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Heroes: Will the NBC TV Show Survive to See Season Four?

HeroesHow the mighty have fallen. NBC’s Heroes was one of the big hits of the 2006-07 season, seemingly ensuring a very long and successful run. But, the series seems to have lost its way and many viewers have complained about confusing or ridiculous storylines. Even worse, many others have just stopped watching altogether. With ratings at an all time low, does the series have a chance at returning for season four?

Heroes tells the story of a group of ordinary people who, after a solar eclipse, miraculously develop super powers. They soon learn that that their abilities can be both a blessing and a curse, and that there are many forces trying to either control or destroy them. The large ensemble cast 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 sci-fi series debuted on September 25, 2006 to 14.3 million viewers and a 5.9/14 rating/share of 18-49 demographic. It was the highest-rated premiere for an NBC drama in five years. Though viewership fell to just 12.57 million in episode two, word of mouth started to kick in. On November 20th, episode nine reached just over 16 million viewers and a 6.9/16. Unfortunately, it went on hiatus a few weeks later. The numbers began to dwindle when it returned in early 2007 and, by May, Heroes hit a series low of 11.14 million and a 5.1/13.

Season two started off strong on September 24, 2007 with 14.1 million viewers and a 6.5/15. That didn’t last and viewership began to fall once again. The writers strike caused the season to be shortened so only 11 episodes were made, averaging just 13 million. The honeymoon was certainly beginning to end and the network scrapped its plans to create a spin-off series, Heroes: Origins.

Should Heroes be cancelled?

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Season three has been the show’s most troubled season yet. Heroes returned on September 22, 2008 to 10.09 viewers and the ratings have been falling ever since. The show has been getting hammered by the combination of CBS’ comedy block, ABC’s The Bachelor, and FOX’s 24. Monday’s installment was no exception. It landed in a distant fourth place and attracted 7.04 million and 3.2/7 in the demo.

Will the show return for season four? It seems fairly likely. The show is co-produced by Universal Media Studios, part of NBC’s parent company. At the end of season three, they’ll have 60 episodes of the show completed. Ideally, a series needs more than that to be attractive to affiliates in the syndication market, where a production company can make the most money from a show. NBC also has very few hit shows so they aren’t likely to throw Heroes away just yet, especially with its demo numbers. Rest assured though, if Heroes was airing on either CBS or ABC, it surely would have been cancelled awhile ago.

Going against Heroes’ future is the fact that times are tough and the show’s not cheap. Because Jay Leno will be filling the five hours of primetime each week, there will be far fewer slots available on the NBC schedule.

At this point, it looks like the peacock network will renew Heroes for a shortened season. If ratings keep falling though, they may decide to cut their losses. One way or the other though, it looks like the days of Heroes are certainly numbered.

 

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Xen December 14, 2012 at 4:32 am

It’s very disappointing not to have a real closure. The least they can do is figure out a way to end it in a decent manner! The actors deserve it! No matter the rating if it was going to be ended They should do it the smart way getting the right writers finishing it in a movie or in a continuation mini series that would really end it. With no more twisted Turns!

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Chuckster August 29, 2010 at 12:44 pm

The problem with Heroes happened when instead of offering repeats to stay caught up with the show (like everyone else) they took the show off air for the season which gave people the chance to get involved in some other show which allowed the loss of viewers. In the future NBC I wouldn’t do that, but allow the show to run until the new season starts.

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zay August 28, 2010 at 4:54 pm

heroes is the best show on abc there is no reason u should cancell it it has gotten so exciting the carnival was an exciting part in the heroes sieries and so was nathan dyin for all we know nathan prob aly quit the show please bring back heroes

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Kenny July 16, 2010 at 9:47 am

Heroes, My Name is Earl, Medium, Southland, do I need to go on?

It is the reason why I refuse to watch any new shows from NBC. I don’t need to devote time to a show to only have it cut down half way into a storyline.

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I love heroes May 28, 2010 at 11:08 pm

Heroes is one of the best shows on abc.now that abc has cancelled heroes how would its rating fair against other networks.I’m a huge heroes fan and seasons 4 storyline left me speach less. I was looking so forward to season 5 that i told all my friends about it . I not come back for a season 5 then please make a Heroes the movie.

