Comic-Con Notepad: Vol. 1

Long lines are the norm for Comic-Con (this photo is from 2014, but makes no difference.)

– Line here, line there, everywhere a line.

– The CW’s Originals to end

– Zachary Levi passes test in greatly improved SyFy Comic-Con show

– Halle Berry makes a memorable appearance

The 48th annual Comic-Con got underway Thursday in San Diego and early on, it seems the only thing yours truly was getting in his Twitter feed was people standing in long lines and seeing the sight of sparsely-populated ballrooms as some attractions were obviously more popular than others. Certainly, not a good start for something you see every day at the DMV. But many popular panels generally take place on Friday and Saturday, so don’t despair.

Last year, news broke during Comic-Con about the end of CW’s The Vampire Diaries after eight seasons. A year later, the spin-off series (The Originals) is meeting the same fate. Just before its Comic-Con panel was set to take place, showrunner Julie Plec announced the series would be ending after five seasons as it starts shooting on Monday. “It’s both a gift and a burden to be able to control the ending of a series,” said Plec, who posted a statement on Twitter:

The Originals premiered on October 3, 2013. The series finale’ date has yet to be scheduled.

MGM announced Thursday during a panel celebrating the show’s 20th anniversary, it was reviving Stargate as a digital property – as prequels. Titled Stargate: Origins, the series consists of ten minute minisodes with ten installments ordered for the first season exclusively on the Stargate Command website. MGM said the website would be a destination for “everything Stargate“, including episodes of Stargate SG-1 and spinoff Stargate: Atlantis and Stargate Universe, which was abruptly canceled by SyFy in 2011 as the series (which was less successful than the previous two) ended in a cliffhanger. SG1 reruns airs on diginet This TV, which is owned by MGM.

In a statement, MGM president of digital and new platforms Kevin Conroy said: “We’ve been eager to revisit the Stargate franchise and create an all-new story that honors the founding mythos. We view Stargate Origins as a thank you to fans who have been keeping the spirit of the franchise alive for nearly 25 years.”

Based on the 1994 feature film Stargate, SG1 debuted on Showtime on July 27, 1997 featuring Richard Dean Anderson and lasted until 2007. The series also aired in syndication and moved to the Sci Fi channel (now SyFy) in 2002.

SyFy’s Live from Comic-Con returned for its second season Thursday night, with new host Zachary Levi in front of a large crowd outside of the gathering in San Diego. Aside from a meh-like opening sketch (aren’t we all tired of “The Office” parodies yet?), the show proceeded smoothly with Levi holding a roundtable discussing Comic-Con topics;  interviewing Adam Scott and Craig Robinson from Fox’s new comedy Ghosted; a segment featuring John DiMaggio (Bender from Futurama) and a reunion of the most recent version of Battlestar Galactica, who had their own panel at Comic-Con earlier.

Friday’s show featured Con Man’s Alan Tudyk and a few cast members from the The CW’s Arrow.

Zachary Levi is certainly an improvement over last year’s host Will Arnett. And Levi seemed at ease with his guests, proving he could host a talk show one day (if he wanted to.) This year’s edition also featured more correspondents roaming around the happenings at Comic-Con. The first two episodes were major improvements over last year’s uneven edition, which featured way too much NBCUniversal synergy (NBC is part owner of SyFy) and plugs for Sharknado.

Meanwhile, Comic-Con HQ opted not to do any live streaming from Comic-Con this year. No reason was given, but it isn’t a good look for the subscription on-demand service from Lionsgate, which sold part of its premise on streaming some Comic-Con coverage.

The panel for the upcoming release Kingsman: The Golden Circle Thursday was indeed a bizarre one, with Halle Berry drinking quite a bit of Whiskey and falling on her rear. This was alone worth the price of admission – or more likely, the price of standing in line for 500,000 days. “20th Century Fox would like you to drink responsibility,” said the moderator at the panel. As long as you don’t let Rupert Murdoch hold the keys to the liquor cabinet.