Will ‘Heroes Reborn’ Miniseries Be a Must-See Event for NBC?

NBC surprised everyone with the announcement of a 13-episode "Heroes" miniseries to air next year. Is there still enough interest in the show to make the miniseries a must-see event, or will it be largely overlooked by the viewing public?

Feb 25, 2014 at 6:41AM

In 2006, the world was introduced to "Heroes." Telling the story of super-powered individuals who began displaying their unique abilities after an eclipse, the show's first season hinted at what could be an intelligent and well-paced series about superheroes in the real world. Unfortunately, a writer's strike derailed much of what was planned for season two and the show had a hard time recovering. By the time it started gaining traction again in season four, it was too late; the season's cliffhanger finale became the series finale when the powers that be declined to pick the show up for a fifth season.

Now it seems as though we haven't seen the end of "Heroes" after all. Comcast's (NASDAQ:CMCSA) NBC has announced that it is bringing the show back as a 13-episode miniseries in 2015. The miniseries won't follow directly after the events of the previous seasons, though some previous cast members may make cameo appearances as their characters.

New event, new heroes
Several members of the original "Heroes" cast have kept themselves busy since the show was cancelled; Hayden Panettiere (Claire) is currently starring in ABC's "Nashville," Masi Oka (Hiro) joined the main cast of CBS' (NYSE:CBS) "Hawaii Five-0" in 2011, Milo Ventimiglia has four films coming out in 2014, and Zachary Quinto is filming Agent 47 in addition to future commitments to the "Star Trek" franchise. While it's possible that NBC could structure the series around the schedules of the original show's stars, there's no guarantee that it would be able to accommodate everyone and bring the miniseries event together.

Instead, "Heroes Reborn" will take on what appears to be a largely new cast that will be introduced in a digital series that leads up to the premiere. This doesn't mean that no one from the original show will appear, of course; in announcing the event, NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke said "until we get closer to air in 2015, the show will be appropriately shrouded in secrecy, but we won't rule out the possibility of some of the show's original cast members popping back in."

Is there still an interest in 'Heroes'?
While it's not unheard of for networks to revisit shows years after they go off the air, the decision to bring back "Heroes" seems a bit odd at first. Though the show struggled significantly in seasons two and three, it had begun regaining momentum toward the end of season four before it was canceled. Series creator Tim Kring attempted unsuccessfully to get the show renewed for a half season or TV movie to wrap up the cliffhanger at the end of season 4, but was ultimately unsuccessful.

"Heroes" rumors have popped up occasionally since then, with the most recent being that Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) was considering reviving the show as an Xbox exclusive alongside shows such as the upcoming Stephen Spielberg-produced "Halo" series. While those talks to revive "Heroes" were said to be in the early stages, nothing seemed to come of them. With the return of "Heroes" to NBC, the Microsoft talks obviously fell through.

It's possible that it was the interest from other sources that finally convinced NBC that fans might still be interested in "Heroes," or it could have been a new pitch from Kring after the Microsoft deal fell through. Regardless, NBC believes that it's worth the investment to bring the show back to life.

Will it pay off?
While several of the problems with "Heroes" can be attributed to the damage done by the writer's strike, a significant amount of time seemed to be spent trying to stretch out plotlines and avoid writing massively powered characters such as Sylar and Peter Patrelli into would-be gods. Subplots were added and dropped, new powers were gained and then never used again, and the third season at times felt like an attempt to reset some of the characters to bring back their first-season charm. This likely played into its eventual cancellation; by the time the story started moving in a positive direction again, many viewers had simply become tired of the rehashing and plot filler.

The new miniseries won't have to deal with that, however. With 13 episodes and a single story arc, it won't need to set up future stories or stretch out the plot for a big reveal in the final episode. When you factor in what is likely to be a largely new cast, the show might be able to reclaim some of what it had in the first season. Viewers will be able to watch the characters evolve over several episodes, with the story building toward a definitive conclusion.

"Heroes Reborn" has a chance to be a compelling show that gets the "Heroes" formula right. The big question that remains is whether it's too little, too late for people to watch it.

The next step for you
Want to profit on business analysis like this? The key for your future is to turn business insights into portfolio gold through smart and steady investing … starting right now. Those who wait on the sidelines are missing out on huge gains and putting their financial futures in jeopardy. The Motley Fool is offering a new special report, an essential guide to investing, which includes access to top stocks to buy now. Click here to get your copy today -- it's absolutely free.

John Casteele owns shares of Microsoft. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of fool.com.

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to www.fool.com/beginners, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at www.fool.com/podcasts.

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.

Compare Brokers