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rancors May 19, 2010 at 8:51 pm

al menos un final digno, ese final da verguenza …, nisiquiera es un buen final para la temporada y lo va a ser para la serie

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Jenn May 15, 2010 at 1:52 pm

I LOVED Heroes! I see no reason for it to be cancelled. they had just started a new and exciting story line an i was looking foward to seeing the new season.Im sorely disappointed. BRING BACK HEROES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Claudia May 15, 2010 at 12:59 pm

I personally think that heroes has had its ups and downs ,but all in all it is a good show and it at least deserves another chance. However, I do think that there should be some improvement in the show because I am just not getting a vibe of excitment as much as I did before. I anticipate that you will take my suggestion to mind. Thank you!

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Rick May 15, 2010 at 2:16 am

The storyline became convoluted and incoherent and few who died on the show stayed dead. After a while, even the drama of death wears out when it becomes meaningless. It’s difficult to focus on a show (or care) when the plot becomes confusing. The charismatic characters and decent acting could carry it only so far.

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funnyguy February 11, 2010 at 5:26 pm

thanks jay i have 3 reasons to hate jay leno now, first david letterman for not getting the tonight show, then conan obrien and now heroes getting cancelled. i love heroes and lost, heroes problem being dropping major storylines and characters and not following through with them after season 2.

networks need to give scifi and fantasy shows more of a chance and stop doing rediculous things like putting them against other scifi/fantasy shows or popular shows (heroes mistake being putting it against 24). thiers hardly enough scifi/fantasy shows out thier as medical dramas, law dramas and csi crime dramas swamp tv now to the point of gagging us. (although i have an idea for a medical based law csi tv drama nbs…jk, jk). networks need to learn how to promote shows like these (as well as bring major stars into them from other shows like networks did in the early 70s, 80s as guest stars). i also predict v lasting one season.

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Katrina Fine February 1, 2010 at 1:09 pm

I hope that heroes is pick up for another season and besides alot of people is being lay off durning the ecomoy and look at all the people that this will effect the cast the creator the crew the writers and all the rest that kept this show on four seasons and they need to stop this priating of this show and i disagree with the last coment i bet this person want more realtiy shows there is enough of them already and if they cancelled with this show i might be done with this network

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joshua kane November 11, 2009 at 3:08 pm

Series 3 is totally RUBBiSH. The storyline is weak, the cheerleader is dull and the carnival is pointless. They need to improve and tighten the plots. Develop a structure that will bring back some form of continuity and hire some writers that know how to write. What started as an interesting and intiguing show, reminding me of comic books from the 60’s & 70’s has been turned into a series that lacks any suspense, interest and intrigue. They have made ALL the characters weak and insipid and dare I say it? Turned ‘Heroes’ into ROB LIFIELDS X-FORCE.

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Red Minx August 5, 2009 at 1:21 pm

I think it could be salvaged. As for Ali coming back, that part is easy. She gives a hint in an interview. Her final character died by freezing herself but somehow she blinked meaning she was still alive. Well what happens when ice thaws? She had made the comment that her comeback involved lots of water.
My main problem with the show is when Nathan dies in the end. Why on earth wouldn’t they just put some of Claire’s blood in him and bring him back? They did it with HRG and he would’ve sustained brain damage and everything. I would give it another chance but I’m afraid they may have jumped the shark removing Pete’s and Hiro’s powers and killing Nathan.

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alex August 1, 2009 at 10:36 pm

The problem with Heroes is that the storyline is starting to conflict with itself; The ability to time travel and rewrite history does that b/c there’s so much to consider – AKA the butterfly effect.

The show has great potential but I don’t think it should be aired indefinitely. I believe the best way is to follow the steps of great legends and step down while it’s in its prime. In other words, it should have an idea of how the story ends, thus, becoming akin to a mini series like jail break or sex in the city. That’s the best solution because you can develop spin-offs and a dedicated audience base to the imaginary world of Heroes, or even an occult following. Hell, I’d join the cult if the show kept it’s momentum like season 1 & 2… My powers would be mental manipulation like Matt, except I project faith and confidence in everything I say.

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Anonymous July 31, 2009 at 9:01 am

BRING BACK HEROES!

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