As Heroes returns to our screens next month to press ahead with the second half of its third season, it’s fair to say it’s a show in trouble. The hugely disappointing second season had left people questioning the show, with the promise coming back from Tim Kring, its creator, that season three would sort a lot of it out.
Only it hasn’t. If anything, season three has dug Heroes an even bigger hole, and the first half has seen the show lose ratings and frustrate fans. The only major blessing Heroes has had has been the confirmation that Bryan Fuller, he of Pushing Daisies and the first season of Heroes fame, will be returning, but not in time to influence anything before episode 18 of the current run.
This, inevitably, has led to questions as to whether NBC will can the series. It’s supposedly the most expensive scripted drama currently running on US TV, with a cost in the region of $4m an episode. Stories of budget overruns don’t help, either. And there’s been some not unreasonable speculation that Heroes wouldn’t get a fourth season.
Only it seems that NBC may be sticking by the show. While it hasn’t confirmed a fourth run for Heroes, it has said that it’s “committed” to the show. While that’s not a green light for season four, it’s expected that one will follow.
And Tim Kring is clearly welcoming the reprieve. He’s now promised, talking to TV Guide, that the show will be rebooted for its fourth season, and would be starting again from square one. He’s added that you won’t need to have seen the three previous seasons to jump in with season four.
Whether this means that lots of characters are about to get scrapped, and we’re thus going to start with a whole new collection of heroes, isn’t clear. But the fact remains that Heroes needs to do something drastic to sort itself out, and it won’t be lost on people that Kring has promised to do this before, and has still come a long way from capturing the skill and promise of that opening season.
We hope they do turn it round, and we’ll be following the second half of Heroes season four, the chapter titled Fugitives, with real hope.
19 January 2009