Theres some good news for fans of NBCs ailing Heroes TV show. Though the sci-fi series has been struggling to hold onto its audience, the networks entertainment prez says theres no plans to cancel the super-powered ones. Still, the show isnt in the clear just yet.
Heroes revolves around ordinary individuals who are suddenly endowed with amazing powers super abilities that cause them to become both hunted and feared. The large ensemble includes Sendhil Ramamurthy, Jack Coleman, Masi Oka, Hayden Panettiere, James Kyson Lee, Milo Ventimiglia, Ali Larter, Adrian Pasdar, Greg Grunberg, Zachary Quinto, Cristine Rose, Ashley Crow, and Noah Gray-Cabey.
The NBC series debuted to million and a /14 rating/share of the demographic. Viewership both fell and dropped in Heroes freshman year and it ended up averaging million viewers and a / The second season was largely disappointing to viewers and was artificially shortened due to the writers strike. It averaged just over 13 million.
Heroes returned over nine months later for season three and just over 10 million viewers. Its essentially been falling ever since and the latest installment attracted just million and /7 in the demo.
Trying to allay cancellation worries, Angela Bromstad, NBCs Entertainment President, has told the Hollywood Reporter that the network plans to renew the show for a fourth season. Itll be a shorter-than-usual cycle though and is expected to be just episodes.
However, as the Reporters James Hibbard notes, this is not an actual renewal and the network execs could still change their minds. Thats a far cry from the confidence of last seasons renewal which came in mid-February, months ahead of the advertiser upfronts. Heroes viewership has been falling and, if it continues to do so, the network may have no choice but to change their plans.
For the time being though, the network is committed to keeping Heroes on the air. There are discussions about giving the series a set end date (like Lost) but the ratings-starved network isnt ready to commit to that strategy for the time being.
Image courtesy NBC.
More about: Heroes
Heroes (American TV series)
American science fiction television drama series
This article is about the American TV series Heroes. For other uses of "Heroes", see Heroes (disambiguation).
Heroes is an American superherodrama television series created by Tim Kring that appeared on NBC for four seasons from September 25, to February 8, The series tells the stories of ordinary people who discover that they have superhuman abilities and how these abilities take effect in the characters' lives as they work together to prevent catastrophic futures. The series emulates the aesthetic style and storytelling of American comic books, using multi-episode story arcs that build upon a larger, more encompassing narrative. The series was produced by Tailwind Productions in association with Universal Media Studios. It was filmed primarily in Los Angeles, California.
Four complete seasons aired, ending on February 8,  The critically acclaimed first season had a run of 23 episodes and garnered an average of million viewers in the United States, receiving the highest rating for an NBC drama premiere in five years. The second season of Heroes attracted an average of million viewers in the U.S. and marked NBC's sole series among the top 20 ranked programs in total viewership for the – season.Heroes earned a number of awards and nominations, including Primetime Emmy Awards, Golden Globes, People's Choice Awards, and British Academy Television Awards.
An online extension of the series, Heroes Experience, later rebranded as Heroes Evolutions, was created to explore the Heroes universe and provides insight into the show's mythology. Other official Heroes media include magazines, action figures, tie-in and interactive websites, a mobile game, a novel, clothing and other merchandise. In the fall of , NBC Digital Entertainment released a series of online content for the summer, including more original web content, wireless iTV interactivity, graphic novels available for mobile viewing and webisodes.
A episode miniseries entitled Heroes Reborn premiered on NBC on September 24, 
Cast and characters
Main article: List of Heroes characters
Originally, Kring designed the series to have an ever-shifting cast. However, his motivation changed when he realized how popular the original cast was with audiences; therefore, he brought back most of the first-season cast for the second season, with a few additions who received star billing. In its first season, the show features an ensemble cast of twelve main characters making it the third largest cast in American primetime television behind Desperate Housewives and Lost. Although NBC's first-season cast page listed only ten characters,Leonard Roberts, who first appeared in the series' fifth episode as D. L. Hawkins, was an additional member of the original full-time cast. In the first-season episode "Fallout", Jack Coleman, who portrays Noah Bennet, was upgraded from a recurring role to become the twelfth full-time cast member.
The following remained major characters during all four seasons:
Also, although Niki Sanders, played by Ali Larter was written out in the third season, Larter remained on the show throughout all 4 seasons, playing Sanders' sister, Tracy Strauss for the final season.
During the first two seasons, some characters were written out to make room for new characters with new stories. In season one, Claude, portrayed by Christopher Eccleston, who had the power of invisibility, was instrumental in helping Peter understand his powers, throwing him off a building to try to help him fly, but he discovered he healed instead. Simone Deveaux was the first major character to be written out, dying near the end of season one. DL became a guest star after the events of the first season's finale, making two appearances throughout season two. Isaac Mendez was also written out, dying at the hands of Sylar, which was shown during Hiro Nakamura's time traveling expedition to New York earlier in season one.
New characters added during season two include: Maya Herrera, played by Dania Ramirez, a fugitive with the ability to emit a deadly poison; Adam Monroe, a year-old Englishman also known as Takezo Kensei with the ability to regenerate, portrayed by David Anders; Monica Dawson, portrayed by Dana Davis, a restaurant worker with the ability to mimic physical movements she sees; and Elle Bishop, a sadisticsociopath with the ability to generate electricity, portrayed by Kristen Bell. Two recurring characters from season one, Sylar, portrayed by Zachary Quinto, and Ando Masahashi, portrayed by James Kyson Lee, were upgraded to main characters in season two.
Starting in season three, recurring character Angela Petrelli, portrayed by Cristine Rose, was promoted to a main character. Elle, Adam, and Micah were removed from the main cast. Monica Dawson did not appear after scenes including her were cut. Niki was also written out but actress Ali Larter remained on the show portraying a new character Tracy Strauss, Niki's triplet sister with the power to freeze objects with a touch. For season four, a new character Samuel Sullivan, portrayed by Robert Knepper, was added. Originally cast as a recurring part, the part was changed to a starring role.Deanne Bray was also added as Emma Coolidge, the deaf woman who had enhanced synesthesia (seeing colors for music) including the ability to create a siren song.
See also: List of Heroes episodes
The plot of Heroes is designed to be told in a way similar to the way comic books are told. Each season of Heroes contains one or two "volumes". There are several main story lines in each volume. As the main plots develop, smaller, more intimate stories are told within them. Each main character's story is developed separately and as time passes their paths cross and it is explained how their stories are intertwined and connected. This is the story of ordinary people who discover extraordinary super powers after a solar eclipse reveals them, and how these abilities affect the characters' daily lives.
The first season, known as "Volume One: Genesis", begins with a seemingly ordinary group of people who gradually become aware that they have special abilities. The story develops showing their reactions to these powers, and how this discovery affects their personal and professional lives. At the same time, several ordinary individuals are investigating the origins and extent of these abilities. Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy), a research geneticist, continues his late father's research into the biological source of the powers, while Noah Bennet (Jack Coleman) represents, and is a lead agent for, a secret organization known only as "the Company" that wants to control and, if necessary, terminate those who are gifted. After only having a short time to come to terms with their new abilities, each of the heroes is drawn into the final showdown. They must each do their part to stop the destruction of the world that starts with an impending explosion at Kirby Plaza in New York City.
Season two, known as "Volume Two: Generations", begins four months after the events at Kirby Plaza. The main plot of Generations deals with the Company and its research on the Shanti virus. In a flashback to , the research is performed by the Company's founders, whose identities are eventually revealed, to discover what the effects of various strains of the virus will do to the human and superhuman population. The virus is weaponized and locked away at Primatech Paper, the Company's facility used as a front. Returning to the present, the heroes must come together in an attempt to stop the release of a deadly strain of the virus and avert a global pandemic.
The first part of season three is called "Volume Three: Villains". Volume three begins with an assassination attempt on Nathan Petrelli (Adrian Pasdar), a political figure who can fly, and explores its consequences. Meanwhile, several villains escape from the confines of Level 5, a maximum security area owned and operated by the Company within Primatech, and Noah Bennet attempts to recapture them. Arthur Petrelli (Robert Forster), Nathan Petrelli's father, heals from systemic nerve damage and aims to create a formula to give ordinary people superhuman abilities, simultaneously stealing Peter's powers. The second part of season three, "Volume Four: Fugitives", reveals what happens after Nathan fails to produce the formula. After the destruction of Primatech and Pinehearst, the rival company of Primatech, the heroes attempt to lead normal lives until Nathan initiates his plan to round up all people with abilities. He is opposed in this plan by the other heroes, led by Peter, who used the synthetic formula to acquire a new ability where he can only copy one power at a time as opposed to his previous array of abilities. Sylar kills Nathan in an intense duel. However, because Nathan is a prominent political player, Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg), who has power over people's minds, is instructed to alter Sylar's mind so that he will believe that he is Nathan and take his place, utilising Sylar's new powers of shapeshifting and psychometry to take on Nathan's appearance while his psychometry would 'fill in the blanks' on other details. This has a negative side effect causing Sylar's consciousness to become trapped in Matt Parkman's mind.
Season four contains "Volume Five: Redemption", and takes place six weeks after the events of season three. The heroes try to return to their normal lives; Peter returns to his job as a paramedic, while Claire attends college. Sylar's body is causing his previously acquired abilities to manifest as he struggles with his forced identity as Nathan. Sylar's actual consciousness, trapped in Matt Parkman's mind, taunts Matt and seeks out his own body. Meanwhile, Hiro has to deal with a brain tumor that is slowly killing him and preventing him from controlling his powers. A carnival group is introduced whose leader, Samuel, tries to recruit more people with abilities into his carnival family. Samuel claims he is creating a community for special people where they are welcome to be open with their abilities and respected by outsiders. In truth, he is bringing together as many people with abilities as possible to build up his own power, moving earth. The more special people he has around him, the stronger his power. The heroes have to come together to battle Samuel and his plan to expose "specials" to the world by killing thousands of people. The series finale ends by opening the nonexistent "Volume Six: Brave New World" in which Claire reveals the existence of people with special abilities to a group of reporters and photographers. The series mimics how it started, with the last scene involving Claire Bennet jumping from a ferris wheel and stating "my name is Claire Bennet, and that was attempt number—I guess I've kind of lost count."
Heroes began development early in , when Tim Kring, creator of NBC's Crossing Jordan, came up with the show's concept. Kring wanted to create a "large ensemble saga" that would connect with the audience. He began thinking about how big, scary and complicated he felt the world is, and wanted to create a character-driven series about people who could do something about it. Kring felt that a cop or medical drama did not have characters that were big enough to save the world. He came up with the thought of superheroes; ordinary people who would discover extraordinary abilities, while still rooted in the real world and in reality. Casting directors Jason La Padura and Natalie Hart brought forth a cast of new faces such as Milo Ventimiglia who described the pilot as a "character drama about everyday people with a heightened reality." Said heightened reality was brought to light through the work of production designer Ruth Ammon. Kring wanted the series to have touchstones that involved the characters and the world they lived in.
