Monday, May 14, 2007

Heroes: Origins announced

Today NBC announced their upfronts for next season. Here's the official press release. Besides a number of goodies, like Bionic Woman, Journeyman, and a second season (thank god) of Friday Night Lights, we are also in store for a brand new Heroes spin off series! Yes that's right, a Heroes spin off!!!

The show is to be called Heroes: Origins and will be more of a complementary series than a true stand alone spin off. In fact it will be airing in the Heroes time slot during the Fall hiatus before Heroes comes back on the air. The show will consist of 8 episodes total bringing the overall Heroes television for the season from 22 episodes up to 30 total. And while we don't know too many details yet we do know that the show will, according to NBC, be "an innovative new spin-off that each week will introduce a new character -- one of whom will be chosen by viewers through the “Heroes” website on to become a cast regular the following season." According to Variety the decision to create Origins stemmed from the lower ratings Heroes has seen post hiatus. Effectively this is an attempt to keep viewer interest levels high.

So just so we're all clear here. The show will purportedly feature a brand new, never before seen character each week and tell single episode stand alone stories. Then viewers will vote, via the internet or text, to NBC as to which hero will make it onto the real show, in season 3.... This idea is pretty crazy. I mean, I think it could be cool, but the whole American Idol style voting makes me very nervous. And the fact that it's being pitched to us as a show to air while Heroes is on hiatus... does it sound like maybe Origins will be of a lower quality than we've come to expect from the 'real' show? The details on this are really very slight at the moment. Even surfing around the official fansite 9th Wonders hasn't produced much in the way of insight. Somehow it seems like this shows development has completely slipped under the radar until now. While I'm sure more details will be forthcoming, for now we're left with only our speculations...

Tell me what do you guys think about this? Will it be really cool? or has NBC just jumped the shark? We've already seen them develop characters (like Wireless) outside of the regular series format to some success; will this concept work in this new form? In the best case scenario I can imagine this will really help flesh out the world of our heroes; but in the worst it could be campy, freak of the week crap that will drag Heroes down with it... For now I think I'll try to have faith in Kring and co. They haven't let me down so far, and I prefer to think that they never will :)

Thanks to Bernard for giving me the scoop on this story.


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