One small screen show is getting big Thursday night.
"PaleyFest featuring The Walking Dead" comes to two area theaters, Regal Nitro 12 and Cinemark Huntington Mall (in Barboursville), beginning at 8 p.m. The two-hour event features a recorded broadcast of the "Walking Dead" panel, which kicked off PaleyFest March 1 in Beverly Hills. There's also behind-the-scenes footage from the set in Atlanta.
Taking questions from fans in the sold-out audience were actors Andrew Lincoln, Danai Gurira, Laurie Holden, Steven Yeun, Norman Reedus, Scott Wilson and Emily Kinney, as well as executive producer/comic creator Robert Kirkman, executive producer/special effects makeup master Greg Nicotero and executive producers Dave Alpert and Gale Anne Hurd.
Some people may not think much about the off-screen talent that's appearing, but having seen them before on "Talking Dead," AMC's "Walking Dead" aftershow, I can say they add a great deal to show discussions. And speaking of "Talking Dead," the panel was moderated by its host, the fabulous Chris Hardwick. ("Walking Dead" fans, if you're not watching "Talking Dead" at 10 p.m. Sundays, you should be.)
PaleyFest, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, is a two-week festival that bills itself as "the ultimate TV fan festival." It celebrates what it believes are the best creative teams and breakthrough programs on TV.
The festival takes its name from the organization that puts it on, the Paley Center for Media, whose mission is to examine "the intersections between media and society." In other words, it studies the impact — culturally, creatively, socially — of TV and other media platforms on the public.
In addition to "The Walking Dead," other PaleyFest panels this year include "Community," "The Newsroom," "Once Upon a Time," "Arrow," "Revolution," "Nashville" and "American Horror Story." There's also a "Big Bang Theory" panel, which gets the big screen treatment, too.
While the "Walking Dead" event is pre-recorded, the "Big Bang Theory" panel airs live, again at the Nitro and Barboursville theaters. It starts at 7 p.m. in L.A., which means 10 p.m. here, and it's also two hours, so be warned: It'll be a late night.
Panelists will take questions from the sold-out studio audience as well as viewer-submitted ones from theaters broadcasting the event.If you have a question to submit, get to the theater early to find out how.
Scheduled to appear are all the main cast members — Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch — plus co-creators Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady and executive producer Steven Molaro. You'll also get to see a sneak peek of an upcoming new episode.