Producer Gale Anne Hurd wasted no time breaking news at Friday’s (July 22) “Walking Dead” panel at Comic-Con.

“Please get out your smart phones,” she said. “I want to announce the premiere date for season 2 — it will be Sunday, Oct. 16 at 9 p.m. ET.”

A full two weeks earlier than 2010’s Halloween night premiere.

We consider ourselves lucky to be sitting in Ballroom 20 at all considering the thousands of people who camped out for hours to snag a seat. But, here we are, with 4,249 of our closest friends ravenous for a peek at season 2 and a little chat with the actors, producers and writer Robert Kirkman.

To our left sit Rea and Chris, who came all the way from East Sussex, England to get a gander at countryman Andrew Lincoln and (hopefully) see preview footage for season 2, which doesn’t start until spring 2012 in the U.K.

Next on the agenda, the premiere of the first full-length trailer for season two. The clip kicks off with a voice over from sheriff Rick Grimes (Lincoln) — actually, the walkie-talkie transmission he sent out into the ether before leaving Atlanta in season 1.

Then the action jumps into season two in which Lincoln and his band of survivors unexpectedly meet a horde of zombies on a Georgia highway. We also got a peek at some of the other story lines — Jon Bernthal (Shane) goes off on his own with Laurie Holden (Andrea) and we get a shot of the farmhouse where we’ll meet a few new survivors.

“It picks up in about five seconds of overlap with the first season, leaving the CDC,” said Darabont. “There’s none of this bulls— six months later stuff.”

Another major theme of the panel was the difficulty of filming on location in hot, steamy Georgia. Steven Yuen (Glenn) talked about the daily tic checks required after spending days in the Georgia woods.

“One of them climbed my mountain and planted a flag right on the peek of the mountain,” said Yuen, to uproarious laughter which we’re sure he totally appreciated.

“When we get bruises and cuts, it’s like you’ve earned your day,” said co-star Callies. “They’re like war wounds.”

Stay tuned for more “Walking Dead” interviews later when we attend the show’s press conference.

Posted by:Liz Kelly Nelson