Before he began putting his ideas together, he spoke with Lost executive producer Damon Lindelof, with whom he had worked for three years on Crossing Jordan. Kring credits Lindelof for giving him ideas on how to pitch the series to the network and advice on the lessons he (Lindelof) learned about working on a serialized drama. The two still speak and support each other's projects. When Kring pitched the idea for Heroes to the NBC network, he described the network's reaction as "excitedvery supportive." He comments that he has been partners with NBC for some time based on his six-year run as showrunner for Crossing Jordan. When he pitched the pilot, he described every detail, including the cliffhanger ending. When NBC executives asked him what was going to happen next, Kring responded, "Well, you'll just have to wait and find out." After the project was greenlit, a special minute version of the pilot was first screened to a large audience at the San Diego Comic-Con International. It was initially reported that this unaired pilot would not be released, but it was included on the season one DVD set.
When the writing team worked on an episode, each writer took a character and wrote the individual scenes surrounding them. These stories were then combined and given to the episode writer. This system allowed every writer to contribute to every episode, and enabled the writing team to finish scripts sooner, so the filming crew could shoot more scenes at a location. Kring described the writing process as a collaborative one and stated that the collaboration process was important because production needed to shoot several scenes at a single location. To do this, several scripts had to be ready. Jesse Alexander, co-producer and writer, explained that this process was important in a serialized drama because one has to know where each character's development is heading.
Season two coincided with the WGA writers' strike, meaning only 11 out of the planned 24 episodes were produced. This forced the producers to redesign the season to encompass only the Generations volume out of the three planned. The planned third volume, Exodus, which was originally designed to be a story arc reflecting the effects of the release of strain of the Shanti virus, was cancelled. The planned fourth volume, Villains, was changed to the third volume and moved into season three. Scenes from the volume two finale, "Powerless", were reshot to reflect the cancelation of the Exodus volume, and to tie up all the loose plot storylines of Generations.
Following criticisms of the second and third volumes, Tim Molloy from TV Guide reported that Heroes would return to its roots with the fourth volume, Fugitives, to attract new viewers and regain those who gave up on the show because of too many characters and plotlines. In November , NBC fired Jesse Alexander and Jeph Loeb from the production staff of Heroes over creative differences and budget problems. As a result, Kring would refocus the series on character development and simple storytelling. However, a high-ranking insider told TV Guide that rather than pressure from NBC or Universal Media responding to recent plummeting ratings, it was Kring himself who fired Alexander and Loeb because the duo refused to continue character-driven stories that made the first season popular from the start. In December , Bryan Fuller signed a 2-year deal with Universal Media Studios after the cancellation of his ABC series Pushing Daisies. He rejoined the writing staff of Heroes starting with the 20th episode of season three and had a "key role in the writing and direction" of the series. However, on June 22 it was revealed that Fuller left Heroes to work on other projects. On April 28, , director/producer Greg Beeman was fired by NBC.
Main article: Music of Heroes
The series score is composed by Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman, with music engineer Michael Perfitt and vocals provided by Shankar. Each episode averages thirty to thirty-five minutes of music. Melvoin and Coleman became involved with Heroes from their previous work with executive producer Allan Arkush. Kring gave general instructions to the pair, including the emotion and direction for each character. Kring wanted incredibly unusual music and gave Melvoin and Coleman a lot of freedom and permission to experiment. In the pilot episode, Kring suggested that a "dreamy" cue be used in the scene involving Claire Bennet running into a burning train. The "dreamy" cue has since become a signature piece of the show. Melvoin and Coleman developed musical cues for each character. Claude's theme involved wind and voices to create the feeling of a ghost-like presence. Sylar's involves marimbas and bassoons with staccato to re-create the sound of clocks ticking in reference to the character's power. Matt Parkman's theme involves voices being played backwards when he uses his power of telepathy. Peter Petrelli's theme involves marcato strings. Niki Sanders's theme was based on her character's alter-ego named Jessica and involved winds and Indian voices chanting in an underscore to give a feeling that she was possessed. Mohinder Suresh's theme is the piano composition that plays at the end of some episodes.
In , the ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards gave Melvoin and Coleman the "Top Television Series" award for their work on Heroes. In France, the theme music of Heroes is composed by Victoria Petrosillo. Her song, "Le Héros d'un autre", is used by television network TF1 to replace the show's original incidental music. The network created a new opening credit sequence so they could play Petrosillo's theme song. The official Heroes soundtrack was released on March 18, by The NBCUniversal Television, DVD, Music & Consumer Products Group. On February 29, the Group released five music videos created by Heroes producer/director Allan Arkush, each combining show footage with songs from the soundtrack. In September , Melvoin and Coleman announced that they would be releasing an album consisting entirely of the score from Heroes, titled Heroes: Original Score. It was released on April 14, by La-La Land Records.
Filming and visual effects
Eric Grenaudier and John Han of Stargate Digital are the visual effects supervisors and Mark Spatny is the visual effects producer for Heroes. They work with visual effects animators Anthony Ocampo and Ryan Wieber, who are also from Stargate. The series visual effects consist of blue screens and 2D and 3D animation. The visual effects for the series are created after the scene is shot in post-production, unlike special effects, which are incorporated into the scenes during filming. Notable visual effects include radioactive Ted in "Company Man", Nathan flying from Mr. Bennet and The Haitian in "Hiros", and Hiro's time freezing encounter with the schoolgirl in the red bow in "One Giant Leap". The special effects are coordinated by Gary D'Amico. Stunts are coordinated by Ian Ouinn, who also uses blue screens to accomplish some of the stunts in the series, such as Nathan Petrelli flying away from Heidi during the car accident scene in "Six Months Ago". Principal filming for Heroes takes place in Los Angeles and Santa Clarita, California. The Stargate Digital team are also responsible for making Los Angeles look like international locations, such as India and Ukraine, using blue screens and set designs by Ruth Ammon, production designer for the series. The series is filmed using a single-camera setup.
In keeping with the comic book thematic elements used on Heroes, professional comic book artistsTim Sale and Alex Maleev were brought in to provide the artwork used within the series under the direction of Ruth Ammon, including the artwork of Isaac Mendez, and Mendez's metafictional comic book series, 9th Wonders!. Additionally, the font used in captions and credits for the show is reminiscent of traditional hand-rendered comic book lettering. It was created by Sale and is based on his handwriting style.Heroes is designed by production designer Ruth Ammon. Ammon has been nominated for her work on Heroes twice by the Art Directors Guild and has also been nominated for two Emmy Awards for excellence in art direction.
On May 14, , NBC announced that it would air a six-episode Heroesspin-off called Heroes: Origins during the –08 season. The show was to introduce a new character each week, and viewers were to select which one would stay for the following season of the regular series. The show was supposed to air after the completion of the second season of Heroes in April ; however, on October 31, , it was reported that Origins had been postponed because of the Writers Guild of America strike. Kring stated in an interview that the first episode of Origins was to reveal the secrets and meanings behind the Helix symbol. However, because of the WGA Strike, Kring commented that the secret will have to be revealed down the line. Kring revealed that he was to write the first episode of Origins, and that John August had been hired to write another episode. Director Kevin Smith, a fan of Heroes, was set to write and direct an episode for the spin-off, as were Eli Roth and Michael Dougherty. On April 3, , a day after NBC announced its – primetime schedule, Ben Silverman confirmed Origins's cancellation.
Main article: Mythology of Heroes
Heroes includes some mysterious fictional recurring elements that have been ascribed to science fiction or supernatural phenomena. Kring and the creators of the series referred to these fictional elements as part of the mythology of the series. Kring confirmed that although the show has a unique mythology, he did not want to sink too deeply into it. Rather, Kring used volumes to wrap up ongoing plot lines instead of carrying storylines over long periods of time as in Lost. Among the show's mythological elements are the Company, the legend of Takezo Kensei, paintings of the future, superpowers and their origins, the Shanti virus, 9th Wonders! comic book, and numerous other elements and mythological themes.
Season one received highly positive reviews. During the season, the American Film Institute named Heroes one of the ten "best television programs of the year." Doug Elfman of the Chicago Sun-Times stated, "the show's super strengths are its well-developed filmmaking, smooth pacing and a perfect cast. It views like the first hour of a fun, thoughtful movie." Barry Garron at The Hollywood Reporter also stated, "Heroes is one of TV's most imaginative creations and might, with luck, become this year's Lost." Less favorable reviews included The Philadelphia Inquirer, who commented that although the show had lots of "cool effects," it "lands, splat, in a pile of nonsense and dim dialogue." In response to the first pod of season one episodes, The Chicago Tribune went as far as saying, "you could watch the first few episodes of Heroes, or you could repeatedly hit yourself on the head with a brick. The effect is surprisingly similar." At Metacritic, the Heroes pilot received a 67/, with generally favorable reviews from critics. The show was declared the fourth highest rated show for the first ten years of IMDbPro (–).
Season two received generally positive reviews, but was criticized by commentators and fans for a much slower pace, less engaging storyline and lack of focus compared to the first season. Milo Ventimiglia stated that "when there's a little bit of a delay, there's not that instant, rewarding scene or moment or episode people get impatient, so it has been extremely important for them to strike a balance between giving and getting." In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Heroes creator Tim Kring commented on criticisms of season two, and the series' 15% decline in ratings. Kring said that he felt he had made mistakes with the direction of season two. He had thought that the audience was looking for a "build-up of characters and the discovery of their powers", when viewers were instead looking for "adrenaline." Kring also outlined what he felt were problems with plot development, stating that season two "took too long to get to the big-picture story", explaining that Peter's vision of the viral armageddon should have occurred in the first episode instead of the seventh. He feels that it would have been better to introduce new characters within the context of the main storyline, as with Elle, rather than in unattached arcs such as that of Maya and Alejandro. Kring also admitted that he should have resolved the "Hiro in Japan" storyline much more quickly, and that the romantic stories were not working well. With regard to Claire and West, and Hiro and Yaeko, he said, "I've seen more convincing romances on TV. In retrospect, I don't think romance is a natural fit for us."
Seasons three and four had an equally harsh reception. The Los Angeles Times said "Even just a half-hour in, it's difficult not to wish everyone would just lighten the heck up. The graphic novel noir feel is becoming increasingly oppressive, and everyone is just so grim." The New York Post said "This show, which was once so thrilling and fun, has become full of itself, its characters spouting crazy nonsense."
Awards and nominations
By the time Heroes completed the first half of the first season, the show had already collected an assortment of honors and accolades. On December 13, , the Writers Guild of America nominated the program for "best new series" of  On December 14, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association nominated the program for a Golden Globe Award for "best television drama", and nominated Masi Oka (Hiro Nakamura) for Best Supporting Actor on a TV Series. On January 9, , Heroes won the award for Favorite New TV Drama at the 33rd People's Choice Awards. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People nominated Heroes on January 9, for an Image Award in the "Outstanding Drama Series" category. On February 21, , Heroes was nominated for five Saturn Awards. The nominations included "Best Network Television Series", "Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series" for both Greg Grunberg and Masi Oka, and "Best Supporting Actress in a Television Series" for Hayden Panettiere and Ali Larter. On February 22, , it was announced that Heroes was again nominated for five Saturn Awards. The nominations for include "Best Network Television Series," "Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series" for both Greg Grunberg and Masi Oka, "Best Supporting Actress in a Television Series" for Hayden Panettiere, and "Best Television Series on DVD." The nominations are similar to the nominations, except Ali Larter was not nominated this year; instead the Heroes Season one DVD was nominated, in a different category.
