NBC announced earlier this week that the Tim Kring-created series Heroes is set to return in 2015. This time as “Heroes: Reborn”.
In a press release, NBC said 13 episodes were in the works as an “event mini-series with original creator and executive producer Tim Kring at the helm”. Details on the storyline were not revealed, but NBC has suggested that some of the original cast could return.
On the one hand, it’s no surprise that NBC would want to capitalize on the series, which ran from 2006-2010. It remains one of the best-selling TV series on DVD of all time with more than 10 million units sold. But bets are on as to whether fans will respond positively. While the show did earn nominations for big awards, saw record high ratings and enthused a generation of comic-loving viewers, the height of the wave was definitely season one. Heroes went steadily downhill from there.
And so, the initial reaction has been mixed. Some are excited to relive those moments when we saw “ordinary” people discover, develop and use their super-human powers; perhaps Kring will get it right this time. Others are skeptical about the return; why revive something that many people lost interest in – a fact overly obvious by the series’ final viewer ratings.
But here’s where the strategy gets interesting: to regain the support of former fans, NBC will launch a digital series prior to the 2015 premiere that will introduce the characters and new storylines. According to NBC, this leveraging of social media is a way for fans to re-engage with what was one for the true pioneers in multiplatform storytelling. This might generate enough hype and interest to give life back to the one-time great series.
But just like a JackpotJoy Slot, a few things have to line up before Heroes: Reborn will win big. Will we see the likes of Zachary Quinto, Milo Ventimiglia, Adrian Pasdar and Hayden Panettiere return? Will Heroes continue as a kind of “Lost with super powers?” Will we go back to the popular basics? Or are people tired of this concept and the confusing developments Kring likes to throw in?
If Kring’s last project, Touch – which had a familiar feel to Heroes – is anything to go by, one can’t help but wonder that NBC is making a mistake.