Monday, May 17, 2010

NBC Cancels Heroes - Time Travel on TV Fails Again

Fire the Cheerleader.  Save the Network.

It's official: "Heroes" has finally been put out of its misery. NBC announced that they are canceling the superhero drama, whose ratings dropped from an average of 14.5 million viewers in its first season to mere 4.4 million during its last airing on February 8th.

Entertainment Weekly called the news "shocking" which makes me question why I would ever read that magazine again.  Well, to be fair, I was shocked by the news.  I was shocked to learn the show hadn't already been cancelled. 
Heroes is a sad tale.  It started with such promise, and that first season was a really fun mainstream take on superheroes.  Then it fell in the trap that too many shows fall in to - Time Travel.  Complicated time travel, where multiple characters are jumping back and forth between multiple time lines just doesn't work on TV.  It becomes too complicated for the average viewer to follow, especially with a week in between episodes.  Look no further than the mega-hit series LOST which also began to lose some of its viewership when it ventured into time travel. 
Heroes was an lost opportunity.  Their take on real life superheroes became a cultural phenomenon when it first debuted.  It had water cooler buzz.  It had a great villain in Sylar.  But after the first season, it just became terrible.  And they managed to make it worse every season after that.

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