Kring Promises to Simplify ‘Heroes’
Tim Kring, creator and executive producer for NBC’s Heroes, watched the dust begin to settle after the network insisted on changes which resulted in the dismissal of Jesse Alexander and Jeph Loeb on Sunday. According to a story in Variety, the peacock network was concerned that Kring had delegated too much of the show’s storyline to others which has resulted in an uneven second season and a third season that is not bringing back audiences as everyone had hoped.
As he committed to the personnel changes, he also promised his bosses at NBC and Universal, which produces the series, that he will take the criticism – from the media, network and their rabid fan base – and tweak the series to reflect the issues. Simplification may become the new watchword on the set. The trade said the goal was to “get back to the show’s comicbookish good vs. evil themes and to emphasize character development more than plot twists.”
Kristin dos Santos at E! reports that Entertainment Weekly’s recent cover story on their perceived problems with the show was a public embarrassment and final straw.
The trade went on to note that Kring took his eye off the story because the series requires so much of his attention in terms of wrangling the expansive cast and the large amount f/x and post-production requirements which pushes the budget for each hour to $4 million. Even so, budget overruns have been an issue for Universal which deficit finances the series and will only make their money back from eventual off-air syndication, home video sales and merchandise.
The current volume, “Villains”, will wrap up December 15 with an episode Loeb wrote called “War”. Then the series will take an already scheduled break before returning in January with Volume Four, “Fugitives”. Kring told dos Santos, “There are a couple of more deaths planned. Someone you have come to know will not make it to the end of the season."
The ratings have been weaker than the first breakout season, with the show averaging just 10. 4 million viewers, a 21% drop from its weaker second season.