On July 19, , the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced their nominations for the Primetime Emmy Awards. Heroes was nominated in eight categories, including Outstanding Drama Series. The first episode, "Genesis", earned six nominations: Outstanding Directing (David Semel), Outstanding Art Direction for a Single-Camera Series, Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series, Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series, and Outstanding Stunt Coordination. The episode "Five Years Gone" also received a nomination for Outstanding Visual Effects for a Series. Masi Oka was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. On September 16, , the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards were held and Heroes failed to win a single Emmy award despite the eight nominations. On July 21, , the Television Critics Association awarded Heroes with the prestigious Outstanding Program of the Year title during their 23rd Annual TCA Awards ceremony. The cast of Heroes was named in the Time magazine's Person of the Year issue under "People Who Mattered".
The pilot episode generated million viewers, with the season high topping out at million viewers for episode 9. When the series returned from hiatus on January 22, , the ratings averaged about the same as the pilot with million viewers. When the show went on a second hiatus during the first season, from March 4, to April 23, (7 weeks), ratings hit a new low; the lowest being million viewers during part one of the three part finale, "The Hard Part." In season two, the opener gained the highest rating of the entire series, however, week-by-week, the ratings declined, reaching another new low for the series on episode seven, "Out of Time", with only million viewers. Although the ratings were lower than average, this episode was considered to be a turning point for the declining season, as a major plot twist was introduced and the volume's "big picture storyline" was presented. The season two/volume 2 finale generated million viewers in the ratings, down more than 3 million viewers from the season opener and series pilot.
While the show premiered with high ratings, ratings slowly diminished throughout its run. The first episode of season two was the highest viewed, whereas each successive season had fewer viewers than the one preceding it.
Season three of Heroes started with strong ratings that dropped steadily throughout the season. The season's finale placed last in its timeslot.
The season four premiere of Heroes was the lowest rated episode of the series to that point, averaging million viewers. Despite the season's low ratings, executive producer Tim Kring was "fully expecting" a fifth season. However, while creator Kring was hopeful over the show's future, many media insiders were not so confident. There was growing speculation on some news sites that NBC would cancel the series at the conclusion of its fourth season or that it might renew the show for a fifth and final season by ordering either 6 or 13 episodes and possibly airing them as a backup or mid-season replacement. On May 14, , NBC made it official that Heroes was indeed cancelled.
|Season||Timeslot (EDT)||Season premiere||Season finale||TV season||U.S. viewers|
|U.S. live viewers + DVR||UK viewership (BBC2)|
|1||Monday pm||September 25,||May 21,||–|
|2||Monday pm||September 24,||December 3,||–|
|3||Monday pm||September 22,||April 27,||–|
|4||Monday pm ()|
Monday pm ()
|September 21,||February 8,||–||||N/A||N/A|
Promotions and fandom
Following the debut of Heroes in , the taglineSave the Cheerleader, Save the World was recognized within the television industry as an effective marketing device. In , NBC also created a Heroes parody titled Zeroes. Zeroes, which was released as a viral video on sites including YouTube, features parodies including four chapters and an open audition. Development and production of the project was kept secret from Kring. NBC hosted panels at the , , , and Comic-Cons in San Diego to promote the series. Major announcements have been made during the panel, along with sneak peeks of forthcoming seasons. In , the Heroes panel presented the entire season one minute pilot. In the first half of the season three premiere was shown. Comic-Con also allows the cast and crew to answer questions from the press and from fans. On July 21, , Kring announced that cast and crew members of Heroes would travel the world for the Heroes World Tour to promote the season one DVD release and the forthcoming season two. The tour took place in North America (New York and Toronto), Asia (Singapore, Tokyo, and Hong Kong) and Europe (Munich, Paris and London). The tour began on August 26, and ended on September 1,  The post-hardcore bands Alesana and I See Stars have both respectively named songs after the show, "This Is Usually the Part Where People Scream" and "Save the Cheerleader".
The first DVD release of Heroes was a sampler disc, containing only the first episode, and was released in Ireland and the UK on September 3,  UK Region 2 split Heroes into two-halves on its initial release; part one being released on October 1, and part two on December 10,  When the second part was released, a complete first season boxset was also released on the same day on both DVD and HD DVD formats The complete first season DVD includes nearly 3 hours of bonus features including: an extended minute version of the pilot episode with audio commentary; 50 deleted and extended scenes; behind the scenes featurettes, including the making of Heroes, stunts, a profile of artist Tim Sale, and the score; and audio commentaries with cast, crew and Kring. On February 22, , the Heroes Season One DVD was nominated for a Saturn Award, in the category of "Best Television Series on DVD." The complete first season was released in USA and Canada on August 28,  It was released in Australia and New Zealand on September 17, 
Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced that the first and second seasons would be released on Blu-ray on August 26, , the same date as the DVD release of the second season. Specifications and bonus features include: Generations Alternate Ending; Inside the Alternate Ending: What if Peter didn't catch the virus?; untold stories that didn't make it on air; Season three sneak peek; deleted scenes; a documentary on Takezo Kensei; behind the scenes featurettes; NBC.com featurettes; and audio commentaries with cast, crew and show creator Tim Kring. The complete second season was released on July 28, in the UK. Season 2 was released on October 1, in New Zealand and Australia.
The Season 3 DVD Box set was released in North America on September 1, , and in Australia on September 2, with an alternative cover, and in the UK on October 12, 
The Season 4 DVD Box set was released on August 3, in the US and on October 4, in the UK.
The Complete Series DVD Box set was released on November 16, in the US.
In Canada, Heroes episodes run concurrently with the NBC first-run on the Global Television Network, Mondays at 10 p.m. ET. A Canadian French-dubbed version of season one also airs on TVA, Thursdays at p.m. and two episodes of season two on Mystère (addikTV), Mondays at p.m.
The first season aired in Australia on the Seven Network Wednesday nights at p.m. The series debuted strongly, attracting more than 2 million viewers in five of the capital cities. To keep viewer numbers high the Seven Network began showing the second season on Thursday nights at p.m. across all areas, a week after the US screening. The third season began airing on October 9, , and Volume 4 began airing on April 23,  Because of low ratings, it was pushed back half-an-hour to p.m. after Scrubs and the season concluded July 9, The Sci-Fi (available through Foxtel, Optus TV and Austar) screened season two re-runs in late From June , season three is screening on the Sci-Fi Channel in Australia. Season four aired, approximately one month behind the US, on Seven's new digital channel 7Two, on November 4, at the new time of Wednesdays p.m. It started with the double premiere and had double episode runs instead of one episode a week, until it caught up to the US, after that it began to air episodes once a week at p.m. It currently airs on Thursdays p.m. on 7Two.
In the United Kingdom, the series first aired on February 19, on digital channel Sci Fi UK. The series averaged , viewers, which is almost four times more viewers than those of other programs on Sci Fi UK. The series was then picked up by the BBC, which gave season one its terrestrial premiere from July 25 to December 5, on BBC Two. Season two of Heroes first aired from April 24 to July 3, on BBC Two, attracting around million viewers. Season three began on October 1, and gained million viewers. Season four began on January 9, , but viewership as of February 8 had declined to just million.
In Indonesia, Season 1 aired on Trans TV on weeknights starting from January 31, at p.m. WIB. All subsequent seasons aired on Trans7 on Wednesdays starting from August 6, at p.m. WIB.
Ubisoft announced that they had licensed the rights to produce a Heroes video game; however, the company later chose to give the rights back to NBCUniversal.Gameloft released the first Heroes mobile game on October 5, It consists of 8 levels and playable characters include Hiro Nakamura, Niki Sanders and Peter Petrelli.
Each week, NBC released a Heroes webcomic. The comics gave additional character background and plot information not shown in the television episodes. The graphic novels continued on a weekly basis during the show's summer hiatus. Wildstorm, a subsidiary of DC Comics, released them in published form on November 7,  The first collected volume included novels 1–34, and featured two different covers by Alex Ross and Jim Lee as well as an introduction by Masi Oka and artwork by Tim Sale. The second volume included 35– It has an advertisement for a third volume, that would at least have 81–, and more, and it was scheduled for fall For unknown reasons, it missed this deadline and has not been released.
On December 26, , the first Heroes novel was published, titled Saving Charlie. Written by Aury Wallington, who wrote the book with the full cooperation of the Heroes writing staff, the novel revolves around the relationship of Hiro Nakamura and Charlie Andrews, when Hiro went back in time six months to attempt to save her.
Titan Magazines released the first issue of Heroes Magazine on November 20, It is the first of a series of six, slated to be released bi-monthly. The first issue is a page premiere issue. Feature articles include a cast group interview, a secret origins featurette, and a season one episode guide.Greg Beeman, executive producer of Heroes has confirmed that this is an official Heroes release, with the full support and cooperation of Tim Kring and the rest of the Heroes production team. The magazine ceased publication with the twelfth issue.
Mezco announced at Toy Fair that they would be producing a line of action figures based on the television show Heroes. The first series, Series I, includes Peter Petrelli, Claire Bennet, Hiro Nakamura, Sylar and Mohinder Suresh. The second series, Series II, includes Niki Sanders/Jessica Sanders, Noah Bennet, Daniel Linderman, Matt Parkman (with Molly Walker) and Claude.
Television and radio
See also: Heroes Unmasked and The Post Show
Heroes Unmasked is a series on BBC that goes behind-the-scenes of the production of Heroes. Many details of Heroes are revealed. Among them are props, set design, blue and green screen animation, and special effects and costuming. The first two series of this show were narrated by Anthony Head, the third by Santiago Cabrera. U.S. network G4 began airing Heroes episodes on November 3, , along with an American version of Heroes Unmasked titled The Post Show. The series, which will air following Heroes, includes interviews, live viewer commentary, interactive polls, behind-the-scenes footage and other Heroes content. U.S. Network MOJO HD also aired Heroes episodes in High Definition. However, that network left the air at the start of December , and on the day and date of MOJO's discontinuation G4 launched their HD simulcast feed, thus now carrying the show in both regular and high definition forms.
In November , the BBC made four short '2 Dimensional' films where actors from the series look through a '2' shaped hole into a room that reflects the character they play in Heroes. A new short was revealed just before episode one of season three aired on BBC2, featuring Masi Oka staring into an anime-styled montage of Hiro.
BBC7 radio broadcast "Heroes—The Official Radio Show" with Jon Holmes, every Saturday at on BBC7 DAB digital radio. The program was also available as a podcast.
Internet and digital extensions
See also: Heroes Evolutions
The Heroes production team also has official series content on the internet. Writers Joe Pokaski and Aron Coleite hold a "Question and Answer" column hosted by Comic Book Resources titled "Behind the Eclipse". Show producer and director Greg Beeman also posts weekly on his blog where he discusses how the episode is filmed and gives spoilers for the upcoming episode.
