“Alcatraz” and “Person of Interest” at 2011 Comic-Con

Alcatraz promo photo

Alcatraz promo photo

On Wednesday night, Comic-Con showed sneak previews of the series pilots for “Person of Interest,” starring Michael Emerson (Ben), and “Alcatraz,” starring Jorge Garcia (Hurley) — both produced by J.J. Abrams.

The blog Television Blend saw the pilots and liked both of them:

There are two things that set Person of Interest above other shows like these: Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson… Emerson’s character has some of the smarts of Ben Linus, without the creepy…. I want to see more of these two on screen, so I’ll definitely be looking out for this one …

I suspect Alcatraz is going to appeal to Fringe fans …. I’m going to be vague with the premise here because one of the biggest strengths of the pilot is the way the story’s layers are peeled back a little bit at a time as the episode moves forward….

While …. we’re meant to take [Garcia’s] character seriously, there are some mild shades of Hurley thrown in there for some light comic relief…. A lot of questions are raised in the pilot, but the introduction offers enough intriguing clues to have me wanting more.

Read the full review.

Hollywood Report did interviews with Jorge Garcia and Elizabeth Sarnoff, who was a writer on LOST and is now the showrunner (TV industry jargon for the boss) of Alcatraz.

When asked how Alcatraz is different from LOST, Jorge replied:

I believe I’m going to be a lot less sweaty! There are no planes crashing and it’s not in the jungle! [Laughs.] I play a historian/comic book guy/Alcatraz expert. You don’t want people to hunt to try and find what the next Lost is anymore. Let Lost be Lost and now find what Alcatraz is. Don’t chase Lost; love it and put it to bed. You can bring out the DVDs whenever you want but don’t go to Alcatraz looking for Lost. There may be some elements that will remind you since it comes from the same family but it’s going to be it’s own thing.

Elizabeth Sarnoff also answered a couple of LOST-related questions:

THR: Are you prepared for the inevitable Lost questions?

Sarnoff: Absolutely. I worked on the show for a long time and there are a lot of people on our show that worked on it: Jack Bender, Jorge Garcia, J.J. Abrams. I welcome that: this is our past and this is our present.

THR: How does Alcatraz compare to Lost?

Sarnoff: I don’t think it’s like Lost because the show at heart is a procedural show. We have a story end to our show where we’re going to catch a bad guy every week as well as a really bad guy from Alcatraz, so it’s a very different show. Alcatraz is going to feel like it moves a hell of a lot faster because we have a lot of story to get through.

Here are some clips of both shows, along with reactions of fans at Comic-Con:

A few more clips from “Person of Interest” are here.

Person of Interest is supposed to start on Setember 22. Alcatraz starts sometime in early 2012 — I don’t think they announced a date yet.

Official sites for the shows: Alcatraz and Person of Interest.

For a complete list of all the LOST-related events at Comic-Con 2011, see @jopinionated‘s article on TVOvermind.

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