As fans of NBC’s Heroes brace for the May 21 season finale—when they’ll find out if Hiro (Masi Oka) and his super friends will indeed save the world—the show’s creators are busy trying to figure out how to save the breakout hit from the effects of another midseason hiatus. One possibility: rethinking the rerun.
Although Heroes caught fire this season while other serialized dramas fizzled, the rookie show took a ratings hit when it returned from a six-week spring break to finish the final arc of episodes.“It’s a real conundrum,” says creator Tim Kring. “You have to be off the air at some point. And this kind of show runs best when the episodes run continuously.”Given Heroes’ value as a fall promotional platform, it’s unlikely NBC will delay next season’s premiere until January, as Fox does with 24.But Kring says one idea being batted around is to “spice up reruns with new material or something that makes it feel like you aren’t just being asked to watch the same thing over again.”And “Volume Two,” as Kring and Co. prefer to call the next cycle, “in no way needs to be the length of a season,” he says. “It may wrap up in Episode 11 or 6 or 14, and then another volume will start. The idea is to keep lowering the barrier of entry for new viewers.”The truth is, Kring admits, “it’s just very hard to carry a story for 23 episodes. I’m sure the guys at 24 wish like hell they’d called it 9 or 12.”