Heroes Evolutions, released on January 19, , is a digital extension of the series that explores the Heroes universe and provides clues to the show's mythology. It was titled Heroes Experience throughout the first season and rebranded for the second season.Heroes Interactive is an interactive web page that began operation on January 29, , during the airing of "The Fix". Hosted at NBC.com, it offers behind the scenes information, polls, trivia, and quizzes, as well as recent posts by Hana Gitelman. The features air once a week, and are designed to be viewed concurrently with that week's episode.
Complete episodes of Heroes are available online, to US residents only, along with downloads through the "NBC Direct" service. Episodes are also available on iTunes in p High Definition, although they were unavailable for a few months when NBC and Apple Inc. were unable to come to a renewal deal. Seasons 1, 2, 3, and 4 are currently available for streaming via subscription on Netflix, Amazon Video, and Hulu Plus.
NBC Universal announced on April 2, , that NBC Digital Entertainment would release a series on online content for the summer and fall of , including more original web content and webisodes. Heroes webisodes are expected to air through an extension of the Heroes Evolutions in July. Other media and digital extensions announced include an online manhunts for the villains, the addition of more micro sites that allow the users to uncover more of the Heroes universe, wireless iTV interactivity and the ability to view the graphic novel on mobile platforms.
Create Your Hero is a fan-based, interactive promotion on NBC.com, which calls upon Heroes fans to vote on various personalities and physical attributes for the creation of a new hero. The new hero "[comes] to life" in an original, live-action series run exclusively on NBC.com. The promotion is sponsored by Sprint. The first hero created by this process, Santiago, has the dual powers of enhanced probability and superhuman speed. He began appearing in the live-action web series, Heroes: Destiny, on November 10, (sweeps week). On October 18, , Heroes Wiki announced that it had officially partnered with NBC. NBC now directs those interested in a wiki on Heroes to Heroes Wiki, and directly funds the site in exchange for the site running advertisements for the network.
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6/10Season One was amazing, then the writers were apparently replaced by marsupials!
MartinHafer2 JuneWarning: Spoilers
I'd have to give the first season of HEROES either a 9 or a It was brilliantly written and the characters were very engaging. However, apparently NBC thought that the writers were expendable and for season two and beyond, marsupials were chosen to write the episodes. My theory is that wombats began writing it, my daughter thinks they are Tazmanian Devils--either way, this is great stuff if written by animals with little gray matter in their primitive brains. If, on the off chance, humans are still writing the show, then they really should be ashamed. Why ashamed? Well, apparently what has happened in previous seasons ISN'T particularly important and characters do things from season to season that are inconsistent--making all the characters seem like they have schizophrenia! This is especially true when Sylar becomes "Mrs. Clever" for a while and Mohinder, fighting to cure everyone, then deliberately infects himself?!?!?! What were they thinking?! In addition, some characters began with such promise but the new writers of seasons two and three apparently forgot that the characters should grow and develop--not seem pathetic and stupid. As an example, I point to Hiro. He was very likable and naive as the show began but you knew that his character would evolve into something greater. But, in season two and three he was still pretty much an idiot with no growth and apparently not much common sense (I point to his letting the letter from the safe fall out of his hands so quickly as well as his letting his arch-enemy out of the coffin--two really dumb moves). Now, instead of cute, he's just annoying. In fact, by season three they ALL were pretty much annoying and week to week their actions varied so much you thought the writers were just picking plot points out of a hat or they hated their fan base so much they WANTED to alienate them!! My advice, then, is to watch season one and just stop. Season two is bad but don't even try watching it because three only gets a lot worse!! Geez, I hope that the show gets canceled soon! I hate it for pulling me in and keeping me watching week after week only to find that ultimately there is NO payoff!!
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7/10Incredible start, then fizzled
This show started with an incredible premise. Everyday people starts to have superpowers. Each one discover their power and try to deal with it. There is also serial killer Sylar who discovers a way to kill these special people and take their powers.
Like the brightest of stars, they burn hottest but don't last. This show fizzled as the story got more and more complicated. The vast number of characters with unique superpowers gets out of hand. There are too many to maintain. Like a truck overloaded, it just couldn't continue and rolled over. By the 2nd or 3rd season, this show gets increasingly convoluted and becoming almost unwatchable. They try to reboot the 4th season by adding a whole new set of people and a circus. Of course, it didn't work and the show was canceled. The first season is a 9 or even 10 but it's a long slide into 4 territory at the end.
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I have to agree with another reviewer that wrote that the show starts off good. I have to disagree with the notion of only rating and reviewing a show based on a couple of episodes or even just one season. You have to see the whole package. Something that is also true of our heroes on display here. The variety at the beginning is something that is great to see.
The fact it gets predictable and jumps the shark quite early (even season 2 one might say). There are too many coincidences, too many convinient things happening, too predictable, too much hoping and giving the viewers all the characters almost all the time. And then there are character developments that are just plain well not good to say the least. Flipping and switching to serve a narrative or artificially heighten the tension.
You may accuse me of being too harsh and you may not care for some of those things. But I am laying them out there for you, not that they are hard to spot. So it is up to you to decide what weight you see in certain things and what matters most to you. I always follow through with watching stuff, even when I lose interest. But I want to able to know where something is going clearly the makers didn't think the last season here, would actually be the last season. I have not researched but there may be a continuation in comic books, something Buffy and Angel did for example. Whatever the case, it will leave you with an uneven feeling
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jboothmillard9 DecemberWarning: Spoilers
We've seen all these superhero films and programmes where most of them (apart from Batman) have come from other planets or have been affected by earthly accidents, but this is just purely human evolution, and a great programme. I actually saw a large poster for the show near the walk of fame when I was in America. Basically every episode see all heroes, and villains, trying to get their way in society, but will be brought together by a big fate that will affect the entire world. The characters are part of the reason why the show is such a gripping show, and even with various stories going on, there is always one that grips you and means you have to keep watching. I must admit the show started a little slowly, but the acting and great special effects more than made up, and I couldn't get enough after a couple more episodes, can't wait for more! Starring Hayden Panettiere as Claire Bennet (who can heal), her adoptive Dad, Jack Coleman as H.R.G. L. Hawkins (who can go through things, e.g. walls, people), Santiago Cabrera as Isaac Mendez (who could paint the future, now dead), Adair Tishler as Molly Walker (who can find anybody with an ability by just thinking about them), Tawny Cypress as Simone Deveaux, Randall Bentley as Lyle Bennet (Noah's son), Elizabeth Lackey as Matt's wife, Janice Parkman, Nora Zehetner as Eden McCain (who could persuade people to do anything, now dead), Matthew John Armstrong as Ted Sprague (who has firey/radiation/nuclear abilities), Clea DuVall as cop Audrey Hanson, Star Trek's George Takei as Kaito Nakamura (Hiro's Dad), Missy Peregrym as Candice Wilmer (who can become someone else, and can make people see something else), Eric Roberts as Thompson (the company's boss, now dead), Matt Lanter as Claire's friend, Brody Mitchum, Christopher Eccleston as Claude (with invisibility), Shaft's Richard Roundtree as Charles Deveaux, Malcolm McDowell as Mr. Linderman (the big mob leader, who also had the power to bring things back to life, e.g. flower, now dead) and many others. This is just as good as, if not better, than Lost. It has won and been nominated for numerous awards, including 8 Emmys and 2 Golden Globes. Very good!
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8/10Why'd it have to end?
A handful of people, scattered across the world, begin to display special abilities(and they are handled better than just about any other in this medium; they are creative both in the choices and their use this is the way to do this sort of thing; they even manage to do a lot of unique match-ups, to keep things interesting), and as they try to handle them in their own ways, they are hunted, switch alliances and in general things happen to keep your attention throughout. The powers include manipulating time(or matter), flight, telepathy, telekinesis, regeneration, etc. There are many characters(some of them do disappear and don't get used, unfortunately), and time is spent developing all of them(not to mention that the majority of them are memorable, such as the empathy-laden male nurse Peter, the guarded and tough cheerleader Claire, the driven Mohinder and the enigmatic, eerie figure of Sylar), so we care when things happen, and there is room for a lot of different plots not to mention genres(high school teen stuff, drama, love, comedy with several types of humor, horror and sci-fi). Much of the time, it is smartly written, with twists and revelations that change everything. We get fantastic antagonists, a growing scope(without it losing touch or getting to be excessive we can (just about!) always follow what's going on) and we visit numerous environments(and periods!). The various factions are largely easy to keep track of. Each season has a compelling story-line and follows up(not always entirely satisfactorily, mind you) on what has happened up until that point well, the first, third and fourth are marvelous, the second one is so-so. The acting and pace is mostly solid. There are some anti-climaces, particularly in the finales. Then again, there are countless unforgettable moments in this. I never cared for the main score, but some will like it. And yes, this does stoop to the lowest common denominator and use sex, occasionally(there are far worse offenders out there). There is a bit of bloody, brutal and gory violence and disturbing content in this. The DVD sets come with commentaries, featurettes and deleted/extended scenes, usually worth the time, informational, amusing and really show you what a labor of love this entire show was. I recommend this to everyone open to it. It's clever, fun, at times downright brilliant, explores universal themes well and delivers awesome action the likes of which you won't see anywhere else on film. 8/10
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Being that I'm a huge comic book fan I was probably the easiest viewer to lure in. I only required the requisite superhuman powers, some good special effects and a good story, the acting was all secondary. Heroes definitely delivered on the first three, and the acting wasn't all that bad either.
That being said, the first two seasons were very strong, the last two seasons not so much. In fact, the last two seasons I thought it was the Hayden Panettiere show. Between her being at the center of everything and the ill-conceived plot lines, I grew tired of the show. I only hoped for a fifth season so that it could end on a better note.
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6/10Season 1 made me think this was going to be one of the best superheroes show
The concept of this show is about people with special powers similar to mutants in the Marvel universe. And how the characters cope with it and what they decide to do with it. The main drive of this show isn't necessarily the the superpowers, but the subconscious and the philosophical aspects that revolve around power. Unfortunately this is one of those shows that has a very captivating and entertaining first season, but goes downhill from there. It probably has to do with the fact that after the first season it was first planned to introduce new characters with brand new main characters with just Suresh (who is sort of the Beast character from the Marvel universe without the furriness). Which didn't go into effect because they wanted to keep the main cast that become dis-likable and annoying as the seasons drags on. The writer strike could have been a big factor why the show started to go downhill after season 1. I think season 2 was the most boring season of all. Season 3 it sort of picks up, but just about everything is so inconsistent with the story and the character that it takes away a lot form the experience. The 4th season revolves around a mutant carnival and they just seemed to drag that on way too much. And the constant love, hate relationship between Claire Bennet (Hayden Panettiere) and Noah Bennet (Jack Coleman) gets really really annoyingLike super annoying and irritating. As a matter of fact most of the chemistry that starts out strong in the first season goes downhill. The story gets poorly written for each season after one that even the characters decisions and motives makes no sense sometimes. Especially the villains in the shows, including Sylar. And to increase the running time of the show, it has multiple story arcs that doesn't go anywhere. One of the most disappointing part about the show is the showdown between Peter and Sylar. The constant plot-holes and tons of time paradoxes when it comes to time travel doesn't make things better. Overall this is a show that has a good start but gets worse and worse with each installment. Who knows, maybe just maybe the fifth season could have been a boost with the world knowing about super humans and might go in the direction like "True Blood" except people with super powers going out into the public. And Sylar's redemption might have been cool to watch. To sum it up it's one of those shows that soars skyward with the first season and spirals downward. I give this show a /10 because I found some of the philosophical aspects to be intriguing.
