This year at the San Diego Comic-Con, Showtime went big and scheduled a two-hour panel for three of its shows. Dexter, Shameless and the new show, Homeland, all took over Ballroom 20 for the first evening of the 2011 Con.

The Showtime extravaganza started out in a slightly shaky way. They promised a clip of new Dexter game: “The Slice of Life.”

That didn’t happen. Instead we saw a Shameless clip. They then cut it short with no explanation and brought out a new moderator.

The panel for Shameless featured:

  • Executive producer John Wells
  • Emmy Rossum (Fiona)
  • Justin Chatwin (Steve)
  • William H. Macy (Frank)

Once the panel was introduced, it was time for the clip again. We got the whole thing this time.

When asked about preparing for the role of Frank Gallagher, William H. Macy (apparently doing the panel in character) said,”I started drinking last August… What was the question? I’m a lucky guy. I didn’t have to prepare for this one at all.”

Some bits about the show and the upcoming season:

  • Season 2 begins in the summer.
  • James Wolk’s new character is described as Steve-light.
  • Joan Cusack will be back next year.
  • The show’s been in development for about 8 years.
  • The second season-onward will be original, with respect to the earlier British version of Shameless.

Thanks to mention of family discussions while peeing, certain plotlines and some strange interactions between the panelists, this may have been the most awkward panel ever. Still, they seemed pretty happy about the show overall. As John Wells said: “It’s a place where there’s a lot of love, even though there’s a lot of craziness going on.”

Showtime followed their Shameless panel with a clip of the new show, Homeland. It will premiere after Dexter on October 2.

The show seems to be about a soldier (Damian Lewis) who was kept in a military prison in Iraq and Afghanistan for 8 years. He is saved and comes home a military hero. But is he? Everybody (especially Claire Danes’ character) is all suspicious, so it’s probably more complicated than that.

The executive producer, Howard Gordon, and one of the stars, Morena Baccarin, came out to talk about the show after the clip aired.

Because Showtime is not run by idiots, they saved Dexter for last. The game clip actually aired at that point.

Apparently, the game, “Slice of Life,” lets you wander around Miami and then kill people. It’s kind of like Grand Theft Auto, only with less velocity.

But forget about the game. There was also a trailer for the upcoming, season 6 of Dexter.

The briefly seen clips include:

  • Dexter killing a guy who killed his wife instead of divorcing her (too costly).
  • Jesus stuff. Lots of Jesus stuff.
  • Toddler Harrison in a bathtub.
  • A blood slide that looks a little like a snowflake.
  • Horses.
  • Dexter with a woman, apparently having sex in a weird place.
  • Deb getting a commendation or something.
  • A barking dog.
  • Masuka and Dexter bagging snakes.
  • People on horses.
  • Edward James Olmos looking menacing. Also Mos Def.
  • Colin Hanks with a big snake.

And a bunch of other stuff.

Basically, there’s a lot of religious imagery going on. Religious imagery and blood — because of course there’s blood. It’s Dexter.

The panel for Dexter includes:

  • Sarah Colleton (producer)
  • Scott Buck (producer)
  • C.S. Lee (Masuka)
  • David Zayas (Angel)
  • James Remar (Harry Morgan)
  • Colin Hanks (Travis Marshall)
  • Michael C. Hall (Dexter)

Not that the panel showed up to provide much in the way of information about the coming season. Guest star Colin Hanks wouldn’t even say definitively that he would be on it (he will).

It does sound like the main plots of the season are based on Dexter’s desire to “define faith” in order to help raise his son.

Dexter himself will be “unplugged” from the Lumen relationship. What does this mean? Probably a lot of killing.

“Masuka has some interns coming up this year.” When C.S. Lee says this, it sounds really, really dirty. Considering that it’s Masuka, that’s a safe bet.

On the subject of Deb almost finding out about Dexter last season, producer Scott Buck clarified the likely outcome: “Deb is very smart. But Dexter’s smarter.” As for Quinn finding out, “Dexter is definitely smarter.”

Following an awful lot of amusingly odd questions: Does Dexter teach murder? Would Dexter Morgan consider killing a Burmese dictator? Will there be a Dexter/Burn Notice crossover? Can I come up there with you guys? (Granted, that last came from Mos Def (who will be playing a character named Brother Sam), so it wasn’t very weird in the end.)

(Image courtesy of Showtime)

Laurel Brown

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Laurel grew up in Mamaroneck, NY, Grosse Pointe, MI and Bellevue WA. She then went on to live in places like Boston, Tucson, Houston, Wales, Tanzania, Prince Edward Island and New York City before heading back to Seattle. Ever since early childhood, when she became addicted to The Muppet Show, Laurel has watched far too much TV. Current favorites include ChuckModern FamilySupernaturalMad Men and Community. Laurel received a BA in Astrophysics (yes, that is possible) from Colgate University and a PhD in Middle Eastern Studies and History of Science from Columbia University before she realized that television is much better than studying.