By: Steve Czarnecki (theTVaddict.com West Coast Correspondent)
The approach to Stage 7 on the Sunset-Gower studios was an anticipated one this past Thursday morning. I was here to cover a last minute press conference regarding the NBC television series HEROES! There were rumors that talks about Season 2 would be taking place and as a fan of the show and a TV journalist, it was too good to pass up. I headed to the large soundstage where along the way I passed a giant heaping of set props I found familiar, the most recognizable were giant metal letters spelling out the name of Claire’s cheerleading home; Union Wells High School and a sign that said KIRBY PLAZA, the location of the climactic season 1 finale. I checked in and immediately I realized something big was going on…something worldwide…the clue was a humongous globe shaped cake with 7 cities flagged on it. Taking a quick glance around it wasn’t hard to miss Isaac Mendez’s NYC rooftop set and a large number of Asian wooden carts, wicker looking baskets, heaps of bows and arrows in another area of the stage. I sat myself down and eagerly anticipated what was to come in the minutes ahead.
Before long Tim Kring the creator of this hit show took to the podium and was soon followed by the entire Season 1 main cast who stood silently behind, all looking rested, energetic and happy. He explained that six months ago before the show had really even developed a strong following that a trip with fellow producer Dennis Hammer to NATPE produced some overwhelming reaction from attendees ranging from network syndication buyers and corporate exhibitors. This hatched an idea which has now become the Nissan HEROES World Tour. What it entails basically is this; NBC is doing a worldwide promotional push for the August 28th release of HEROES on DVD and HD DVD and sending various members of the cast gallivanting across the globe (not the one made of cake) to as of now, at least 7 cities in 7 different countries to make media appearances, meet the fans, celebrate the show’s success and spread the word about Season 2. Nissan, who has been a corporate sponsor from HEROES inception, is the title sponsor behind this week long tour that starts on day the shows DVD hits store shelves and takes the cast to Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Munich, Paris, London and New York. The HEROES NBC website will feature video and photos from each of the International locations as well as blogs and personal photos from the cast.
Speaking of cast, all the actors seemed excited about this tour though Milo Ventimiglia was upset that he could speak Australian but the land down under unfortunately wasn’t on the schedule for the tour cities. Adrian Pasdar commented that he and Masi Oka recently returned from Monte Carlo and the fans were universal in their appreciation that the show was about hope and love and that ideal was communicated across any linguistic boundaries that may have been presented. What was impressive to them is the fact that the show hasn’t even aired there yet! When asked if anyone had ever done anything like this before Greg Grunberg made reference that this was like the Brady Bunch going to the Grand Canyon. Greg and his wife also recently returned from Paris where Season 1 of the show hasn’t even aired yet he was amazed at the reaction received from fans there that have only seen HEROES via the Internet. Most of those have only seen the show via illegal downloads. Also, in Paris this past April, Zach Quinto was on hand for the Jules Verne Festival where the show was honored with an Adventurous Spirit award, he noted that in a country where the show hasn’t yet been released, over 3000 people lined up to attend the event. It is clear that HEROES fans span the globe (not the one made of cake).
Once the world tour announcement was made, Tim began answering questions about other HEROES related topics, the 1st bit of good news is that Season 2 began taping this week and still was on track to premiere in the end of September. Applause erupted. When asked if the appearance of certain cast members who allegedly died in Season 1, that were present today for this announcement signified that perhaps they were returning for Season 2, Kring made note that they were all here because the world tour represented the 1st season of the show. Groans erupted. Greg Grunberg spoke up and stated that be began shooting that day, despite taking “four to the chest” in the last episode. San Diego Comic Con last year is where the show made its debut, this year plans are underway to bring the entire cast, writers and producers back as a thank you to fans and possibly give a sneak preview for Season 2. (Note: the 73 minute uncut version of the pilot episode will be a part of the DVD release, this version was originally showed at last years Comic Con). Another note about the DVD release; it will include 50 deleted scenes, 5 featurettes and cast/crew commentary starting about 9 episodes in and continuing thru the end.
Regarding the 6 episode HEROES origins anthology series, Tim mentioned that it has not yet been written, it will not contain any of the original cast members and will be based on separate storylines of new super-powered characters around the world and their own experiences. The Origins mini-series won’t make its debut until late April 2008 after the season finale of the 2nd Season on HEROES. Jack Coleman revealed that even though at the end of last season when his characters real name of Noah was announced, that his Horned Rimmed Glasses (HRG) nickname was still being used in this Season’s scripts. He says he’s perfectly happy with the acronym! Adrian Pasdar introduced himself and suddenly realized he might have slipped by saying “I’m Adrian Pasdar and I play…played…played…?” He stopped mid sentence before saying anything more. Adrian and Milo’s looks are a lot different than fans will remember of the Petrelli brothers. Being that the 1st episode of Season 2 is called “Four Months Later” if their look today was any indication of how they will appear when taping; expect Peter to have super short hair and Nathan to look like a dark bearded grizzly man. Tim also made mention that there was a tremendous amount of mystery surrounding what events transpired since the showdown at Kirby Plaza and the 1st few episodes of the new season will bring fans up to speed.
And what ever happened to that giant globe looking cake? Tim Kring was handed the “weapon of choice” to cut the cake, Hiro’s katana sword. Hayden Panettiere who was standing next to the sugary iced Earth told Tim to be careful with the over-sized knife, that she wasn’t really indestructible. The cast laughed and the sword plunged in somewhere around Munich. The cake was delicious, I saved you a piece.
Steve Czarnecki is a 15 year Radio and Television Producer as well as a Red Carpet Reporter and Celebrity Interviewer, he currently resides in beautiful Glendale California.