HEROES: NBC Fires the Wrong Villains

When Entertainment Weekly’s Jeff Jensen recently proposed that HEROES “trim the fat by either killing some top-tier HEROES (hello, genuine life-and-death stakes!) or giving one or two a permanent happy ending.” this wasn’t exactly what we had in mind.

Over the weekend, HEROES executive producers Jesse Alexander and Jeph Loeb, two writers who have been with the show since day one, were fired over creative differences and budgetary concerns.

Reports Variety’s Cynthia Littleton, “It’s understood that Alexander and Loeb were let go because of Peacock execs’ frustration with the creative direction of the show. The show is also said to have been grappling with hefty budget overruns this season, that are going well beyond its already sizable $4 million per-seg pricetag.”

And while this TV Addict applauds the proverbial powers that be at NBC for finally recognizing that there is a serious problem with their once highly touted series, one can’t help but wonder: What exactly is HEROES spending $4 million an episode on? Certainly not visual effects (See Nathan Petrelli flying) Are Alexander and
Loeb really the villains here?

Because if you ask me, Alexander and Loeb’s firing looks like the real-life equivalent of say, President Bush firing FEMA director Michael Brown over the Katrina debacle. That or, they’re simply the latest in a string of scapegoats now that showrunner/creator Tim Kring can no longer blame the Writer’s Strike on another lackluster start to the season (as he did with season two.)

Naturally begging the question, when is NBC going to hold Tim Kring accountable for the sorry state of this once proud series? After-all, he was only to happy to bask in the glory that was HEROES season one. Should Mr. Kring now not be expected to step up and acknowledge his role in the train-wreck that are seasons two and three?

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  • stockwell

    After listening to a podcast interview with Jeph Loeb, it became very clear to me that he was one of the primary reasons that HEROES has been off the rails of late. That is not to absolve Tim Kring of any responsibility. But, i think that axing these two may allow the show to find it’s way again.

  • Dramadaddy

    What they need is a nice taste of Joss Whedon. Now, there was a guy who didn’t mind killing popular characters. The seem to be so afraid that if they kill off somebody, they might be losing a viewer. You can’t have a good show and worry about killing off everybody’s favorite Hero. One of my favorite things about Buffy & Angel was knowing that anybody could kick it at anytime.

  • Josh Emerson

    I thought when you quit watching the show that would end all of the bashing here. Guess I was wrong!

    The show is still enjoyable to me. I think Season 3 is far superior to Season 2 in most ways. Though I’m not crazy with how stupid they’ve made Hiro. He used to be fun to watch, now you just want him killed off already.

  • Stockwell: Do you have a URL for the Podcast interview?

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  • Tim

    I actually have enjoyed this season a lot. Once you stop acting like it’s Lost and just watch it as a guilty pleasure it ups the enjoyment factor a ton. At it’s core, I still feel like this is a fun, entertaining show.

    My only problem is that the stakes aren’t high, at all. They need to kill off a character or two and then let the actor LEAVE THE SHOW. People hated Nikki, so they killed her off. Did they get rid of Ali Larter? No, they gave her two more characters to play. That’s weak.

  • tim w. in tx

    4 million an ep? Jeez. That’s part of their problem. I agree, when will Kring be held responsible? He wouldn’t be the first ‘creator’ to be fired by networks hoping to fix a show. Lets see who replaces them. “Heroes’ may be more interesting ‘behind the scenes.”

  • theo

    I have only watch the 1st 5 eps from this season, But they need to kill Sylar. He has been on the show far too long, They need to get a fresh new Villain into the series. Syalar is now Stale.

  • Michael

    I completely agree that Tim Kring needs to fess up and take responsibility for this show. From the very beginning of season one I thought Kring was incapable of running a creatively successful show after watching him in interviews in which he displayed very little creativity. I have always believed that the greatness that was season one was simply luck, and even though I have now decided to take a season long break from the show hopefully resulting in a renewed interest in season four, it seems to me that Kring has only proven himself to be even less capable of running an interesting show now in season three much like in season two. Perhaps the creative peak of the show in season one could be attributed to then producer Bryan Fuller, creator of the almost overly creative series’ Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls, and Pushing Daisies, who is no longer a part of the show.

  • Michael, I completely agree with you and it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. If we were to pinpoint the start of HEROES creative downtrend, it might be when Bryan Fuller left to create PUSHING DAISIES.

    Josh Emerson, I’m not bashing the show. I’m simply commenting on what is happening behind-the-scenes, which I believe is completely valid 🙂

  • Hilsto

    They are probably spending half of that per episode keeping their large cast together. Kill a few off — amazing what kind of money is freed up!

