard Searfoss on the Lynx Experience. This all ties in to last season’s lame finale, where Howard and Bernadette were married before he went on a space mission (of course, Homer Simpson’s hilarious journey into space in season five of The Simpsons was much funnier…)

The Big Bang Theory’s season premiere is September 27.

– In another case of a show not belonging at Comic-Con but is there anyway, a panel was held for Community Friday night, featuring the series’ new executive producer David Guarascio promised fans in attendance “We’re not going to screw it up.” Along with new showrunner Moses Port (both men replaced Dan Harmon on May 18) they have their work cut out for them – Community is in a tough Friday night time slot this fall and renewed for only thirteen episodes.

As you can imagine, the room was packed for the Community panel for a television series with dismal ratings. In fact, its like going to Wrigley Field to see a Cubs game since both are lovable losers who attract a lot of people in person (but not on TV.) Only thing left was to add ivy, sell beer, and have a Haray Caray impersonator sing Take Me Out To The Ballgame. Apparently, both the Cubs and Community have something else in common  – losing statistics numbers.