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Heroes's Pilot is one of the best hours of television you will get. It is full of mystery, great characters, and very intriguing plot lines. Of course, throughout the first season Heroes remains one of the best shows on TV. The characters are all great, especially Ali Larter and Adrian Pasdar. The dilemmas that the characters go through are more complicated than the regular supernatural show has to offer. Even if the finale was not as action-packed as one could hope, the 1st season still ended on a high.
However, the 2nd season started a bit slow in the first couple of episodes. Once the 2nd season was over, I realized that it was not nearly as great as the 1st. The same thing with the 3rd season. It has convulted story lines and way too many insignificant characters. Heroes had become what I feared from the start. All of the inter-wining story lines had become so mixed up that it was so difficult to even remember all of them, and that is why I stopped watching it more than midway in the 3rd season. I just did not care anymore. From what I have heard, the 4th season was the same.
So, do yourself a favor and please watch the Pilot. If you like it, then chances are that you will really like the rest of the season. But beware, the 2nd season is when the show rapidly deteriorates and by the 3rd season you will find yourself not caring. That is my opinion however. For me this is a one-season wonder, but damn, is that 1st season really amazing!
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9/10Much Better Than Most Science Fiction Movies
12 January Perhaps it had to happen, but the day of television once surpassed by mega-budget, superstars of theatrical films and movies still has the potential to surprise, delight, and produce a film media experience that can rival and perhaps surpass that of any movie endeavor for the very reasons that movies are what they are. Heroes is a superlative mini-series that enables detailed character development, movie arcs that continue for many, many hour over time to create a visceral experience that movies such as X-Men or the Fantastic 4 can never truly deliver. Heroes really is a progressively, qualitatively more mature, more sensitive, more authentic look at superheros, that even Spiderman is only able to achieve over its so far three movie series. Even so, movie seem to each have a beginning and end plot, except for such epics as Lord of the Rings as a rare exception. Heroes in another words deserves to compete and be considered among the best of science fiction movie/film experiences and in such a venue, it can easily match most of them for performance, quality special effects, and outshine them in terms of storyline and emotional impact. Nine out of Ten Stars.
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2/10What a joke.
The reviews of Heroes on the IMDb make perfect sense. Reviews written at the beginning of season 1 are absolutely glowing, people couldn't stop talking about how great the show was. Then as the season dragged on, the truth started to come out. You begin to notice that everyone has these super-powers but are all reluctant to use them, and for the dumbest imaginable reasons. One guy wants to pretend he can't fly because he's afraid it will hurt his political career. And it doesn't help that he is one of the most dislikable characters in the series.
After only a few episodes you will begin to notice that the vast majority of the show is composed of one cheesy scene after another, all strung together along a flimsy clothesline of a plot, which serves as little more than a vague direction along which to bombard us with a horizonless barrage of pseudo-revelations that constantly lead nowhere. After ten episodes, you don't know any more about what is going on than you did when you first saw previews for the series, it's a classic example of always promising that in the next episode you will learn something, but you never do. This is some of the worst writing I have ever seen on broadcast television.
The problem is that you have one single problem that the show needs to solve a bomb that supposedly blows up New York City a catastrophe dreamed up by a graphic artist who can paint the future if he happens to have enough heroin flowing through his veins (I know, I know, this is great stuff to be piping into American homes but wait, it gets funnier). In order to stop this, a Japanese software engineer must use his ability to stop time to do something. Also, a young man who can absorb the powers of other must use his gift to do something. And an up-and-coming politician must ignore his power to fly so that instead of making use of his superhuman ability he can do something. Also, a cheerleader who can't be injured must also ignore her power to instantly heal even the most catastrophic injuries so that instead of using her power she can do something. Anything? Nothing? Save the cheerleader, save the world? Am I really hearing this?
Well, get ready, because that is the whole series. One of the biggest problems is that there are no rules established. There are no parameters within which these people can use their powers. Their powers either work or they don't work, and there is no reason given. We are just as clueless as the characters, which makes it impossible for the show to generate any tension or even drama. In an atmosphere where anything can happen for any (or no) reason, it is impossible to know how to react or to react at all. The writers try to break all the rules with this show, only to learn that the rules are there for a reason.
The part of Hiro Nakamura, the Japanese man who can stop time, is a breath of fresh air in what is otherwise a plodding and intolerably cheesy soap opera with an occasional special effect. It's like the show wants to attract the science fiction crowd and the daytime TV crowd, but not only doesn't realize that these two audiences are about as polarly opposite as audiences get. Not that they would know how to please either one individually anyway. What a mess.
Every episode is book-ended with goofy, melodramatic monologues which serve only as vain attempts to impose meaning onto material which not only has none but couldn't possibly support any even if the writers weren't no-talent hacks. These rants are read by Mohinder Suresh, one of the show's goofiest characters, wildly overacted from start to finish and with an intolerable fake accent by Sendhil Ramamurthy. And don't try to tell me that accent is real, the guy is a frat boy from Massachussetts who was born in Chicago. I wonder if he has ever set foot in India. Couldn't they find an actor with a real Indian accent who couldn't act, rather than an actor with a fake Indian accent who can't act?
And it doesn't help that Suresh spends much of his time on feverish missions, desperately trying to "find these peopleand warn them!" He breathlessly seeks out a little boy who has been making appearances in his dreams, only to find him and hear, "You already have the answers you seek." What a great way to string along your audience and then laugh in their faces.
As an interesting note, Hiro is played by Masi Oka, a digital effects artist with Industrial Light and Magic who has an astonishing resume. He is great in this show, it's just too bad that nothing else is.
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9/10A fantastic show
taylorkingston9 MayWarning: Spoilers
I love this show. My favorite Season 1, then 2, then 3, and then finally, 4. So literally, it declined every season, which was sad, but by the time it got cancelled, I wasn't that heartbroken, that was good. It's just a great show with a great concept, a lot of awesome characters, some that leave the show early on and some that come in, and a whole heap of amazing actors and actresses.
This show is about heroes, obviously. All over the world, yet mainly the United States and literally only one other country, people start to realize that they have special abilities, and soon they find each other, and learn that they must save the world.
Overall, I give this TV show a 9 out of 10, which in my ratings book is: Amazing.
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9/10An Honest Review
I loved it, the premise was great for comic book fans. Even the first season adverts "Save the Cheerleader, save the world" promised something insanely different, totally unique.
It proved to be so and, watching as the characters progressed throughout the season, we saw a kind of development that is rarely even seen in the new golden age of television.
It was pure escapism, escape, more specifically from the police procedural that have dominated every aspect of TV drama since the first Law & Order spin off. It broke from a formula that revolved too much around new and refreshing.
And then it ended, it ended on a cliffhanger that was never resolved only to be brought back as a shadow of its former self in an effort to cash in on the blockbuster super-hero movies.
It's death was no where near what it, or the fans, deserved.
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10/10This is how you make television
Heroes is a great show, a shinning example of American culture and how television is challenge cinema for quality. Heroes has been seen as a television version of X-Men, but hey, that's why I like it.
The show focus on a good of people who are starting to discover that they have superpowers: these including flying and healing to bending time and space and absorbing other powers. In the first season there was a major story arcs involving stopping New York from being destroyed, avoid and stop a serial killer called Sylar (Zachary Quinto) and avoid capture by a mysterious government organisation called the 'Company'.
The show is very entertaining, with lots of drama and action and a little comedy, but also treats the audience with some intelligence; having many complex concepts and ideas and hidden clues, sub-plots, complex characters which makes people care for them. It's set in many locations, New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Texas, Japan, India, and in the second series the show has added Latin America, Cork and Japan in The show is brilliant written, with plans to make five series and then stop. There are many interlinking plots and unlike a show like Lost, does raise too many questions and actually answers them. It also has some like comic book easter eggs such as a cameo by Stan Lee and Jeph Loeb placing some of his works in the show, e.g. Hulk Grey. It is a well acted show, from young stars like Noah Gray-Cabey and Hayden Panettiere to more seasoned veterans like Greg Grunberg and Zachary Quinto. The show has also attracted some good guest stars, such as Malcolm McDowell, Christopher Eccleston and George Takei. Heroes is also shot with a comic book in mind. The art shown in the programme is comic book art and any writing, such as place names or subtitles is done in the style of comic book writing. It is more successful then the Hulk movie at using the comic book style and doesn't overdo it.
Heroes is great television, 10/10 and I hope for more shows of this quality to come in the near future.
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10/10I absolutely love this show!
If I could give "Heroes" a rating higher than 10, then believe me, I would give it an 11 in a heartbeat. It wasn't long after "Heroes" was announced a few years back that it took me all of two seconds to think this was going to be a rip-off of the X-Men. I'm a comic book reader, and a reader of both Spider-Man and the X-Men (among many other superhero titles from Marvel Comics, a select few from DC Comics, and several independent labels), so you can bet that I did look to "Heroes" with a bit of skepticism. But "Heroes" is so much different, and so much more. The characters are real people that we can all identify with and are not comic book caricatures (though the nods to the comic book fantasy that inspired it are everywhere). (In this way, "Heroes" can be readily accessible to those who don't even read comics.) But yes, in "Heroes," the creation of series originator Tim Kring (who no question has sorted through comic book lore with a fine-toothed comb), ordinary people do wake up one day to find that they have extraordinary abilities, and the show deals with their attempts to understand their powers and come to terms with their new super-powered lots in life and of course, "save the cheerleader, save the world." A fine cast that includes several movie veterans like Milo Ventimiglia (Peter Petrelli), Hayden Panettiere (Claire Bennett), Adrian Pasdar (Peter's brother, Nathan), Greg Grunberg (Matt Parkman), and Ali Larter (Niki/Jessica Sanders) and unknown newcomers such as Santiago Cabrera (Isaac Mendez), Leonard Roberts (D.L. Hawkins, Niki's convict ex-husband), Noah-Gray Cabey (Niki and D.L.'s son, Micah Sanders), Sendhil Ramamurthy (Mohinder Suresh), Zachary Quinto (Gabriel "Sylar" Gray), and Golden Globe-nominee Masi Oka (Hiro Nakamura) is top-notch and flawless; special appearances by Malcolm McDowell, Eric Roberts, and George Takei make the experience even more fun. I don't watch much network television, but "Heroes" is without question my favorite show on the air right now. I can't wait for season two.
