Heads Begin To Roll On ‘Heroes’

Behind-the-scenes shakeup attempts to save the struggling series

The NBC series Heroes is in desperate need of a savior these days. After becoming the break-out hit series when it premiered a couple of years ago, Heroes suffered a few set-backs due in large part to the dreaded Writer’s Strike that plagued Hollywood last TV season. Some shows fell apart and were canceled as a result and some, like Heroes, managed to rally and survive to see another season on the air. Unfortch for Heroes, tho, the series hasn’t managed to regain any of its glory (or it’s huge ratings) since the third season debuted this Fall and, as a result, someone had to pay. Much like it did for Lost back when that show started to suck, Entertainment Weekly published an article dissecting all the things wrong with Heroes that may be keeping viewers away (offering 5 Ways to Fix a Series in Crisis) … one week after that article was published, Variety reports that co-executive producers (and writers) Jesse Alexander and Jeph Loeb have been axed from the show:


Big shakeup on the staff of NBC’s “Heroes” came down on Sunday with the axing of co-exec producers Jesse Alexander and Jeph Loeb. Both scribe-producers had been with the show since its first season and were known to have led the day-to-day production operation under the direction of creator/exec producer Tim Kring. “Heroes,” produced by Universal Media Studios, has struggled in the ratings its third season. 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. Reps for NBC and UMS declined comment.

EW.com adds:

Their departure comes at a watershed moment for Heroes, which has taken a serious hit in the ratings amid complaints by critics and fans alike that the show has lost its zeitgeist-tapping appeal. The drama is averaging 9 million-plus viewers this season, down from last year’s 11.6 million average.

Yeah, when a TV series starts to sag in this manner, someone has to pay the price … it looks like the folks calling the shots on Heroes decided to start at the top. I have to admit, my interest level in the series has waned since the show struggled to survive the Writer’s Strike. The storylines have gotten far too complex and there are way too many Heroes running around doing whatever it is that they are doing for me to be able to focus on the larger storyline. All of our fave Heroes are so diluted in all the extraneous new characters that keep getting introduced and keep confusing the storyline that I’m not all that invested anymore in caring for any particular Heroes. I’m not sure if firing the show’s two top producers/writers is gonna save the show but it’s a bold move nonetheless. I’d be all for trimming away some of the newer Heroes and focusing more on the faves. We’ll have to see what effect this shake-up will have on the series in the long run. If they do it right, Heroes can rebound just like Lost did. And let this be a lesson to Hollywood … when Entertainment Weekly talks, y’all better listen.

So … are any of y’all still watching Heroes? Do y’all think that this shake-up will help the show?

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  1. Mr. Gyllenhaal

    I love this show. Yes, there is a million different things going on but I like all the new characters and I just love the premise of this show. I still faithfully watch it each week! Hopefully thou, it will start to gain a little more focus and not be all over the board!!

  2. Aidan

    I’m still watching, but I cringe throughout. There’s too much emphasis on characters about whom we know nothing, and there’s no emotional investment in them. Suresh needs to stop being The Fly and to get a clue; they need to tell us what happened to Nathan’s wife and children, since he doesn’t seem to know; Claire needs to stop rushing into things like an idiot; Peter needs to be a lot more naked; Tracy needs to be Niki and to find her way back to Micah and hopefully Monica – a great hero from last season who’s just disappeared; Sylar needs to wax those brows and stop being Sybil. I love this show and want it to succeed, but they really need to trim the fat and focus on the meat, because each episode is only averaging five minutes of quality story. Petrellicest FTW!

  3. Bruce

    I agree. Even though last season was a mess, Heroes has really begun to step it up. I really like the story that’s going on now and can’t wait to see how it ends.

