(CBS News) All eyes this week are on San Diego, where the 2012 edition of Comic-Con opens on Thursday.
The four-day event started decades ago as a convention for comic-book and sci-fi geeks, but has since grown into an exhibition of pop culture. Studios will be sending stars to promote such movies as "The Hobbit," "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" and "Iron Man 3," and networks will be hyping new shows like the Sherlock Holmesian "Elementary," and old favorites like "Game of Thrones" and "The Big Bang Theory."
Even E.L. James, the author of the "Fifty Shades of Grey" triology, will be there signing books for fans, many of whom come to Comic-Con in costume.
It's also a hig week for TV, which will be reuniting us with a bunch of old friends. LAPD Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick) returns for a final six-episode seaso in "The Closer" Monday on TNT. Ruthless New York lawyer Patty Hewes (Glenn Close) is also back for a swan song when the fifth - and final - season of "Damages" begins Wednesday on DirectTV.
Teacher-turned meth maker Walter White (Bryan Cranston) returns in another season of the Emmy-winning "Breaking Bad" Sunday on AMC. And Nathan Ford (Timothy Hutton) and his band of Robin Hood wannabes returns for a fifth season in Leverage" Sunday on TNT.
We'll also be making some new TV friends - like Eric McCormack, who plays a university neuroscientist recruited by the FBI to help with complex cases in "Perception," which makes its debut Monday on TNT. And a whole group of newcomers are moving into the "Big Brother" house Thursday for a new season of the CBS summer staple.
On the big screen, the weekend belongs to "Ice Age: Continental Drift," an animated movie voiced by Ray Romano, Denis Leary and Jennifer Lopez, among others.
Among the releases on Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday is "American Reunion," the latest installment in the "American Pie" series with Jason Biggs and Eugene Levy.
Look for album releases Tuesday from the Zac Brown Band ("Uncaged"), Marina and the Diamonds ("Electra Heart") and Hank Williams Jr. ("Old School...New Rules).
Readers will see a new beach book, "Backfire: An FBI Thriller," from best selling thriller and historical romance author Catherine Coulter. It comes out Tuesday.