Flailing NBC adds ‘Heroes’ spin-off to next season’s schedule

A struggling NBC announced Monday that it plans to bank on the success of this year’s breakthrough hit drama Heroes by adding a spin-off to next season’s schedule.

Angela PetrelliThe spin-off, Heroes:  Origins, will air in Heroes‘ Monday night slot either when the sophomore drama finishes its run or during a hiatus.  This spring Heroes has seen a dramatic drop off in viewers after this last seven-week break between chapters.  The six-episode order of the second series will extend the run of the Heroes franchise to 30 episodes next season and hopefully will fill the void to retain fans.

Now generally I’m not a fan of spin-offs, especially when the original series is still on the air.  I’ve said as much about the Grey’s Anatomy spin-off.  But when I first heard the title for this spin-off, Heroes:  Origins, I got very excited.  Finally, I thought, we are going to hear the tale of Linderman (Malcolm McDowell), Angela Petrelli (Cristina Rose) and her husband, Kaito Nakamura (George Takei), and Charles Deveaux (Richard Roundtree). 

The story of how they each came into their powers, how they met and formed their justice league-type group, and why they broke up intrigues me to no end.  In fact, I’m almost more interested in the older generation of heroes than the current.  I think their story has a lot to offer, more than the tidbits we are currently getting on the show and in the graphic novels.

Alas, my hopes were dashed when I read the description for the second series.  Instead Heroes:  Origins will be stand-alone episodes that introduce a new character each week.  The audience will then be able to vote for which heroes will be introduced on Heroes in the following season. 

While I think it’s great that the producers are thinking ahead about adding new characters to keep the series fresh, I still want to know more about the heroes we already know.  The each have so much more to tell, especially the older generation (I know I’m harping).  This ploy sounds like something that would be tried in the third or fourth season, not going into the second.

Secondly, I’m really not into the interactive TV thing.  I know, I’m showing my age, but I want to watch television to be entertained.  I don’t want it to become a full-time hobby.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the graphic novels and I love to theorize with other Heroes junkies.  But I honestly don’t want there to be action required of me at the end of an episode.

I had strong hopes that Heroes could avoid the mistakes of other successful serial dramas as it went into its second season.  Now, I’m afraid that it’s going to make some brand new blunders of its own.  I guess I’m left wishing that I am wrong and will be pleasantly surprised with the franchise next season.

In the meantime, I can’t wait for the season finale.

(photo courtesy of NBC)

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