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8/10Heroes Is One of A Kind!
ShelbyTMItchell17 AugustWarning: Spoilers
Heroes really kind of helped the last placed NBC network a bit of a boost. Though not that much. Still it is a one of a kind show. Where different kind of people from the different walks of life. Try to live their days ordinary.
But in the end, they find out that they have special powers. Hence the title. As they do not have Clark Kent turning into Superman or Bruce Wayne as Batman. But just "ordinary" people with extraordinary powers.
Like Claire the cheerleader can regenerate, cop Matt who can read people's minds, lawyer turned politician Nathan who can fly, the list goes on.
As the tag line once read "Save the Cheerleader, save the world" hence referring to Claire. Heroes wished that it could had grown over more years as darn NBC had to cancel it. Still a cool show!
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Serials are sometimes very difficult to follow. But Heroes is a fine example of the tight plot, great effects, superb playing of the actors and the breathtaking pace. The idea is not very new, a bunch of psychic and super power people try to save the world. Here, the trite plot is embellished greatly by the electric performance and the smashing effects. And the heroes - Claire, Sylar, Peter, Nathan, Micah - they are so endearing and dangerous and thrilling. The serial is very smart as it never gets so banal, and then there is Hiro, my favorite Hero! He does a very comic and heroic work, he is the light and the real fun of the film. Hiro shines all through the film. He alone is worth the whole series
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9/10Suspense and great drama
"Heroes" is a great show that has a lot of similarities with the X-men comics. Note that I say comics and not movies. While I liked the first two X-men movies,the comics are different and far superior to the live action movies. In short "Heroes" is about several characters finding about their special powers and using these powers for good or evil. Like in the comic books there are many sides to one tale and you will experience this with "Heroes". Episode 20 of season 1 shows an alternate universe that gives a deeper look on the darker side of some characters. The way this show is made reminds me of reading a comic(graphic novel). The number of twists and turns get higher each episode. Every episode is more thrilling than the last and manages to build up the tension beyond expectation. Apart from the suspense I like the fact that we really get to know the main characters. Much depth is given and the result is that the characters are likable and even lovable. The drama surrounding these characters are touching and moving. While there wasn't that much action in the beginning it sure has picked up now and there is more than you hope for! "Heroes" is a must see show! I would like to add that this review is mostly a comment for the first and second season. Because I have very mixed feelings about the last two seasons. It still offered great drama. The character development however for some main characters was immensely lacking. I also didn't like the way they handled the use of powers in the last two seasons. Some powerful heroes could lose their powers in an instant while the villains only became stronger. It would have been nice to see heroes with incredible powers failing in their objectives. That would have been so more dramatic. Let's forget about the attention to Claire who in my eyes was pretty annoying most of the time although she had some redeeming scenes.The writers should have realized that she wasn't the most interesting. Hiro was one of the best characters and they really did a number on him in the last two seasons. But even then he managed to outshine almost everybody in the few scenes he got. Still strange that we didn't get to see Hiro develop in the future bad ass we get to meet in the first season. Overall Heroes is a great but flawed drama. Only the first season was near perfect.
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10/10As far as I'm concerned, the answer to the question "Are you on the list?" is "Yes."
Victor Field25 MayWarning: Spoilers
(Viewers reading this who haven't seen all of the first season, proceed with caution.)
Ever since "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" ended, there's been something missing in my TV viewing; there's been a gap for something essential, something that's a true appointment. Though I watched "Charmed" from first episode to last, that wasn't it; "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost" also don't really count.
And then along came "Heroes."
At the time of writing, it's airing on the UK Sci-Fi Channel (but they sadly won't have season two thanks to the BBC), but I've managed to see the entire first Volume; maybe the season finale didn't have all the expected fireworks, but that's pretty much in keeping with a series which puts people above FX. In any case, what's come before has been too effective for this to count as a letdown - yeah yeah, it's not blazingly original, but what matters is how it's executed, and Tim Kring and chums executed it well without a genuinely bad episode in the bunch; some better than others, but no stinkers. In fact, you can come up with a by-no-means-comprehensive list of 23 good things about "Heroes" (one for each chapter):
1. The eclipse logo.
2. The presence of Bryan Fuller on the first season roster (any show involving him will be worth a look).
3. The fact that they aren't obliged to have all the characters every week.
4. Not explaining everything, but not leaving almost everything hanging either.
5. Hiro (who's been exulted over extensively elsewhere, so I won't add to it).
6. Future Hiro.
7. James Kyson Lee as Ando. As deserving as Masi Oka is, Mr. Lee doesn't get enough credit for being a sidekick who's almost a hero himself.
8. The moment when Claude shoved Peter off the top of a building to his non-death, which confirmed that Milo Ventimiglia has improved since his days of annoying me deeply on "Gilmore girls." Because I DIDN'T wish he'd splatter over the tarmac and never come back.
9. "Save the cheerleader, save the world."
The reduction of Mohinder's rather pointless voiceovers as the first season went on, although they came roaring back for "How To Stop An Exploding Man."
Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman's music - not your usual superhero scoring, but this isn't your usual superhero show.
Characters getting actual development, even non-favourites (e.g. anyone connected to Niki Sanders, including Niki Sanders).
Sylar, with thanks to the producers for not letting us see how he consumes the DNA of his victims.
"This is Claire Bennet, and that was attempt #6."
Not overdoing Claire's power of regeneration and still managing to make her one of the show's best characters.
The ongoing story of Mr. Bennet.
"Company Man," "Five Years Gone," "Homecoming," and come to think of it most of the other episodes.
The fact that poor Claire has Steven Carrington for an adoptive dad and Jim Profit for a real one.
Jack Coleman, Greg Grunberg, Adrian Pasdar and most of the cast.
"Holy sh- " - To Be Continued
The winks to comic fans being kept relatively restrained so the series doesn't become one big in-joke.
Missy Peregrym's Candace getting her clock punched in the season finale (she was just as annoying here as she was in "Stick It," so it was justified).
The wonderful Hayden Panettiere (one of my TV Girlfriends, with apologies to the "Television Without Pity" book). Hayden, you're totally my hero.
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7/10Fell short of the brass ring, but still entertaining
MrGKB23 JanuaryWarning: Spoilers
given the genre, "Heroes" was (is?) a four-season eyeball-bending serial comic book featuring a wide assortment of (thankfully, non-costume) superheroes and super-villains doing the usual sort of things that such fantastical characters do, and suffering the usual doubts, recriminations, and angst (along with hubris, megalomania, and cruelty) to which such creatures are typically subject. It takes large gulps of willing suspension of disbelief to accept the premise, of course, since these "people" pretty much defy all the known laws of physics, chemistry, and biology (to name just a few -ologies), and the general arcs of the various plot lines are, when examined closely, rather silly, but somehow the show seems to jell pretty well, and most of the primary characters are likable to one degree or another, even the "bad" ones.
As is the case with almost all recent serial TV dramas, directors, DPs, and writers come and go, but at least "Heroes" maintains a fairly consistent look and feel. The acting is consistent and mostly convincing, despite the essentially adolescent tone of most all of them. Stand-outs include Milo "World War Z" Ventimiglia, Adrian "Near Dark" Pasdar, Zachary "Star Trek" Quinto, Robert "Hitman" Knepper, Christine "The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald" Rose, and yes, Hayden "Remember the Titans" Panettiere, along with a host of character actors of varying notoriety, such as Eric "Runaway Train" Roberts, Malcolm "A Clockwork Orange" McDowell, and Kristen "Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical" Bell. I'll leave the rest to be discovered by the reader; there are simply far too many to list. Most everyone (including those I have not mentioned) involved tackles their role with conviction, dedication, and considerable skill; I really don't mean to slight anyone, the ones I mentioned were simply my favorites.
The problem with "Heroes" (beyond the obvious difficulties of accepting the impossible premise) centered, as always, on the fluctuating emphases of scripting and character development. After a very strong first season, new characters began appearing and disappearing with a disconcerting frequency, and plot lines likewise. It was as if producer/creator/writer/director Tim "Crossing Jordan" Kring was afraid that viewers would tune out without a constant barrage of new faces and continually escalating story lines. No doubt the competition from the likes of "Lost" and "True Blood" had much to do with this. When the series finally gasped its last in early , it was with a whimper rather than a bang. Hopefully, Kring's promise of further adventures (presented before the last episode of the Season Four DVD package) won't end up ringing hollow.
So, all that said, I enjoyed following the series on DVD, and one day will return to it, and will be following the careers of any number of its stars and day players as well. I don't regret the time spent with it, and even if it wasn't as genuinely involving as "Lost" (and certainly not as much as "The Sopranos"), "Heroes" had more than enough going for it to qualify as something beyond the purview of Sturgeon's Revelation.
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8/10Something For Everyone
Geeky. Convoluted. Funny. Horrifying. Dramatic. Action-packed. All of these descriptors are appropriate for HEROES season one, which is why it became an immediate favorite by TV watchers all over the world. Television creator/writer Tim Kring is well known in prime-time circles with such things as CROSSING JORDAN and PROVIDENCE to his credit. But Heroes is something new even for Kring. He has jumped, nay, dashed, headlong into the fantasy realm.
There are some common themes running through Heroes that make it a eight star rating rather than ten. Dark and conflicted superheroes are well-known to comic book and graphic novel fans. SPIDERMAN had to battle his own dark side, as did SUPERMAN and many others. THE HULK is just an upset green guy who has to learn to control his anger and is aided by love. Such are several themes within Heroes (for instance the Niki/Jessica character's love for her son Micah; and Nathan Petrelli's battle with the good and evil that surrounds him). From this standpoint, there's not a lot of fresh meat on its bones.
Where it succeeds (and overwhelmingly so) is in its characters. They are particularly well cast with each person "living" that fictional person's life. Claire Bennett (played by Hayden Panettiere, THE DUST FACTORY) is a wonderful person that all audience members must cheer for. She's a cheerleader who can regenerate her damaged body. Fire. Radiation. Falls from fifty story buildings. Nothing can permanently injure her (or can it?).
Nathan Petrelli (played by Adrian Pasdar) is the penultimate politician, trying to win his congressional district while at the same time attempting to hide his special ability. He can fly and his brother Peter believes he can too. Nathan tries in vain to talk Peter out of discovering his super abilities, but more surprises await Peter than could ever be imagined.
Niki Sanders (played by Ali Larter) has something terrible inside her. She battles with this "evil" twin while at the same time trying to protect her equally gifted son Micah (Noah Gray-Cabey, LADY IN THE WATER).
Isaac Mendez (played by Santiago Cabrera) is a heroin-addicted artist who can paint the future. And when he paints the obliteration of New York City, he soon finds himself the interest of a unique company of people designed to find these gifted men and women.
Any series wouldn't be complete without a villain, and Sylar (Zachary Quinto, 24) is definitely that. Initially just a simple watchmaker/repairman, Sylar finds that he can steal the powers of the gifted and use it as his own but only after dissecting their brains.
