Last year, Lionsgate and the San Diego Comic-Con announced a joint venture to launch a SVOD (subscription video-on-demand) channel themed to all things nerd and con. Now they’ve just announced that a free beta of the service, named Comic-Con HQ, will roll out on May 7th (Free Comic Book Day).
Plans for programing include including original scripted and unscripted programming, such as Kings of Con, a show based on the Her Universe fashion line, and an interview series with Adam Sessler, The ad-free service will also offer programming from Comic-Con’s archives, and that should be an eye opener for comics and media historians.
Last year saw all kinds of SVOD services launch (including two previous ones from Lionsgate) and the idea of a channel for this kind of content seems like a total no-brainer.
The official premiere takes place in June. To pre-register for free beta access, go to www.Comic-ConHQ.com The beta will be available on browser and mobile; the paid service includes Roku, AppleTV and Xbox One, with more platforms to come.
“For nearly half a century, Comic-Con has served as the definitive common ground where the fans of genre entertainment come together to express their passion for comics and pop culture,” said Seth Laderman, EVP and General Manager for Comic-Con HQ in a statement. “Comic-Con HQ aspires to extend that exchange 365 days a year, bringing everything we love about Comic-Con to the world in ways never before seen and experienced. The new platform will provide a year-round destination to enjoy all facets of the community and access the vast diversity of content the world has come to expect from the largest and longest-running pop cultural celebration of the year.”
“CCHQ is welcoming both attendees and fans new to the Comic-Con phenomenon to join our community and enjoy all aspects of the experience in ways never before imagined,” said David Glanzer, Chief Communications and Strategy Officer for Comic-Con International. “Lionsgate is a terrific partner in this venture and uniquely qualified to provide quality programming that speaks directly to our fans. We’re excited to see what we can accomplish with a dedicated Comic-Con channel 365 days a year.”
Here’s some of the programming:
• Recurring daily and weekly programs featuring well-known personalities curating entertainment news and commentary across all facets of pop culture. G4 alum Adam Sessler (X-Play) will executive produce programs on comics, science and gaming, along with hosting his own insightful 1:1 interview series. Fellow G4 star Kevin Pereira (Attack of the Show) and his company Attack Media will executive produce an entertainment pop culture news show and a late night talk show format. Other formats on the fast track are two roundtable discussion shows, one weekly movie talk in partnership with Complex’s Collider inspired by their popular Collider Movie Talk series, and another all-female panel on pop culture from a female perspective.
• Original scripted and unscripted series debuting on the platform include: the scripted comedy series Kings of Con inspired by real-life fan convention experiences from Supernatural stars Richard Speight and Rob Benedict; the science entertainment program Impossible Science starring world champion illusionist Jason Latimer, who explores breakthrough technologies capable of achieving his seemingly impossible feats of magic with real science; and the formerly announced unscripted series with fangirl fashion company and lifestyle brand, Her Universe, hosted by founder and actress Ashley Eckstein, following contestants as they design their geek couture concepts for the catwalk of a live San Diego Comic-Con fashion show in July. These series are the first of many originals to be revealed in the weeks leading up to SDCC.
• Unparalleled San Diego Comic-Con access with live-streamed CCHQ programming, airings of select Comic-Con panels, and immersive access to the convention floor and sanctioned events never before available to the public such as the Masquerade and the Eisner Awards. Members will enjoy interviews and previews available only on CCHQ in a growing library of new and archival panels, bonus features, behind-the-scenes previews and more.
• An eclectic collection of licensed film & TV series featuring genre greats and hidden gems from science-fiction, fantasy, cult classics, action/adventure and horror.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.