'Heroes Reborn': Will the TV show stand out in a superhero-saturated TV landscape?

The 13 new episodes set in the world of the NBC hit 'Heroes' will debut on Sept. 24. Some of the original 'Heroes' cast members, such as Masi Oka and Sendhil Ramamurthy, are returning.

Christos Kalohiridis/NBC/AP
'Heroes Reborn' stars Ryan Guzman.

As 90s TV shows like “The X-Files” and “Full House” get second leases on life, NBC is returning to its superhero hit in the age of the comic-book blockbuster.

“Heroes Reborn,” a continuation of the mid-2000s NBC series “Heroes,” will debut on Sept. 24. It’s a 13-episode (for now) follow-up to the original show, which told the story of various people, such as a high school cheerleader and a politician, discovering they have superpowers.

The first season of the show was critically well received and a ratings hit for the network. After that, however, the next three seasons were mostly panned by reviewers and dropped in the ratings.

The new episodes bring back some of the original “Heroes” actors, such as Greg Grunberg, Masi Oka, and Jack Coleman, but is also bringing on many new people, including “Chuck” actor Zachary Levi.

But the superhero entertainment landscape has changed a great deal since the show's original run. When it debuted in 2006 Marvel had yet to emerge as a titan at the multiplex (“Iron Man” wouldn’t arrive until 2008), and such TV hits as the 1970s series “The Incredible Hulk” and the 1990s show “Lois & Clark” were long in the rearview mirror. The "Superman" series“Smallville” was a presence but on the lower-profile CW network.

Now, though, seemingly every TV network has or just recently wrapped up a superhero TV show (and a certain high-profile streaming service does, too). ABC is airing “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and “Agent Carter,” while NBC just recently canceled “Constantine.” CBS is debuting “Supergirl” and Fox is airing “Gotham,” which is based on the world of DC Comics’ Batman. Netflix debuted its show “Daredevil” last spring and will bring the comic book series “Jessica Jones,” based on the superheroine of the same name, to the Internet this November. Two more series set in the same fictional universe are set to follow on Netflix.

Just having superheroes won’t cut it anymore for a “Heroes” reboot. However, one hint of what’s to come from Mr. Coleman may remind comic book fans of another franchise. Coleman recently said of the new episodes in an interview, “It’s a very dark and different world for them now. It’s a dangerous time and place to be a [superhero].”

The most recent “X-Men” film, 2014’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” also focused on a dark future where superheroes (or “mutants,” in “X-Men” terms) were being hunted down. “Heroes Reborn” could do worse than to take notes from that “X-Men” plot line – the film became the ninth-highest-grossing film, domestically, of the year. 

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to 'Heroes Reborn': Will the TV show stand out in a superhero-saturated TV landscape?
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today