This review definitely wouldn't be complete without mentioning the wheels that keep this thing turning, and that is Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka, BALLS OF FURY). He and his sidekick Ando (James Kyson Lee) infuse almost all of the much needed comic relief into the series. One of my favorite banters between them was, Hiro: "My only concern is should I hide my true identity? A costume maybe?" Ando: "You start talking about capes and tights and I'm out of here." A truly fun series to watch, and something for everyone, even those that don't like comic books, superheroes, or fantasy.
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One of the best shows to come along in years. It's like Tim Kring took the possibilities presented by something like M. Night Shyamalan's under-appreciated movie UNBREAKABLE and ran with it, going to all the places and ideas that film never even touched upon. Everything - the acting, writing, direction and even the scoring - is unlike anything anyone else is doing on television right now. I never thought I'd feel the same way about a TV show that I did when I was a kidlike every Monday night is Christmas, and I can't wait till next week to open my 'present' all over again.
I sure hope the creators, writers and producers of shows like LOST and '24' are taking notes. THIS is what great TV looks like.
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7/10Just Watch Season 1
Season one is excellent. After that, the writing becomes a train wreck so don't even bother. Season 1 is good enough to watch a few times.
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Network: NBC; Genre: Sci-Fi, Action, Drama; Content Rating: TV (some strong violence and language); Perspective: Contemporary (star range: 1 - 4);
Seasons Reviewed: 2 seasons
Following his father's research, scientist Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy) has stumbled on a fantastic human anomaly. A group of human beings have genetically evolved to the point of having incredible powers. A teenage girl in Texas, Claire (Hayden Panettiere), has the power to regenerate from any wound. A Japanese office worker, Hiro (Masi Oka), discovers he can slow, stop and travel through time and space. A Chicago cop (Greg Grunberg, "Alias") can read minds. A politician, Nathan Patrelli (Adrian Pasdar) can fly, but his brother, Peter (Milo Ventimiglia) might be the most powerful of them all with the ability to absorb the power of anyone he is around. This evolved ability passes from their parents to their children.
Without the kind of grand kick-in-the-pants twist of "The ", "Heroes" humans-evolved-with-abilities premise might at first blush seem like a straight-up rip-off of "X-Men". And yet, dare I say it, creator Tim Kring's take (with heavy involvement from producer/writer Bryan Fuller) may just deliver the best treatment this well-worn story has ever received. And that includes two Bryan Singer "X-Men" movies. Where "X-Men" slowly crawled up it's own posterior with weak political metaphors, Kring succeeds in crafting "Heroes" as a comic book come to life. On top of that, it excels as a sprawling character drama. Kring's focus is a near flawless balance, equal parts delving deeply into the story arcs of each character and using those powers to deliver a series of bottomlessly creative action/thriller sequences. In other words, what "Heroes" lacks in originality, it makes up for with a beautiful execution.
Just as there are heroes, there are villains. Las Vegas, uh, performance artist and company hit-man Niki (Ali Larter) gives new meaning to a supervillain with a split personality. Then there is Sylar (Zachary Quinto, "24") who has the same absorption power that Peter Petrelli has - he just has to scoop it out of people's brains to get it. And I won't deny that my "Veronica Mars" loving heart didn't skip a beat when Kristen Bell joined the cast as a sweet-faced daddy's girl by way of "Bioshock". But bigger than common thugs is the omnipresent "the company", a secret coalition of scientists (including Claire's father, played by Jack Coleman, as the show's most dynamic shifting character) involved in a conspiracy theory that Kring wraps around every one of his characters.
Blessed with a sizable NBC budget the show's visual effects are top notch. Fortunately, Kring doesn't buy into the conventional wisdom that an audience has to be teased infinitum with the possibility of super powers to come (see "Lost", "Smallville") to keep us watching. He shows the heroes in all their glory early and often. There is pound-for-pound more muscle-flexing, electro-bold-shooting, high-flying, bone-crunching mayhem delivered in this show than in 10 others.
The stories? Well, the payoff doesn't always live up to the set-up. The cliffhangers along the way are, at times, such jaw-droppers I can't help but feel a little disappointed with how restrained the show comes when season finale time rolls around. I've seen season-long stories build and pay-off beautifully before ("Lost, "24", "Veronica Mars"), but Kring just won't swing for the fences yet.
It also bares mention that the simple look of the show, TV's slickest cinematography, the rich, lively color scheme, is absolutely stunning. It's hard to flip through the channels and not have this one pop out. And, of course, "Heroes" in HD is a delicious buffet for the eyes.
For comic book/superhero fans "Heroes" is not to be missed. But for fans of a compelling character drama should not just dismiss it as nerd stuff. I am inspired by it's imagination and delight in all the clever ways it finds to use and interconnect the powers of the characters. While not always satisfying, "Heroes" is aesthetically and creatively one of the best pieces of work on network TV. And it is clear this show is only getting started tapping into its potential.
* * * ½ / 4
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9/10One of the best shows on TV.
OK, I know its a little late to draw my own opinions on this show, so bear with me. Better late than never.
I enjoyed Mutant X despite finding it a little too similar to X-Men though sadly the last season ended with many loose ends. Guess that's how it goes with TV sci-fi series but this show is a whole new beast and the best of its kind. Never have I been so engrossed, so deeply involved, and so exuberantly riveted in a long time since the Buffy and X-Files era of TV. What this show does is pit an ensemble cast set amongst a credible and believable atmosphere that has no boundaries in this comic book inspired tale of heroism, exhilaration, fear, anxiety, uncertainty, despair, betrayal, danger, and hope; filled to the brim with intelligent writing, genuinely gripping stories with twists and turns, shocking moments with tense, irrefutable drama and realistic special effects. But its the characters and how they cope with these extraordinary situations that make the show. I especially find Ali Larter a joy to watch as well as Zachary Quinto as a villain you'll love to hate as well as well known names like Richard Roundtree, Malcolm McDowell, Christopher Eccleston, Eric Roberts, and George Takei ( of Star Trek fame). These guys play it straight and add significance to the stories as they unfold.
The show oozes verisimilitude while having a comic book vibe with several visual elements that complement the look impressively. What Tim Kring and co turned out is nothing short of remarkable (especially Season 1) though Season 2 was a rushed mixed bag. I can't wait for what's in store for Season 3!!! Heroes is everything it sets out to be and reignited my excitement for TV.
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The demise of Heroes, one of the biggest TV shows in America
Four years ago Heroes was one of the biggest television shows in America. After a critically acclaimed first season, eight Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe win for best television drama, 17 million viewers tuned in for the start of season two. Fast forward four years and the show that was supposed to become the new Lost found itself cancelled in the most ignominious way possible – the announcement made almost in passing at an NBC presentation, three months after what would turn out to be the final episode had aired.
By that time the once lucrative franchise (at its height NBC sold all manner of Heroes-related merchandise, from magazines and graphic novels to action figures and clothing) was watched by only million and it was no surprise to hear NBC cite rising production costs and falling ratings as the reasons for the show's cancellation. Cash-strapped networks are less likely to continue with such high-cost dramas.
Yet even by US network television standards Heroes' demise was swift. It's arguable that nothing was the same after that first, tightly plotted first season in which everything came together around one simple phrase, "Save the cheerleader, save the world".
Sadly, as the show progressed, it turned out that the near-perfect first season was something of an anomaly. From the disastrous amount of time Hiro spent trapped in ancient Japan to the increasingly ridiculous number of powers both Peter Petrelli and his nemesis, Sylar, managed to acquire, it became obvious that Heroes was a show buckling under the weight of its own mythology. Meanwhile, the tantalising hints of a dystopian future world where no one could be trusted turned out to be less than enticing once we realised that the writers had no idea how to get their Heroes there.
The show's creator, Tim Kring, remained bullish after the cancellation, thanking both fans and network and saying that he was "finalising discussions [with NBC] about a number of ways to keep the Heroes universe alive for its fans".
Those discussions are expected to centre on a two-hour, made-for-television film, although - as fans of shows as diverse as Deadwood and Veronica Mars could tell you - just because they talk a good game about a movie, doesn't mean it's actually going to happen.
Tv show ratings heroes
The Real Reason Heroes Was Canceled
By Michileen Martin/Dec. 13, pm EDT/Updated: Aug. 23, pm EDT
In , it looked like NBC's Heroes would enjoy a long, bright future. Its pilot episode, "Genesis," earned multiple Emmy nominations, attracted million viewers, and broke a five-year ratings record in a key adult demographic. The MCU had yet to be born and the DCEU wasn't even close. It would be six years before Netflix premiered its first original series, much less became the home for street-level Marvel vigilantes like Daredevil and the Punisher. Audiences were enthralled by the story of ordinary people who inexplicably sprouted superhuman abilities and coped with the changes without the benefit of masks.
Unfortunately, Heroes proved it could only fly so far. By its second season, viewership dropped by 15 percent, and things only got worse from there. Its fourth season premiered in to an audience of million — a drop of million from the airing of "Genesis" — and by the following May, the end of Heroes was official.
So what happened? Was Heroes a series that simply wasn't meant to survive its first couple of seasons? Was it an issue of acting, directing, or writing? In a parallel timeline — because its Heroes creative team made better decisions — is your alternate reality doppelgänger currently reading a feature titled "The real reason Heroes' 13th season is its best ever"?
Until we can sneak a peek into parallel universes and see what our alternates are doing, here's the real reason Heroes was canceled (in this timeline, anyway).
Death was too cruel
Heroes could be fairly merciless when it came to killing off important characters. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but as early as the first season, characters who had wonderful promise — including ones played by actors any series should've bent over backwards to keep — were getting taken out like Batman's sidekicks.
One of the best examples is the death of Daniel Linderman (Malcolm McDowell). McDowell is an amazing talent, his name was arguably the biggest in the series, and Linderman was a fantastic villain — the kind you can't wait to see again. He was also a good example of one of Heroes' refreshing touches: the types of abilities certain characters had went against what you would normally expect. For example, Nikki (Ali Larter) is the only character in season 1 with super strength, a power usually associated with male heroes. Likewise, Linderman's superpower was healing, which is a pretty benevolent power for a bad guy. But whatever potential Linderman had was lost in "Landslide" — the first season's penultimate episode — when D.L. (Leonard Roberts) phased his fist through Linderman's brain, killing him instantly.
Other characters with great promise who were taken out before the first season was up include Isaac Mendez (Santiago Cabrera), who had the ability to paint the future, and Eden (Nora Zehetner), who killed herself in the 11th episode rather than allow Sylar (Zachary Quinto) to absorb her powers.
Death was too kind
While the first season of Heroes had an issue keeping promising characters alive, the following seasons took one too many pages from the comic books that inspired the show, and as a result suffered from not letting anyone stay dead.
The first season finale, "How to Stop an Exploding Man," ended with Nathan Petrelli (Adrian Pasdar) flying his brother Peter (Milo Ventimiglia) as high as he could, after which Peter's radioactive build-up caused him to explode. Yet the second season premiere, "Four Months Later," resurrected both brothers. In the case of Nathan, the fact that he'd survived a nuclear explosion wasn't even treated as particularly strange. The return of Peter was given much more weight, and the reveal acted as the episode's surprise conclusion.