  4. Steph

    Sometime last season I read that the show worked so well because the first season they had no money so they focused instead on character development and not on special effects. That has switched in the past season and a half and the focus has become the cool effects. That just doesn’t work for a show based on cool characters. Hiro has become a side character that is fluffed off. The emotional investment of Nikki, Micah, and Monica is gone. Even the struggle Peter once went through in finding out who he was, falling in love (where did SHE go??) etc is all but gone. You can’t wipe the slate clean every season just to add new effects…

  5. jesse

    I gave up on heroes after the first episode this year, the show became far to convoluted and boring. In all honesty the show sucks and that is coming from a former fan. Heroes will probably always be remembered as a “one season wonder”

  6. aimie

    Still watching and still loving it, but…. i too am getting overwhelmed. With the 3rd part being called villans i knew there were more cast members coming in but didn’t expect THAT many and was thoroughly upset when they got rid of adam… sigh. what a waste!

  7. boo

    Heroes use to be my favorite show but I feel it has become far to complicated. I’m so exhausted after watching it. Please go back to the core characters. I need my rest!

  8. Beast

    Who!? Who!? and What?!

    I stopped watching after the second season. The writing was on the wall. They are trying too hard to be complicated. It’s gotten to the point where I just didn’t care anymore.

  9. Lola

    I’m still loving Heroes and watching it every week although I agree there are a lot of characters and story-lines going on.

  10. Karly

    I watch it but not the night it airs. I watch it online later on during the week. I like Prison Break and Terminator wayyyy too much to ignore them for heroes kay?

  11. Robin Sparkles

    Maybe if Heroes wasn’t so blatantly stealing story lines from The 4400 (another NBC-Universal show that was on USA in the last three years) and go back to its roots from the first season it wouldn’t be the melodramatic laughing stock it has become.

  12. rachel

    i’m still watching and i’m really starting to like where this season is going. i felt like, in the first few episodes, the writers were trying to cram in everything they weren’t able to during the writers strike, but now as the season is progressing, they’ve cleaned up the rough edges and things are starting to fall into place. i can actually tell what the bigger storyline is (mama vs. papa petrelli and all those working for them/attached to them) i mean there are a lot of storylines but thats how its always been. i think this season will prove to be a good one. maybe not as good as the first season but not worth losing millions of viewers over!

  13. Katt

    yeah, hereos hasn’t been as addicting for me this season. i don’t look forward to each episode like i do for Lost (though Hereos has never been as good as Lost imo). There is way too much going on, and it gets really confusing. hopefully they’ll get their act together!!!

  14. I still watch and I haven’t felt to lose in the new series. I like the new characters, but I do wish they would focus more on the originals a lil more.

  15. Pam

    Still watching, still loving Peter Petrelli (I hated that he lost his super cool powers), but yes… too many characters and none of them developing into anything so far. I like the interesting twist of Sylar being peter´s brother, that angela is full of surprises. The story is pretty much full of holes, they go to the future, come back and then you don´t actually understand anything of what they saw. Angela wants the formula, petrelli wants the formula… who is actually trying to use it, what do they want heroes for? I don´t get what they want to do… I still can´t stand Claire.. you can´t feel pain, so what? Relax!

  16. Margie

    I have yet to see any of the Heroes this season mainly because I experienced a problem with my DVR box and boom, they were all gone. I must admit that I don’t miss it.

  17. Pam

    Oh.. I forgot, I agree with what someone said, Hiro doesn´t even seem to count, and he is the most loveable character of them all… we want more Hiro!

  18. ginae

    still watching here too….but slowly weaning off….gots to agree w/ Aidan.
    just too much going on anymore.

  19. stopped watching after the first episode of season 2. it got really random, boring, confusing, and sort of purposeless. i donno. now i watch gossip girl =) it’s the best!!!

  20. nc

    I watched every episode and loved them all….up until the strike. I just couldn’t get back into the show after the strike and haven’t watched it again since. Those writers should be gone, lol

  21. maddie

    I have to say that I miss your updates on Heroes Trent. You always caught things that I missed in the episodes. This season is rough, I feel like I have no idea what’s going on even though I watch every week. Definitely time to either pull it or fix it.

