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Heroes Reborn NBC

Heroes Reborn Creator on Why the Original Series Fizzled Out — Plus: Will There Be a Season 2?

Ask anyone who regularly watched Heroes during its initial run on NBC, and they’ll tell you the same story: The series, which began as a ratings juggernaut for the network, tapered off both creatively and in viewership as the years went on.

Even series creator Tim Kring — who now helms the upcoming limited-series revival Heroes Reborn — acknowledges the sophomore slump into which Heroes fell.

“The biggest pitfall was always the amount of story that we had to tell,” Kring said Thursday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills. “Our [episode] order was for 23 the first year, then 26 in the second year, 25 in the third year. We were facing a mathematical difficulty, an uphill battle.”

Heroes Reborn, on the other hand, will only span 13 episodes, which Kring insisted will allow for a more “aggressive kind of storytelling,” one that gives “the show and the audience this exhilarating feeling. When you log onto this show for the very first time, you know that you’re going to get an end, and it will be at that point in time.”

That’s not to say Kring won’t consider going beyond that baker’s dozen. Although he has only “spoken about doing this [one season]” with NBC, Kring has “always felt the brand was elastic enough and with a broad enough premise… that I feel confident we could find other stories to tell with new characters and some recurring characters.”

Heroes Reborn launches with a two-hour premiere on Thursday, Sept. 24, at 8/7c. Will you be tuning in? Drop all your thoughts on the revival in a comment below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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85 Comments
  1. Jonathan says:

    I always blamed the writer’s strike for the original’s downfall. Season 1 was so great and things unfortunately went downhill from there.

    • Al says:

      For S2 yes..,
      But S3 and 4 continued to suck

      • Mike M says:

        The writers strike destroyed Breaking Bad Season 1, and that show utterly tanked in later seasons because of it… no wait…

    • Csbd says:

      I have always felt like it was the writer’s strike too.

    • You can’t really blame the writers strike if the show wasn’t written by writers but by 8 year olds taking a creative writing class. If someone says the word “destiny”, drink!

    • BenM says:

      I don’t think the writers strike was to blame. Season 2 actually wasn’t so bad – when you watch season 3.

      The real problem was the creative direction. They needed to let Sylar die at the end of season 1, despite how good he was, so that they could move on to other stories. And the hideous idea of bringing out a whole lot of villains in the world to do more or less nothing was terrible compared with the idea of one single compelling villain. Perhaps the worst thing of all, though, is my bug bear with any show that lacks a proper approach to their creative direction – characters were making choices and doing things that were inconsistent with their established character for no reason. Everything stopped feeling real, and just started feeling like a series of events happening without purpose.

      • dan says:

        Ugh, Sylar. I loved him and Zachary Quinto, but he was a terrible character, because they just made him so ridiculously overpowered. The best thing the could have done was to take all or most of his power away, to make him use some cunning. And then they kept introducing more and more characters. And changing their powers, at least I seem to remember they did that with Ali Larter. She started off really interesting, but it felt like they went, “Oh, we made her too evil.”

        I need to watch it again, but … I’m hoping they don’t make the same damn mistakes.

      • SAM says:

        Agreed! I stopped watching just because of the character inconsistency, plus I was sick to death of Sylar. Even though he is talented, to this day I don’t really enjoy Zachary Quinto’s performances because when I see him, I think, “ugh…Sylar.”

      • dman6015 says:

        That’s why I can’t stand show creators who change their storylines because a certain character is a hit with viewers. Sylar was supposed to die, but they kept him alive, made him an omnipotent g-d, and ruined the show.

        • Mike M says:

          Jesse Pinkman was supposed to die and Vince kept him alive. Going with what’s working does NOT have to kill your show, it’s all dependent on a little thing called talent and not bowing to Network pressure over story direction.

      • Gerald says:

        Agreed. Sylar was a great Villain in Season 1. It should have ended there instead of trying to redeem him and explain his backstory. It was terrible. Should have just let him die and brought in a new big bad for the following seasons. They did the same thing on Vampire Diaries with Klaus. Good Vilain one season. Then they tried to redeem him. I still can’t believe he got his own show.

    • dude says:

      Things started to go wrong with the season one finale. It was anticlimactic as hell and everything fell apart after that.

