San Diego -- For the first time in the six years that I have attended the annual San Diego Comic-Con, television totally trumped movies when it came to dominating the environment and capturing the attention of convention-goers. Other than a blow-out panel for the upcoming fifth and final movie in the Twilight series, there didn't seem to be a single movie event here that made a significant impact with the crowd of approximately 125,000 genre fans that had gathered in the city's historic Gaslamp district for this annual outsized onslaught of panels, premieres and other media events devoted to television series, movies, comic books, video games, Internet content and licensed characters of all kinds.
Instead, television ruled inside the convention center and out, so much so that a casual observer might have mistaken this multimedia extravaganza for a massive TV convention. For example, in the past buildings in the area were typically draped with eye-catching campaigns for big-budget movie releases, but this year striking images for NBC's new fall science-fiction adventure series Revolution and Syfy's upcoming scripted television drama and massively multi-player online gaming hybrid Defiance covered the two high-rise hotels that bracket the convention center, the Hilton and the Marriott, respectively.
Directly across the street from the entrance to the center, in a prime location that almost all convention goers must pass through every time they walk to or from it, NBC had a large display for Revolution and an even bigger attraction promoting its returning horror series Grimm. At the center of the Grimm attraction was the trailer that is home to one of the characters on the series. Throughout the Con there was always a line of fans waiting to walk through it and have something creepy done to them while inside. (A sign outside invited visitors "Grimm Your Skin" while inside the trailer.)
In back of the convention center, anchored at one of the expansive docks in the San Diego harbor, was the TV Guide Magazine yacht, which at any given moment Thursday, Friday and Saturday was bustling with visiting stars from current and upcoming television series. This was only the second year for this unique TV Guide effort, but it was clear that television personalities required very little coaxing to take a break from the bustle of panels, press conferences and other promotional demands and instead relax in what was commonly described as a floating lounge.
This column continues over at MediaPost.
Follow Ed Martin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/PlanetEd