  • EKI

    My How-To-Fix-Heroes Personal Guide:

    A) First of all, with all this seeing the future and acting in consequence, Hiro will figure out that he knowing the future is what causes all the bad things to happen. Then, with a final visit to the future with a trully horrible end of the world scene were he can’t stop the appocalypse (aka Peter Gone Wild), he will realize that he acting to stop it is the worst he can do. He will commit seppuku after confessing to Ando.

    B) Ando will take Hiro’s sword and commit to save the world, being him the right chose for a savior instead of Hiro. Ando will be THE Hero, with no powers (and this will be the new direction of the show). First mission: Ando will successfully behead a powerless Peter, making a lot of enemys in the way, Claire, being the first one as she will witness this execution.

    C) Claire will embrace then her ability of not feeling anything and stop crying. She will become a merciless vilain (but not the crappy kind one we’ve seen so far. Ando told her that Peter had to die, because otherwise he would have too much power in the future and this was the only moment where he was vulnerable, but then Claire asked where was the line that determines an acceptable amount of power from too much. She will then become the next Magneto, rallying all the heroes on her side (ALL VILLAINS!!! except just a few) and some humans (HRG).

    D) On the other side, Ando will team up with some of the heroes that will lose their abilities and even a few that will keep theirs. Nathan will, strikingly, be on his side, because God told him to.

    E) On the other side, Mohinder shall go marginal, as a kind of Gollum, not in any side, always on both, and with a final and crucial role in the final season.

    F) A short confrontation will terminate with annoyung people as Claire’s foster mom, her brother, the blonde running girl, that “your-fear-makes-me-powerfull” guy and some others. Oh, and a new revelation XD Adam’s good twin (he was the evil one) (what!? if Nikki can have as many clones as she want’s, I can afford to have Julian Sark back on the show, can’t I?)

    End of Volume 3.

  • Nick.C

    I have to say that i think part of the blame should go to HEROES FANS .After the first season they went on and on how it was better than LOST(what a joke).Over hyping it to such a degree that it had little chance of holding up..Im not saying the story lines didn’t diminish in quality.(they did)I just think not only did Tim Kring get a Big Head but so did the fans…

    oh yeah,and Hiro is an idiot….

  • Mel

    Theo, I must disagree. Kill off Sylar? Good Lord — he’s been the only character worth watching!
    The solution is really very simple — the show was set up to have converging arcs around Peter — and Peter is like Sampson — in S2 they cut his emo bangs — and what happened? The show sucked. Grow the bangs back, Milo. Seriously. I know they’re annoying -but you’ve gotta take this one for the team.

  • London speaks

    Joann Vara and many other people blogged for months to try and let the public know that tim kring had committed a heinous crime by stealing two other NYC artists work and pretending it was his work.

    The lawsuit that is now in an Appellate court against tim kring, NBC, jeph loeb, bryan fuller and alan arkush has had a profound effect on heroes story lines and ratings.

    check out the lawsuit online, NBC admitted in the appellate court that those NYC artists work were original and fully developed.
    NBC also admitted to access to these artists work and copying their work.
    It’s all online for the world to see.

    Understand this: Those NYC artists named ENJAI EELE AND AMNAU EELE, also known as THE TWINS were the original real life artists that could paint the future on canvas in real life and fiction, and they were written about in the NY DAILY NEWS AUGUST 5, 2004 by vanity fair editor lloyd Grove.
    tim kring claims he came up with the idea in OCT-NOV 2005.
    The Twins were in museums with their work in 1994-2001 and then again in 2004-2008. The Twins were published in many magazines and newspaper long before anything called Heroes, I first read about them in a London newspaper in 2001.
    I’m flying in from London to attend the trial in NYC, I want to see how tim kring will defend himself against these charges.

    I think it’s sad that two NYC artists are in NYC schools and colleges everyday teaching students what it means to be an” ordinary person with the extraordinary ability of painting the future in real life and fiction”, while this moron tim kring is pretending on NBC that ISAAC MENDEZ was his new creative original idea. But I understand why it was so important for tim kring to tell this lie, you see the artist that can paint the future is a pioneering character that does not exist in the marvel/DC comic 5000 character pantheon.
    we all know who the HULK, Magneto is, but name the artist before Isaac Mendez? The answer: ENJAI EELE.