      • rinaex says:

        Thank you, you can’t blame the writer’s strike on that. Plus, the beginning of Season 2 was also underwhelming. I think the strike just shortened our misery that season.

    • David4 says:

      Nope. The season 1 finale was horrible and a letdown to everything leading up to it. I’m not sure what happened, maybe (probably) NBC started messing with it.

      • Mike M says:

        The three letters were a huge part of the problem even if it was just in milking the length to so many episodes the writers started running out of ideas.

    • Nichole says:

      Completely agree. I always felt that while season 2 started slow that it was going somewhere great but it never got the chance because of the strike. They then took their break and started listening way too much to the fans. So they ditched their vision and made the classic mistake of trying to please everyone. This led to the hot mess that was season 3 that of course pleased no one.

    • Carol_R says:

      That’s because they brought back Sylar.

  2. Al says:

    Tim Kring always has an excuse…
    Wasn’t that the point of different volumes in S3 to basically be 2 seasons/storylines in 1 season?

  3. Miffy says:

    Tim Kring doesn’t have what it takes to run a series. That’s why the original sucked after the first season.

  4. Tammy Hodges says:

    I didn’t watch Heroes when it was on but binge watched when I heard about Zac Levi being in Heroes Reborn.

    I really liked the original! Sometimes a little long in the stories but always interesting.
    Really looking forward to where this picks up 5 yrs. later and where the characters will take us.

  5. tvjunkie says:

    A big reason it sucked was a complete lack of continuity even within seasons but especially from season to season. They constantly dropped/ignored plots lines from the past or induced plot lines and never finished them and never revisited them. A lot of that happened as a result of constant, extremely poor use and execution of time travel. Basically it sucked because the writers couldn’t keep track of continuity to save their lives.

    • Mm says:

      Agree. Fewer episodes might help with that though. But I always felt that they made hiro too powerful (and peter too) and then couldn’t figure out realistic situations for them not to use their powers to fix all the problems. Instead they made the characters idiots or came up with contrivances to keep plot beats going way too long that could have been easily solved with the powers. If the writers can figure out how to curb the powers, or at least explain the cost of using the powers, it will help make the show not so painful to watch.

      • Gahma says:

        Very nicely put. I’ve been reading many of these reviews…Yours is right on the money. My input…charatrers, Peter and Sylar got raw deals from not so good writers……….

    • Tiffany says:

      Apparently you need to re-watch it. There were no loose ends that didn’t get tied. All story lines that were introduced were in fact completed. Maybe not in the same season, but they were completed. It was one of the things I really liked about the series… what made me keep watching. But I guess your attention span (along with many others) wasn’t long enough to realize this…

  6. Mr. Tran K says:

    In my opinion Heroes Reborn should be like Heroes Season 1 and Tim Kring and his writing staff better come up with much stronger story lines than it was in its rookie season. As for a possible Season 2, sure thing but only time will tell.

  7. ScreenPhiles says:

    The greatest problem i had with Heroes was that it too quickly unveiled, and destroyed, Primatech. They were the series’ big bad, and needed to treated as such.

    Then there was the green screen, which had good moments, but was cheesy more often than not.

  8. I want a second season. I for one blame the show’s own popularity. What I read was that the original plan for season two was to introduce new characters and new stories, but the original ones became so popular that they couldn’t get rid of them, so that entailed continuing a story they had no intention to continue, which required making stuff up for old characters rather than follow a designated plan for new ones that probably never got a chance to be seen.

  9. Dr. M says:

    Want to know why it failed? Watch the prequel webseries for Heroes Reborn.
    There is zero creativity. You will groan, I guarantee it.

  10. nate says:

    They should’ve killed Sylar in the first season

    • Mr. Tran K says:

      Agreed and the writers should have written off Sylar after Season 1 ended. Hope they won’t do the same mistake again.

  11. superCoderOne says:

    Heroes failed because there were too many characters.

  12. Fernanda says:

    They’ve never been killed Kristen Bell’s character

  13. Kiddoo says:

    “The great thing about this show is that i’ll only be one season and viewers know that. Unless it isn’t.” – Kring

    Can we put Kring and M. Knight Shamalamadingdong in a lock box?

  14. Temperance says:

    Honestly, the characters were great, but the plot seriously fell apart, and that was entirely the writers fault. They didn’t have a long term plan, they wandered too much, and then the writer’s strike made it worse. Heroes was a great TV concept that fell apart in the plotting.

