Jason Ritter

Michael Buckner/Getty Images for EW

Comic-Con 2010

NBC packed a crowded hall on Saturday at Comic-Con (get all our awesome coverage here!) for that TV show that is perhaps the biggest mystery for fall: The Event, the new drama that's about...oh crap, what is it?

And the head scratching doesn't end there. Can The Event ever possibly fill the void left behind by shows like 24 and Lost? And why is America about to develop a deep, all-encompassing crush on Jason Ritter? (Just my opinion, but scientifically proven.)

I got up close and personal with the stars and producers while moderating The Event event (including some salsa dancing with Blair Underwood, and one magical hug) and here are five things you need to know:

  • The crowd seemed to love the pilot episode for The Event, which was screened to fans. Packed room. Big cheers. For those of you who haven't seen it, the series is about a government conspiracy that the new U.S. president (Blair Underwood) unearths, which just so happens to put one average American guy (Jason Ritter) on a nightmare of a thrill ride. Now, it all makes sense right? Yeah, not so much. But to that NBC promo guy's credit, it's pretty impossible to describe without giving too much away! And here's the good news...
  • There will be answers—and fast. "I think the most obvious questions will be answered in the second episode," says executive producer Evan Katz (previously of 24). "There's not going to be a long, drawn-out…Everything's designed to answer questions, [so the viewers will] not feel frustrated, feel ripped, feel like we may not know what we're doing, or like we're making it up as we go along."
  • There is something freaky-deeky going on—and yes, it is of a supernatural nature. "Well, there's definitely an element of mystery," says creator and executive producer Nick Wauters. "I mean there is an element of science fiction to the show, but there are many different things. I wanted to create something that had something that as a little bit of everything for everyone. It's really a thriller, it's a love story, it's a mystery and it does have an element of science fiction, but the entire story doesn't press on it."
  • There will be strong character focus/development. Executive producer Jeffrey Reiner points out that he's putting his background on Friday Night Lights to good use. "We did a scene the other day where Sean (Jason Ritter) and Leila (Sarah Roemer) meet for the first time, and the guys were saying to me: 'This is a scene from Friday Night Lights!' So we are definitely getting some emotion in there."
  • The series is well-cast. With the proven acting chops of the likes of Blair Underwood, Laura Innes and Zeljko Ivanek, plus relative newcomers you're gonna dig (Ritter, Roemer and Ian Anthony Dale), there's true potential to this series. And that aforementioned, pre-destined, nation-wide crush? Well, let's just say that this Jason Ritter is not your Class or Parenthood Jason Ritter. He is a strong leading Alpha male setting out to save the girl (and possibly the world?) and totally owns it. Says Reiner: "We felt Jason was the perfect guy for the part because he is truly destined to be a leading man—I think people might be surprised by him—and yet he is so accessible and endearing and just...huggable."

I put Jason's huggable factor to the test in the video clip below (conclusion: any actor who vows to "outfan" the biggest fan is 100% hugs-worthy), plus check out my shameful salsa dancing with Blair Underwood, and you know, actual bonafide info from The Event cast members, including self-described resident "mystery dude" (her role was originally male, holler!) Laura Innes and Jason's onscreen squeeze Sarah Roemer...


Did you miss any of our coverage of The Vampire Diaries, Fringe, Glee, Supernatural, Smallville, The Big Bang Theory and more? Get all our scoop from Comic-Con right here!

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