    I feel sorry for production and the actors on the show, tim Kring lied to all of those people and he played with their lives. Tim Kring is no different from those wall street crooks, that ran off with Americans bank accounts and 401K plans. Tim Kring and his criminal writing crew operate just like car theft rings. all tim had to do was wait for another talented writer’s work to come down the pipe line to steal, put his name on it and hide behind the $$$$$ power of NBC owned by GE. who can win against such power in an American court of law? and when the people suing are BLACK, with the intense racism in America, what chance do those artists really have against such wealthy corrupt whites? After all, whites in America has a racial problem with Obama ,and his mother is a white woman.
    Here in London we give credit and respect to black talent, we don’t steal black people’s artform and pretend it’s ours.
    when I saw the first episode of Heroes, I knew the concept had been created by black people.
    black americans are dynamic and highly creative, they produced James brown, beyonce, cornel west, malcolm x, basquiat ,jimmy hendrix,ruby dee,, tyler perry, michael jackson, and so many others

    from what I’ve read, Enjai Eele is a LUBA Divination artist from ZAIRE and his tribe has been divining the future through art for centuries, documented by western scholars since the 15th century.
    you can see Eele’s tribe’s work at the Met museum in NYC., I did.
    This art in the Met museum is the foundation for the Usutu story line.
    The wonderless twins on Heroes were fired because of the real life TWINS work.
    In their book The Twins: Journey Of The Soul, The Twins have the same powers as Maya and her brother.
    Heroes is finished and I look forward to this SCUM Tim Kring getting what he deserves.
    Check out the lawsuit, it will answer all your questions.

  • Shocked

    Wow, London that was completely hypocritical. You call America racists but you are so completely prejudice against America that you don’t even realize it. We’ve had so much racial history here, it’s true, but then again we’re a new country and haven’t had time to over-come our mistakes. Hey, you’re from England, how about we start talking about the British who decided that the Irish weren’t worth helping during the famine and let millions of them starve even though England has a surplus of grains. And hmm… where did all the people who decided to use Africans as slaves come from in the first place? Would that happen to be England? And when America was basically it’s own state England thought it would be a good idea to come over and try to regain power of its colonies by shooting everyone who opposed. Talk about skeletons in the closet.

    Maybe a man did steal the ideal for his TV show from another man, but you’re just an ass for turning it into a racial thing. It’s one thing to bash Tim, he stole someone elses work and that’s horrible, and that’s the point of this forum right now, but one man should not be used as a general example for an entire country. It’s such a narrow focus when the entire world generalizes Americans as a certain type of people. Slavery was horrible, racism is still horrible, but it’s a brainwashing that takes many generations to get rid of and we’re only just over 200 years old.

  • Scott

    Wow how did this discussion about a show come to these last two comments above mine?!?!?! its mind boggling and silly… Um now about heroes. I have to be honest I love this show but I really hate how all the heros are turning bad… I had high hopes for all of them coming together at the end of season 2 now its falling apart 🙁 but none the less I’m still enjoying the show.

  • LeJend

    Back to the show, I don’t know much about what’s going on behind the scenes and whatnot but what has become obvious to me is this: the powers-that-be have become too focused on powers and not enough on people. I assume that there’s some contractual obligation to Hayden Panettierre because as it stands now her character is wholly uninteresting, they would be better off putting her in fewer episodes, as they clearly have no clue what to do with her power. A few other things that they could stand to change: 1. Stop taking away Peter’s abilities, I get that he’s crazy strong but seriously, this is just an excuse to not have to write better stories to make a character who is essentially God seem interesting; 2.Don’t be afraid to kill established characters, not much to say about this as everyone agrees with it; 3. What happened to Micah? Claire is in every episode with a power that essentially serves no purpose, yet the kid who can talk to machines gets 5 minutes in the season? I’m not even specifically a fan of the character so much (though his power is awesome) but there are too many instances of this mismanagement of the ensemble, Maya in a coma for 3 episodes, Micah’s cousin with the muscle memory just not existing, Claire’s moms being in every episode despite being only ancillary characters at best, and so on. There is probably loads of creative talent on the heroes staff, but until they stop being lazy, everyone will suffer.

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  • Michael

    Now that Bryan Fuller is heading on back to Heroes I suppose we are going to finally get that big comeback from this show we thought we were getting at the start of the season, but there is a price to pay, and that price is Pushing Daisies.

  • rick

    Start killing heroes AND villains. 4million? jesus! cut that payroll NBC! There are a bunch of heroes nobody care of and a bunch that havent been taken care of! Take Parkman for example. Great Character and now a complete nincompoop. Give him a better story line hes a great actor and he take it. Another example? someone here already mentioned about Hiro. Please… do something with that guy. Make him wiser and bolder! My opinion is that he should get his head chopped off and roll all the way down to season 4. Get actors out of the script and give the good ones their air minutes they deserve.
    Most importantly, give the people what they want. Think about why Seinfled was a good series? besides the great writing and creative thinking the personalities portrayed their characteristics in EVERY chapter. People wanna see powers doing great things, changing the script and changing their perception of the series. In heroes we are loosing interest on some characters because they are forgetting about them and loosing them in time. They also are complicating the story WAY too much! This Ali Larter character (icewoman) was too much. They shouldve made her a triplet or something but not a story that she died and then found out she was bred in an incubator and blablabla… a TRIPLET would’ve been a better story and with time people would forget about the mother and the psycho (the other two personalities) Keep it simple. If someone has to die, kill, mourn and move on.