  15. ScottJ says:

    The problem with serialized story telling is the network insistence on 22 (or more) episodes. That results in huge casts, multiple story-lines and filler episodes everywhere. Then there’s the side issue of having 13 episodes to start with, and then possibly trying to stretch everything out across another 9. When its a case-of-the-week show none of that is a big deal.

    Personally I prefer the shorter summer shows and cable shows, as they concentrate on the actual story-line and get somewhere. I’ve almost given up on 22+ episode shows entirely, and I have no plans to sample any of the new ones for the upcoming season.

  16. Mr. Tran K says:

    Little surprised that Heroes Reborn is launching a two-hour premiere on September 24th and bumping the season premiere of The Blacklist a week later beginning October 1st. BUMMED

  17. mike says:

    It failed because they kept Sylar around for WAAAYYY to long. Should have been done after S1 and a new big bad brought in. It also failed because Ali Larters character was entirely to confusing. Were they twins? triplets? Multiple Personalities? Made no sense.

  18. Trent says:

    The show died because they took Peters powers away in the dumbest way possible and he was the main character the show centered around him that was the biggest mistake and that’s why it failed biggest mistake of any show I have ever seen!!!!

  19. Yarazin says:

    Hes so wrong. The 1st series failed because he didn’t follow his own established rules. In any superhero/fantasy, you have to follow the rules you set and cant just change them willy nilly. Also, even though Sylar was a cool character, he should have died in S1 as that was the point of everyone coming together at the end. I raved about the 1st season, but I don’t have any faith in this guy anymore. Lets hope he proves me wrong.

  20. tabularasalocke says:

    The problem with the show wasn’t the writer’s strike. That wouldn’t explain the problems for season 3 and 4. The problem with the show is that it wouldn’t let certain characters go. I honestly think if they had stuck to the original plan and had different heroes for each season, it would’ve worked better. I think in today’s TV climate with shows like American Horror Story, True Detective, Fargo, and others, it would be more acceptable to do something like that.

  21. Domingo says:

    I like how they say it was the sophomore slump and too many episodes for the reason. Not like the writer strike, taking away Peter and Hiros powers, killing off Adam had anything to do with it. Peter was the only one powerful enough to keep Sylar in check. It had so much potential to be a great series. NBC doesn’t know how to keep these types of shows going.

  22. Carol_R says:

    I blame it totally on keeping Sylar and not killing him off at the end of Season 1 as planned. They twisted the entire show to try and keep that worthless character.

  23. Chloe says:

    I often hear the “20+ episodes is too many” excuse. But didn’t they know they were signing up to create a TV show? On a broadcast network? Those usually have 20+ episode seasons. It’s only been in the last few years that broadcast has allowed for shorter seasons, and those are usually negotiated in advance. So if you know you’re writing a broadcast TV show, shouldn’t you have a plan for 20+ episodes?

  24. sawyer says:

    I watched 3 episodes of season 2 of Heroes. They ruined the show. Season 1 was awesome. I will watch only because Chuck is a bad guy too bad Sarah not in the limited series run.. Save the Cheerleader Save the world. Hayden was great and is fantastic on Nashville.

  25. TrudiV says:

    I simply lost interest. Save the cheerleader save the world… my aunt’s fanny!

  26. Dvlos says:

    The series downfall was Peter. Sylar. Hiro.

    They wrote Sylar with no weaknesses. While Peter and Hiro had some, but they wrote themselves into a corner with those guys as well. They can do ANYTHING a walking deus ex machina. So what can you do? Concoct a powers reset. Which is lame and what they did. The best thing they had was that powered people advanced with time. They should have limited Peter and Sylar. Thought up Hiro better no comedy relief every episode. Everything else was greatness. Company Man is still one of the best episode of TV of any series. It’s like they didn’t think they’d get past season one and overdid Sylar/Peter. This is a chance to keep the focus on the little dramas unfolding between characters. I’m honestly hoping they get resigned already for season 2.

  27. Mark says:

    Did anyone notice in season 2 episode 3 that when Sylar wakes up in maui next to Candice, she calls him Zachary?

