On the heels of Fox reviving its iconic drama 24 as an event miniseries, NBC is doing the same with one of its most popular serialized dramas of the past decade, superhero series Heroes. Creator Tim Kring is back shepherding the 13-episode new standalone arc entitled Heroes: Reborn, which will air in 2015.
The original series chronicled the intertwined stories of unrelated ordinary people who discovered they had superhuman abilities and learned they were part of a grand plan that brought them together to change the world. Heroes Reborn will feature a new group of characters, though “we won’t rule out the possibility of some of the show’s original cast members popping back in,” NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke said. Heroes original cast included Milo Ventimiglia, Greg Grunberg, Hayden Penettiere, Adrian Pasdar, Zachary Quinto, Masi Oka, Ali Larter and Sendhil Ramamurthy. The characters and storylines from Heroes Reborn will be introduced in a digital series prior to the launch of the TV miniseries.
Heroes epitomizes the pitfalls of heavily serialized drama series. It launched in 2006 with a very strong first-season arc, becoming a critical darling as well as an instant pop culture phenomenon that coined the famous tagline “Save the Cheerleader Save the World.” But it then struggled to maintain the momentum and reinvent itself, ending its run after four seasons. Nevertheless, Heroes quickly earned a cult status, with fans still passionate about it and rallying to bring it back even after NBC abandoned an idea it considered at the time of Heroes’ May 2010 cancellation of doing a 2-hour TV movie or 4-hour miniseries to wrap the show’s storyline. Heroes has been one of the most profitable titles for NBC’s sister studio, Universal TV, ranking as its biggest international and DVD seller. The studio had been exploring ways of doing another Heroes chapter with new characters elsewhere, with Microsoft’s Xbox at one point entering discussions with Kring and Uni TV for a new season that didn’t come to fruition. Maybe encouraged by the great reaction fans of 24 have had to the reboot of that cult series as an event mini, NBC opted to step in and take in the project as a miniseries. “The enormous impact Heroes had on the television landscape when it first launched in 2006 was eye-opening,” Salke said. “Shows with that kind of resonance don’t come around often and we thought it was time for another installment. The network made the Heroes Reborn announcement during its Olympics coverage tonight with the following promo: