Holy crap. How things can change in six months. The top-rated NBC action series Heroes, which was an instant hit two years ago, has been canceled after a 25% drop in viewership with the third season’s premiere. With advertisers dropping off left and right, NBC will air the remaining seven episodes that have already been filmed and, presumably, wrap things up with a quick season finale – if fans are lucky.
No doubt, fans like me are going to protest this like crazy, as Heroes is one of the most refreshing shows on television. It was a risky venture by NBC – after all, even with superheroes being as popular as ever after successful franchises like X-Men and Spider-man, TV audiences can be finicky, and the thought of a television show about “realistic” superheroes was pushing the acceptability factor of people. Nonetheless, it launched with a slam dunk and just went from there, delivering some of the best television we’ve seen in years (OK, not nearly as good as Lost or Battlestar Galactica).
Unfortunately, the second season was a bit weak at times, and the last several episodes were hurried by the writer’s strike, cutting short major season arcs and conveniently wrapping them up in overly ambitious ways. Season Two saw a ridiculously small amount of episodes, and apparently that was more than enough to kill it for audiences. Still, a 25% decrease is pretty shocking, and NBC must have passed the break-even point as I’m sure Heroes is quite pricey (despite having rather crappy special effects by today’s standards).
Anyway, while Heroes did experience a 25% drop with its season premiere, NBC of course is not really canceling one of its most popular shows. Did you really believe that? Did you?