  28. joes says:

    i blame the writer strike partially tjere where still room for it to flurish

  29. Logan says:

    Why are you guys hating…heroes is a good show! Some of us want a season to of reborn!!! So please do uus the honor and stop talking

  30. Robert says:

    Downfall of Heroes was a combination of the writers strike and dumb ass corporate meddling. Season 2 was supposed to be 3 volumes, but two were cut which broke the story timeline. In an attempt to recover from the writers strike and the incompetent corporate decisions, The corporate imbeciles made more bad decisions, to try bigger and grander stories, breaking the format of the show, which was the main formula for it’s success. A larger story which turned out to be the nail in the coffin for the series.

    Writers strike caused a break in production…

    Corporate morons sank the ship with their stupidity…

    • Mark says:

      Well that explains it. I’m watching 1 through 4 now and there are so many dumb things going on. I LOVED season one but im on season 3 now and its just ok. I like the concept of the show and want to see how it ends but it lost its way. My God, they turned Hiro and Ando into buffoons with baby touch and go. Just stupid. And Ando keeps losing his accent. Oh, and when you do catch a Sylar, don’t put a tube in the most dangerous man in the worlds nose and think you’ve got him. CUT HIS HEAD OFF! Shades of RIDDICK!

  31. KK says:

    Loved All Heroes seasons except the last.
    Heroes Reborn is great. Wish they had more than 13 episodes — more
    Character development would be nice and engaging.
    Hope Reborn is renewed for a FULL 20+ episode season.

    • richard middleton says:

      Couldnt agree more with kk loved the original minus the carnival b.s. (some of season 4) but i also agree with most peeps assessment of Peter and sylar too loving reborn i hope there is a season 2 !!! So say we all

  32. Joey Galloway says:

    My daughterand i love HEROES REBORN and cant wait til next weeks sseason finally on November 19,2015. I hope they make a season 2.

    Thank You
    Joey Galloway

  33. keithron wadda says:

    I just don’t want the series to end. It’s such an interesting one. Please kring I appreciate the creativity. Go on it’s a good one to watch.

  34. Dani says:

    I thought the season was a little downfall but it is really good

  35. sonya mitchell says:

    Yes I love heroes reborn and hate it took so long to come

  36. Sonja says:

    I actually really enjoyed Heroes all the way through… am I alone in that?

  37. Ry says:

    I was hooked on all of the previous seasons and actually liked all of them despite the popular reviews. Wish they could have bounced back and kept it fresh. But very excited to start reborn and am already hoping for a second season!

  38. Keisha pollard says:

    Love love love the show …please add another season👍😊

  39. Raven says:

    Will it be a season 2 I need a season 2 please….

  40. piper says:

    I want a Season 2 of Heroes Reborn. NBC please renew the show.

  41. Vivs says:

    Love the show. Please renew. Bring on Season 2 please.

  42. Loved the first heroes loved heroes reborn and sure hope that there will be more. Please let there be more.

  43. maria grenuer says:

    I realy hope they make the second season because I love the show !!!!

  44. Rebecca says:

    I agree that they went off course in season 3 and 4. I still watched it and I was still sad to see it end. I was super exited when I heard they were bringing heroes back because the show has great potential. I just got done watching the whole season and I really hope that they have another season. The way the season ended was very satisfying even if they decide not to have another season but fingers are crossed that they decide to tell another story about these new heroes that I have come to love as much as the old!

  45. Bryan says:

    I hope Heroes reborn has several successful seasons. I liked the original heroes, except for the fact that it seemed as though they were all over the place with story lines, kind of like trying to fit ten pounds of crap into a five pound bag. My only complaint with the new Heroes is that there is too wide a break in the middle of the season, and it’s hard to get traction and even remember a show when it only has 13 episodes….you have 39 weeks to forget about it.

  46. Matt says:

    I loved the original series and was always hoping for a return. I was so glad to see a “reboot” of the show. Then I wondered who would make a return from the original series, especially since “Claire” is busy on Nashville and “Hiro” on Hawaii Five-O. It was good to see him in a few episodes though. I really hope the show has another “volumn”.

  47. Kim MacDonald says:

    I love the Heroes show. Please have a season 2

  48. Jason says:

    Syler could return in a constant shape shifter form

  49. Jason says:

    Because syler gained shape shifting it stands to reason that any acter could play his part in a posible season of heroes reborn

  50. Logan says:

    Are they going to make a second volume or not 😭😭😭😭