There’s some good news for fans of NBC’s ailing Heroes TV show. Though the sci-fi series has been struggling to hold onto its audience, the network’s entertainment prez says there’s no plans to cancel the super-powered ones. Still, the show isn’t 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 14.3 million and a 5.9/14 rating/share of the 18-49 demographic. Viewership both fell and dropped in Heroes’ freshman year and it ended up averaging 14.3 million viewers and a 6.4/15. 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. It’s essentially been falling ever since and the latest installment attracted just 7.04 million and 3.2/7 in the demo.
Trying to allay cancellation worries, Angela Bromstad, NBC’s Entertainment President, has told the Hollywood Reporter that the network plans to renew the show for a fourth season. It’ll be a shorter-than-usual cycle though and is expected to be just 18-20 episodes.
However, as the Reporter’s James Hibbard notes, this is not an actual renewal and the network execs could still change their minds. That’s a far cry from the confidence of last season’s 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 isn’t ready to commit to that strategy for the time being.
Image courtesy NBC.