  22. Rolltideguy77

    I still watch every week through TIVO. I’ll continue to watch but I don’t feel the same sense of urgency to watch and see what happens. They need more hot people showing skin, fewer characters and way more OMG jaw dropping moments.

  23. Soleil

    This season is way too complex and after a week I have usually forgotten all of the details that are necessary to understand the next episode. A change is in order for sure. Let’s hope they can return to their original glory.

  24. Rosie

    I agree with you Trent :) and I also miss your recaps :( they need to get rid of the newbies and focus on the characters we love , my faves are Peter, Claire, Sylar and Elle who has grown on me so dont kill them key :) for the rest i dont care that much lol

  25. Domilue

    There’s just way too much going on and too many unnecessary characters. They need to cut the chaff and get back to the core group. There needs to be way more naked Milo and Adrian as well. Also, they need to unrelate Claire and Peter so they can get their freak on already. Bam chicka-bam-bam! Then it might be more fun to watch!

  26. Tina | Tk

    Sad to say.. as I was watching the new episodes for the 3rd seasons there were many times where I’d think and say, “Oh.. that’s it. I’m not watching Heroes anymore.” Things just became to hectic and all my favorite Heroes were turning… bad? :T But I still stuck to watching it believing that… things will changee. : (

  27. I was a huge fan of Heroes but sad to say, I lost it with the writers strike… it jumped shark for me with the weird twins.. and I just haven’t gone back. I lost a lot of shows because of the writers strike, like Pushing Daisy’s.
    If Heroes went back to the main characters, maybe I would find my way back, I don’t know.

  28. rick

    it has become a bit complex..
    i am a little ticked peter lost his power!!
    he’s so hot!
    anyway…. i’m over everyone dying in each episode and coming back to life somehow or another. it”s taking away the suspense.

  29. alliecat

    I missed out on the joys of Heroes the first season but now I’m in love with the show! I think too many characters have been introduced and not handled appropriately, and if they continue to kill off everyone I’ve grown attached to I’ll scream, but I have to admit that the storyline is picking up and I’m getting really intrigued by where this can go.

    I wonder if the strike had not happened what season three would have ended up being like?! Because, obviously season two ended with a rush. Just a thought.

  30. Shavonne

    This is sad news. I’m still a huge fan and I was convinced that the show was headed in a better direction. Jesse Alexander wrote the best episode of the season so far (Eris Quod Sum). I think that along with Tim Kring, Jesse and Jeph knew the characters the best, and the new direction might become a little too phony. I’m worried the show will now lose alot of the “ordinary people with extraordinary powers” charm it once held. Hopefully I’m wrong and this turns out to be a good choice… I love Heroes :[

  31. lewis

    I liked Heroes in the beginning and even liked the second season, although the “seeing or visiting the future and coming back to save the world” was a repeated plot tool. With the writers strike, they decided to wipe the slate clean, so like someone said already, where is Peter’s “girlfriend?” And where is Nathan’s wife and kids? I understand what they’re trying to do in moving past the writers’ strike, but can we have some closure on some points? With the new season they’ve repeated the “knowing the future” template, and they keep throwing out new surprises and twists. Its overwhelming at time to keep track of all the new characters and the multiple storylines with all their varied elements. I like multiple storylines, if they’re done well and developed fully, but the current lines and plots make it seem like the writers are vomiting up all their ideas at once and seeing what happens…..and I’m losing interest in all of it, quickly.

  32. Bob

    Hereos used to be great. Now it’s boring and just plain sucks.

  33. Michael

    First, I love this season! I think it’s great! I would say that if you can’t follow this season then you’re stupid and should probably watch Sesame Street….

  34. kallisto

    still a huge fan and still watching. i do agree with you however that the story line has become a little to – all over the place. i really wish they hadnt killed adam. i do love silar’s transition into something of a good guy though. it makes sence now that he finally found his mother and is accepted by her that he can finally stop being so evil. also my husband looks like silar so i’d rather silar not be so evil.

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