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'Community' panel at Comic-Con: Season 5 will go back to basics

The Project
Community

The Panel
Dan Harmon, Jim Rash (Dean Pelton), Yvette Nicole Brown (Shirley), Alison Brie (Annie), Ken Jeong (Chang), Danny Pudi (Abed), Gillian Jacobs (Britta), and writer Chris McKenna

Footage Screened
A fan appreciation comparing the constant renewal of the beloved show to the Twinkie, the McRib and the triumph of putting a man on the moon. Big cheers erupted when Joel McHale said he wished he could french kiss all the rabid fans. Ending with the popular and now familiar “six seasons and a movie” slogan, the clip set the tone for the rest of the panel.

A great gag reel of Brie rapping, everyone dancing, and of course lots of laughing.

Snap Judgment
Dan Harmon came out in an Iron Man costume that said “streets ahead” on the back, with loud rock music paying. “It is good to be back,” he said. “I am millionaire playboy and creator Dan Harmon.”

Harmon does not consider these episodes the final 13, but the most important 13 in the history of the show — so he feels a lot of pressure but is excited to start moving. His return as showrunner is giving the creator and mastermind behind Community a lot of ideas for season 5. He wants to get back to the formula for seasons 1 and 2, when each episode was stellar in itself. “Get ready for grounded story work! Who likes their characters dimensionalized?” Harmon shouted.

A video featuring McHale encouraged fans to continue to use their power to make sure the show stays safe — and introduced moderator Chris Hardwick.

Community is the nerdiest show on television,” Hardwick declared. “Philosophically the show is nerdy because it’s this big underdog in the system and you keep fighting through.”

The entire cast was extremely grateful to the fans, and happily surprised they filled Hall H — especially Yvette Nicole Brown. “It’s like a wall of love,” she told fans. She saw her first Shirley cosplay at Comic-Con this year — a costume complete with a huge bag and a bottle of booze.

Harmon compared the giant crowd to his “own LeVar Burton” and said he could only let them down. Hall H erupted with shouts of “never!” and “we love you, Dan!”

The Big Revelations
An animated episode is on the docket.

The show will be syndicated on Comedy Central starting September 20 and on local stations September 16 so everyone can catch up before season 5!

Most incisive audience question
Where do the actors want to see their characters go in the future season?

Rash would love to continue to unravel the Dean’s craziness.

Brown wants to meet Shirley’s sister.

Brie would like to see Annie become empowered, and find her ambition again.

Jeong said he trusted Harmon’s vision and can’t wait to get started.

Pudi said he was looking forward to working with the cast because they’re all weird and wonderful.

Dino Stamatopoulos (“Starburns”) even surprised the audience by showing up at the mic as a belligerent un-fan who asked a lot of questions and teased the panelists. The general sentiment was one of optimism and enthusiasm for the future of Community — with a return to the original formula. There was a Human Being in the audience, Brie gave Pudi a wet willy, and it was generally just a Greendale-filled event. Six seasons and a movie!

'Once Upon A Time in Wonderland' cast talks costumes, fight scenes, and more

The cast of Once Upon A Time in Wonderland took a sojourn from Wonderland to the dreamland of Comic-Con over the weekend, dropping by EW’s digital studio for a chat with Sandra Gonzalez. The ABC show, premiering this fall, is a spin-off of Once Upon A Time, but this one takes place through the eyes of Alice, of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland fame. Cast members Sophie Lowe, Michael Socha, Peter Gadiot, Emma Rigby, and Naveen Andrews talked about those fantastical costumes, who can throw a punch, bringing fairytales to life, and more. Check out the interview below.

'The Walking Dead': Andrew Lincoln says Rick will be 'in a completely different place' in season 4

Andrew-Lincoln-EW-Photoshoot.jpg

There’s no doubt that Rick Grimes went a bit cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs after his wife Lori died during childbirth on The Walking Dead. Next thing you knew he was off seeing ghosts and avoiding his baby Judith as much as possible. But while Rick was not winning any father of the year awards last season, the man who plays him, Andrew Lincoln, says that parenting will come back into focus in season 4 — especially after son Carl went and killed a surrendering Woodbury teen named Jody in the season finale. “Certainly after the death of Lori, I think that a lot was brought into question, certainly in that last episode,” Lincoln said in the video interview below while taking a break from posing for the new cover of Entertainment Weekly. “And Andrea helped that sort of narrow his focus much more on his son, who is obviously in a very, very disturbed state toward the end of last season. And I think he has to take responsibility for that.”

