The people behind the Paley Center for Media have seen a television show or two or 2000, so they something about the building of tension and anticipation, and how acts and act breaks work.
And the Center's centerpiece event, the annual springtime panel-thon PaleyFest, is all about the acts and anticipation. Act I: Make initial announcements around December, and cite several shows and casts expected to join. Name a range of dates, but do not tie specific shows to specific dates. Act II: Throw in a wildcard or two, a few weeks after the initial announcement. And Act III: Name the dates each show will appear, and an on-sale date for tickets.
We're now firmly in Act III for PaleyFest 2011; the Paley Center posted the show-date pairing on Wednesday, Jan. 19. "The Walking Dead" will open the proceedings with a huge gaspy groan on March 4; "True Blood" will keep the action going on March 5. And the much-chattered about "Freaks and Geeks" night will be March 12.
Now, Act IV: Ticket on-sale dates. Members can buy on Jan. 21, general public on Jan. 23.
Then, Act V: The panels. Finally. Kisses, hugs, a big scene, emotion, and roll credits. The 2011 PaleyFest happens March 4-17 at the Saban Theatre.