Heroes lives: NBC helped kickstart the superhero TV trend in 2006 with Heroes, an X-Men-ish action-drama about a group of people with superhuman powers. Now the network is bringing back the show for a 13-episode event series to air in 2015. Original series creator Tim Kring is on board to run the show. Titled Heroes Reborn, the project is billed as a stand-alone story; the characters have not yet been announced.
“The enormous impact Heroes had on the television landscape when it first launched in 2006 was eye-opening,” said NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke. “Shows with that kind of resonance don’t come around often and we thought it was time for another installment. We’re thrilled that visionary creator Tim Kring was as excited about jumping back into this show as we were and we look forward to all the new textures and layers Tim plans to add to his original concept. Until we get closer to air in 2015, the show will be appropriately shrouded in secrecy, but we won’t rule out the possibility of some of the show’s original cast members popping back in.”
The news seems to echo Fox rebooting its action franchise 24 for a limited series to launch this May, though NBC has long been fond of recycling prior TV hits – there have been short-lived new version of Bionic Woman, American Gladiators, Knight Rider, and the network had also developed (but not aired) new editions of Wonder Woman and Murder She Wrote.
Reviving Heroes, which was canceled four years ago, might be met with some mixed feelings by the show’s fans, however. The show got off to a strong start in both ratings and acclaim (averaging 14.5 million viewers its first season), then was widely considered to have creatively collapsed into a confused muddle and became a serialized TV cautionary tale. But with broadcast drama TV ratings on the decline, networks are increasingly turning to event series to grab attention, and brands that were cancelled years ago now seem like potential hits even if they only deliver a large percentage of their previous audience. Plus, Heroes performed well on DVD, having sold more than 10 million units.
Heroes might be coming back onto a field with plenty of competition, depending on how many current superhero projects get renewed or greenlit. There’s The CW’s Arrow, its spinoff The Flash, Fox’s Batman prequel in the pipeline Gotham and ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD.
What do you think of Heroes coming back?