But while Rick may strive to be a better father in season 4, those damn zombies and other nutjobs like the Governor keep seeming to get in the way. “You find him in a completely different place,” says Lincoln of Rick’s role. “And I do think that the struggle within him is still there, which is whether or not he should be a leader at the expense of being a father figure.” READ FULL STORY

Retta at Comic-Con: 'Parks and Recreation' wants Donna to 'get some ass'

The cast of NBC’s Parks and Recreation heads back to work on Aug. 5, which means star/renowned TV fan Retta was free to drop by EW’s studio at Comic-Con and dish on what story line she’d like her character, Donna, to finally get in season 6. Our headline is a pretty solid hint (as is our follow-up question about when her pal Joe Manganiello, from True Blood, might pop up on the comedy). Watch the interview below. READ FULL STORY

'Breaking Bad' at Comic-Con: Bryan Cranston & co. talk favorite, challenging moments

The H in Hall H stood for Heisenberg on Sunday, as the Breaking Bad cast (Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Bob Odenkirk and RJ Mitte, minus Betsy Brandt) and creator Vince Gilligan took the stage at Comic-Con to reflect on the show’s celebrated five-season run and screen some new footage. Here are your highlights:

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'Falling Skies': How Doug Jones transformed into the alien warrior Cochise -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Doug Jones has played many beloved and recognizable characters in movies like Helboy and Pan’s Labyrinth. But Jones himself may not be all that recognizable to audiences — he typically appears onscreen with his appearance totally transformed. The 53-year-old actor has developed a specialty in portraying fantastical characters created with heavy prosthetic makeup. He currently appears on TNT’s Falling Skies as the alien Cochise.

Showrunner Remi Aubuchon told EW that while they were casting Cochise, “we didn’t think we could ever get [Jones for the show]. He’s in great demand. But he was the first name that ever came up.”

The relationship between Cochise and Tom Mason (Noah Wyle) as they strategize fighting the Espheni aliens was key, Aubuchon explained. “I felt strongly that having a tennis ball and the script supervisor reading the lines off-stage and then filling it in later would not give us that kind of intimacy that I felt was important with that relationship,” he said. So it was essential to cast an actor who could work with practical makeup effects on set. Enter Doug Jones.

Cochise is a warrior who’s never seen his home planet — like Earth it was invaded by aliens, so Cochise was born on a ship in the middle of the Vohm’s ongoing battle against the Espheni. That lifelong warrior identity informed how Jones moves while playing the role. READ FULL STORY

'Doctor Who' panel at Comic-Con: Trailer for 50th anniversary special shows meeting of David Tennant, Matt Smith

The project: BBC’s Doctor Who

The panel: Matt Smith (the Doctor), Jenna Coleman (Clara), showrunner Steven Moffat, producer Marcus Wilson. Plus — from upcoming docudrama An Adventure in Space and Time, which depicts the making of Doctor Who‘s first episodes: star David Bradley (William Hartnell, who played the first Doctor), writer/executive producer Mark Gatiss, who also writes for Doctor Who

Footage screened: Everyone obsessively counting down to the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special got exactly the footage they’ve been dying to see: Smith and David Tennant, together at last. The crowd went nuts when the fan-favorite 10th Doctor appeared onscreen, but the volume level went even higher in Hall H when the two Doctors appeared side-by-side. There are some amusing in-sync moments — like Tennant and Smith crossing their legs at the same time — and they face off with their respective sonic screwdrivers. Of course, the 10th Doctor has an opinion about the TARDIS’ updated interior: “Oh, you’ve redecorated,” he says brightly, then, face souring, “I don’t like it.” Fans also saw a few glimpses of Billie Piper as Rose and of at least one foe the Doctors will face in the special: Daleks!

Two additional treats for the audience: A charming trailer for An Adventure in Space and Time and the song-and-dance cold open of a Smith-featuring episode of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson — the Scottish-born talk show host moderated the panel, which closed with his ode to the show about “the triumph of intellect and romance over brute force and cynicism.”

Snap judgment: Hall H was electrified throughout the panel for the sci-fi series, which continues to find a growing audience stateside. Cosplayers depicting various incarnations of the Doctor and girls in TARDIS dresses were legion in the crowd, which was also was sprinkled with fans who raised their own sonic screwdrivers in the air to welcome the panelists. Ferguson’s energy and quippy comments only added to an already lively and delightful panel, which also served as a goodbye to Smith, who recently announced that he’s coming to the end of his time as the Doctor.

The big revelations: With the script for the Christmas special not yet complete, and the search for Smith’s replacement still ongoing, teases for what’s ahead were in short supply. Ferguson did ask Moffat that big question of who will play the 12th Doctor, but there’s no news to report in that department yet. So aside from the footage screened, the panel featured no details on the Christmas or anniversary specials — although Smith did pitch where he’d like to shoot his final episode: “I would like to go on record and say I really want to shoot the Christmas special in America,” he said. “Is this a maybe? Can I get a definitely maybe?” he said, turning to his producers. Alas, he didn’t get his definitely maybe, but perhaps Comic-Conners saw the beginning of the negotiation process for getting the Doctor back on American soil.