What was much more jarring was the death of Nikki Sanders and a strange resurrection that wasn't really a resurrection. Nikki was caught in an exploding building in Heroes' season 2 finale. The actress playing Nikki, Ali Larter, appeared as someone completely different in season 3. The new character was Tracy Strauss and instead of Nikki's super strength, Tracy exhibited the power to create and manipulate ice. Fans speculated Nikki had survived and was altered somehow, but no. It was eventually revealed Nikki and Tracy were two of three identical triplets, an explanation so lame they probably wouldn't even try it in a comic boo — no, they would. They totally would.
The writers' strike
Season 2 of Heroes was 11 episodes long — less than half the length of its first season. The reason wasn't mysterious — it was the same reason other hot network shows of the time, like Lost, Two and a Half Men, and The Office, shortened their seasons: the writers' strike.
From late to early , members of the Writers Guild of America went on strike over stalled contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Bones of contention included compensation for internet content, DVD residuals, and whether the WGA would have jurisdiction over writers of animated entertainment and/or reality shows.
In fact, Heroes creator Tim Kring was on the picket line when he called Entertainment Weeklyto discuss the show's 15 percent rating decline. "Yes, I'm picketing my own show," he told EW. He also gave reasons for season 2's underperformance. Among other things, Kring felt the pace was too slow and that the season's threatening Armageddon took too long to be introduced. The EW article predicts things would be looking up for the show, but calls season 2 "a wash." Because of the strike, the storytelling course-correct was too little, too late. Instead of ending the first half of a season (as was originally intended), the strike forced Heroes to retool season 2's 11th episode as a season finale.
Heroes never recovered fully after the second season. It would never again see the kind of ratings it enjoyed in season 1.
One of the most touching stories in Heroes unfolds in season 1's "Six Months Ago," with Hiro's initially futile attempt to save the life of waitress Charlie (Jayma Mays). When Charlie is murdered by Sylar for her memorization powers, Hiro goes back in time to save her. He means only to go back a day, but instead travels back six months. At one point, Hiro and Charlie discuss origami and Charlie mentions the legend that someone who folds a thousand cranes will be granted a single wish. The most romantic moment in the episode — and arguably in the series — immediately follows, when Hiro uses his power to freeze time, and a moment later Charlie's diner is filled with literally a thousand cranes dangling from the ceiling.
But according to Heroes creator Tim Kring, that may have been the last time the show handled romance with any kind of skill. While speaking to Entertainment Weeklyabout the show's dip in ratings, Kring admitted their poor handling of romantic relationships was one of the more valid complaints. "I don't think romance is a natural fit for us," Kring said. EW specifically called out Hiro's crush over a 17th-century princess in season 2, and the young love brewing between Claire and "super-dud" West (Nicholas D'Agosto).
Too much soap
If you don't read comics, you might be confused in a comic shop. The fact that, say, Captain America #5 came out in might seem weird if you know the character started appearing in comics in Almost 80 years and only 5 issues? Pick up the pace, man. Of course, there are tons of Captain America comics, but Marvel has been rebooting its titles with growing frequency. Part of the reason for Marvel mashing the restart button is to attract new readers. To an uninitiated reader, a brand new Captain America #1 looks a lot more accessible than Captain America #
Likewise, once Heroes' second season underwhelmed, it seems likely the series grew more inaccessible not only to new viewers, but to old ones who bailed during season 2 and considered giving it another chance. The Heroes of seasons 3 and 4 did not look very much like its first season. Sylar jumped back and forth between bad guy and good guy. Characters like Peter and Ando (Jason Kyson) lost their powers and abruptly sprouted new ones or just inexplicably changed powers. Characters died and came back. Dystopian future timelines were introduced, featuring a grimmer sword-wielding Hiro. In one alternate timeline, everyone in the world had powers. Just dumping yourself in the middle of seasons 3 or 4 of Heroes likely seemed an intimidating experience, and if you were still smarting from season 2, you might not think it would be worth it.
Long before audiences were telling Zack Snyder and the rest of the DCEU to stop with all the growly, dark brooding and maybe film some scenes that don't take place during dark rainstorms, critics were blasting Heroes for what Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Timescalled its "graphic novel noir feel" that, with the season 3 premiere, was "becoming increasingly oppressive, and everyone is just so grim." McNamara said she wished "everyone would just lighten the heck up." Sound familiar? She could've been writing a review for Batman v. Superman.
Why did everybody need to lighten up? Well, io9's Charlie Jane Anders probably hit the nail on the head when she wrote that with its third season, Heroes "was just trying so damn hard." They were trying hard — trying hard to redeem the abbreviated mess of the second season and to recapture the excitement of the first. The theme of the third season was "Villains," turning its more heroic characters into jerks and Sylar into a good guy. Once again, an apocalypse was introduced right away, this time the Earth exploding from the inside. They tried to rekindle the urgent suspense that permeated season 1, but it never materialized. Rather than believing what they were watching was terribly important, viewers watched actors trying very hard to convince them that everything they said and did was terribly important without much success.
Part of the reason Heroes failed to impress after its first season is that afterwards, the show never seemed to know what it wanted to be or what to do with itself.
In Heroes' first excellent season, its characters learned to cope with their new abilities. Once they couldn't get any more from "How do we deal with these powers," they moved on to "how did we get these powers" by creating X-Files-esque conspiracy backstories for older characters like Angela Petrelli (Cristine Rose) and Hiro's father Kaito Nakamura (George Takei). Its fourth and final season leaped to the old Professor X/Magneto debate of "What do we do with these powers?" by featuring a new group led by Samuel (Robert Knepper) who acted differently from the more traditionally heroic Peter and Claire.
In other words, Heroes was a show about people with powers freaking out about the fact they had powers, and it never figured out how to be a show about anything but that. Think of Marvel's Fantastic Four when they first emerged from their rocket crash back in , with each of the quartet panicking in their own unique way as their respective abilities emerged. Now imagine if the entire narrative history of Fantastic Four was just those four characters still at the rocket site, freaking out about their powers – that's Heroes in its entirety. Ordinary people made extraordinary by superpowers and in a constant state of needing to chill out about it and move on.
Choose a side already, Spock
A frustrating comic book trope is the flip-flopping of popular supervillains. One of the biggest superhero movies of – Venom, originally one of Spider-Man's darkest villains — is a perfect example. If a supervillain gets popular enough, the comic book companies either make them good guys, or at least make them straddle the fence between Justice League and Legion of Doom. Venom, Harley Quinn, Deathstroke, Catwoman, and even mass murderers like Joker and Thanos are easy evidence. There's nothing inherently wrong with redeeming a villain, but when you make a villain become a hero, you risk eradicating exactly what's so engaging about the character.
Sylar became another unfortunate member of the funnybook flip-flopping fraternity. Zachary Quinto masterfully played the chilling and terrifying villain Sylar of Heroes' first season, but his alliances became more fluid as of season 3. When he was captured by the clandestine organization known as the Company, Angela Petrelli convinced Sylar she was his mother. Attempting to rehabilitate himself, Sylar agreed to accompany Noah Bennet (Jack Coleman) in his Company work. After some road trips, Sylar went back to the dark side, only to then go back to the good guys again by the end of season 4, helping against Samuel (Robert Knepper) and his carnie villains.
By making Sylar flip-flop, the writers of Heroes gutted the proverbial goose of its golden egg. While Sylar was just straight-up bad, there was no scarier villain anywhere on television. Sometimes you've just got to keep the bad guys bad.
Heroes needed more Hiro
Sylar may have been Heroes' best bad guy (most of the time), but when it came to the good guys, Masi Oka as the wide-eyed innocent Hiro was one of the best reasons to watch the show. While most of the show's good guys came off as much as victims to their new abilities as they were beneficiaries, Hiro was the Billy Batson of Heroes — a boy (though grown) with his dreams of superpowers magically fulfilled.
Watching the first season of Heroes, viewers loved the sweet and lovable Hiro and couldn't wait to see him finally meet up with the show's other protagonists and prove himself against Sylar. During the battle against Sylar in the first season's finale, Hiro finally fulfilled the prophecy found in the pages of a comic book and ran Sylar through with his sword. But before any of the other characters even had time to ask who this Japanese guy was who came out of nowhere and stabbed a dude, Hiro was hurled through the air and teleported to 17th century Japan.
That time jump back to Japan — or at least the amount of time Hiro spent there — was a mistake. It kept Hiro away from the rest of the show's protagonists, and it didn't entertain on its own. Heroes creator Tim Kring said as much when talking to EWabout the failures of season 2, admitting Hiro's adventures in the past should've lasted no more than "three episodes."
Kring says Heroes never should've left
Speaking to GamesRadarat 's San Diego Comic Con about the release of Heroes Reborn – the miniseries set ten years after the conclusion of Heroes' fourth and final season – Heroes creator Tim Kring said the show never should've been canceled.
Contrary to the numbers, Kring claimed Heroes' fourth season was a spectacular success. He said the problem was that Heroes' low ratings weren't an accurate gauge of its viewership. "We had a very big audience out there that was not watching in a traditional way," Kring said. "We were the most downloaded show on television the year that we were canceled. We were one of the most streamed shows, one of the most DVRed shows, sold millions of DVDs." Kring claimed the problem was that in , there was no way to count the viewers who chose non-traditional ways to watch Heroes, but that by NBC was convinced to greenlight Heroes Reborn.
Heroes Reborn's failure to impress could give you good reason to doubt Kring's postmortem assessment of Heroes, but he thinks the poor reception to Heroes Reborn has less to do with the show's quality and more to do with audience expectation. "I really loved the idea that [Heroes Reborn] was a thirteen-episode event series, and when it was over, it was over," Kring told AssignmentX. "I feel a little remorse that I think a lot of people didn't understand that it was supposed to wrap up when it did."
Heroes ratings (TV show, )
|Genres||Drama, Fantasy, Sci-fi|
|Average rating||/ 10|
People all over the U.S start to realize they have special abilities, like telekinesis, healing abilities, flying powers, time travel, invisibility, and the ability to absorb others abilities. One man, known as Sylar, wants to gain all the power of these "heroes" so he can be the most powerful and evolved human of all, and stops at nothing to gruesomely kill these people. In order to protect themselves from him, these people must help one another before Sylar can destroy them all, while they each deal with problems of their own.Directors: Adam Kane, Allan Arkush, David Von Ancken, Donna Deitch, Ed Bianchi, Eric Laneuville, Ernest R. Dickerson, Greg Beeman, Greg Yaitanes, Holly Dale, Jeannot Szwarc, John Badham, Michael Nankin, Paul Shapiro, Ron Underwood, Roxann Dawson, Sergio Mimica-Gezzan, Terrence OHaraWriters: Bryan Fuller, J.J. Philbin, Jeph Loeb, Jim Martin, Oliver Grigsby, Tim Kring, Yule Caise
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In the summer, he did not wear a leather jacket, it was hot, he was wearing a denim jacket, jeans, huge heavy boots with high. Lacing. The head was cut very short, and the gray eyes looked cold and cruel as always.