Comic-Con focuses on TV on Day 2

SAN DIEGO -- The focus turns to television programs Friday at the San Diego Convention Center during the second day of Comic-Con International.

A number of the actors in town will be discussing existing shows, while others will be promoting new yet-to-air programs with special pilot screenings and group discussions.

Among those pitching new shows will be "666 Park Avenue'' cast Terry O'Quinn, Vanessa Williams, Rachael Taylor and Dave Annable. Their show centers on a Manhattan apartment building that maintains a "dark hold over its residents.''

Also promoting a new show is the cast of "Cult,'' in which a young reporter teams up with a television researcher to investigate a series of disturbing disappearances. It starts Matt Davis, Jessica Lucas, Alona Tal and Robert Knepper.

Among the existing shows being highlighted today are "The Big Bang Theory,'' "The Walking Dead,'' "Game of Thrones,'' "Bones,'' "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,'' "Falling Skies'' and "Breaking Bad.''

The four-day trade show on the popular arts is expected to attract 130,000 attendees to downtown San Diego. It opened Thursday and by early afternoon, streets and restaurants in the lower Gaslamp Quarter were jammed with people, many in costume.

When he helped open the event Thursday morning, Mayor Jerry Sanders said Comic-Con brings millions of dollars to San Diego.

"But my favorite part about Comic-Con? It's the best people watching this side of Krypton,'' Sanders said. "And it all spills out into our downtown, where our Gaslamp is transformed into one big party.''

During Comic-Con, several downtown bar and hotel spaces are temporarily converted into "space ships'' and other fantasy-type lairs in which companies host marketing parties.

While television programs are receiving top billing at Comic-Con, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday that the presence of movie studios is down, with 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures taking a pass because they didn't have clips or trailers that would wow audiences.

Warner Bros., Lionsgate, Sony Pictures and Walt Disney Pictures are attending, however.

Authorities have strongly encouraged attendees to use public transportation to go to the event. The Metropolitan Transit System has expanded its service and is selling special Comic-Con daily transit passes. Also being offered is free shuttle service between the Convention Center and hotels downtown, in Mission Valley, on Harbor Island and Shelter Island.