Thought-provoking insights about the Doctor from Moffat: The showrunner is a lifelong Doctor Who fan. He knows this character really well. So it’s a real treat anytime Moffat eloquently discusses what makes this guy tick. One observation: “The doctor should be mysterious. He hasn’t told you everything. He’s gone 50 years without introducing himself properly.” Also: “There’s only one Doctor. He has lots of different faces, but he’s always the same. He lives in the moment all the time. He never really looks back. He’s a creature of the moment, right now. As a time traveler, I suppose everything is happening to him at once anyway. The other thing is that I also think he’s different ages at once. He’s a child, he’s a stroppy teenager, he’s a middle-aged bore, he’s a grumpy old man — all at once, all those things at the same time. And the actor that has done that the best to date is Matt.”

'Supernatural' at Comic-Con: Scoop on falling angels, Castiel's big changes and more

The project: CW’s Supernatural, which returns Tuesday, Oct. 15. (New night.)

The panel: Showrunner/executive producer Jeremy Carver, Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, EP Robert Singer, Misha Collins, Mark Sheppard, and guest panelist Felicia Day, who has guest starred. READ FULL STORY

'Once Upon a Time' cast drops season 3 hints at the EW.com Comic-Con studio

Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas, Lana Parilla, Emilie De Ravin, Michael Raymond-James, and Colin O’Donogue made the journey to EW.com’s Comic-Con suite today and dropped some hints as to what we might expect as they embark on a third season. They also took a reader question asking what prop from the set each of them would most want to take home. Watch the interview below. READ FULL STORY

'True Blood' Comic-Con panel: 'I wanna bring it in a little bit,' says showrunner

The project: True Blood, currently in its sixth season on HBO

The panel: Actors Anna Paquin, Deborah Ann Woll, Kristin Bauer van Straten, Ryan Kwanten, Nelsan Ellis and Rutina Wesley (pictured), Sam Trammell, Michael McMillian, Anna Camp, Joe Manganiello, newcomer Rob Kazinsky (Warlow), and showrunner Brian “Bucky” Buckner

Footage screened: Just a preview of the second half of season 6. Jessica and company enduring more torture at vamp camp, vampires being tormented, Bill acting all crazy and destructive, lots of Sarah, and Sookie entangled with Warlow in a blood-drenched haze. The final shot was Bill lying face-down on the ground…
READ FULL STORY

'Vampire Diaries' stars answer your questions at Comic-Con -- VIDEO

When the Vampire Diaries stars aren’t filming, what do they miss most about the set?

A fan sent that Twitter question in to EW’s Sandra Gonzalez, and Paul Wesley definitely had the best answer.

“I miss gazing into those eyes,” Wesley said while staring lovingly at co-star Ian Somerhalder, who even has a Photoshopped pic of the bros holding hands on his iPhone case.

For more Vampire fun, check out the video below:
READ FULL STORY

Comic-Con: What's lunch break like on the 'Walking Dead' set? -- VIDEO

Andrew Lincoln told EW’s Anthony Breznican at Comic-Con that Rick is “in a completely new place” when The Walking Dead season 4 begins in October.

“He’s a new Rick,” the actor said.

But the real Walking Dead question is: What is lunch break like on the ultra-violent, ultra-bloody set? How can the actors possibly eat around all those blood and guts?

See their answers about that and more below:
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'Revolution' season 2 trailer drops nuclear spoilers

The panel: NBC’s tease-filled panel for Revolution season two, including showrunner Eric Kripke and several members of the cast.

Footage screened: A highlight reel that includes the first footage from season two (see below).

The big revelations: Usually panelists are totally paranoid about revealing any spoilers, but showrunner Eric Kripke drew gasps at Comic-Con by revealing — spoiler alert in case you’re not sufficiently warned by now — that our heroes do not stop those nukes from falling on Philadelphia and Atlanta. “We’re trying to be the first network show in history that loses two American cities in the first 15 seconds [of a season],” Kripke said. “We’re back to a very intense set of basics, [a world] that’s even more dangerous than in season one.”

He also revealed the nation’s rebooted power would not stay on very long — barely at all, in fact. “Just enough to get the nukes in the air,” he said. Want more spoilers? Thanks to the sinister Patriots group, Gen. Monroe (David Lyons) and Miles (Billy Burke) will eventually team up. “The idea is to create a villain this year that’s so bad and so insidious that even our heroes and villains have to band together to face this threat.” The idea came from the writers just really wanting to see Miles and Monroe “kicking ass together.” The writer-producer notes that if the first season became a war show, the second will focus more on mystery and characters “rather than running and gunning.” Noted Kripke: “They’re up against a threat you can’t just swing a sword at.” Oh, and the Texas Rangers will make an appearance (the law enforcement agency, I’m assuming, not the baseball team). Overall Kripke assured next season will be better than the first.

Most incisive audience question: Here’s one thing that won’t change: A fan smartly asked if the show’s move to an early time-slot (8 p.m. on Wednesdays) means the show will be less graphic or violent. Kripke assured such levels would remain unchanged.

Here’s a trailer that includes the first footage from season two:
READ FULL STORY

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