Winter is not coming, Jon Snow, at least not to Hall H.
With the era of Peak TV seemingly going full throttle, you’d think this year’s Comic-Con in San Diego would be jammed full of old favorites, but it is not so. The heartrending news went out yesterday: No Game of Thrones or Westworld in Hall H this year, HBO announced. No panels, no activations, nothing. They blamed the production schedule:
Due to production schedules and air dates for Game of Thrones and Westworld, these series will not be presented at San Diego Comic-Con this summer. HBO has a longstanding relationship with SDCC, and we are very grateful for the fans’ enthusiastic response over the years. We look forward to returning in the future.’
New GoT episodes won’t air until next year, so it kinda makes sense – and Westworld will be wrapping its second season next week, so that kinda makes sense too, but still…it’s the first time that Game of Thrones has missed the going to Comic-Con.
There’s plenty more peak TV where that came from. Still, the news that there would be no Got totally drowned out the fact that there WILL be a Doctor Who panel with the first female doctor – at least in in my social feeds.
Plus, HBO is not the only big showbiz company taking it easy this year. Marvel will not be in Hall H either, and Outlander will be going to NYCC and not SDCC.
What’s the deal? Is Comic-Con shrinking? Well, we’ve been warning you for a while that other, more controllable venues like CinemaCon and SXSW are getting more popular for marketing efforts. As THR writes:
That HBO would opt to bypass the massive event comes amid rapidly growing competition in the Peak TV era, where scripted originals are expected to top 500 this year.
To be sure, bringing the cast and creators of any TV series to SDCC is an expensive undertaking and one that many outlets are carefully considering as the calendar presents more opportunities to promote new and returning programming. Smaller events provide better opportunities to cut through the cluttered landscape in a more financially feasible fashion.
Also, as we’ve been noting for a while, with 500 scripted TV series on we’re well into the long tail of tv. The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones are the mega hits of the last 10 years, and though Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead will be at Comic-Con, who knows how much longer they’ll be going on?
But don’t fret too much. A bunch of Game of Thrones spin-off series are in the works, and there’s no danger of Hall H falling totally silent any time soon. And that Warner Bros. presentation Saturday morning will be MUST SEE MOVIE!
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.