TV series Heroes reborn in a darker world with higher stakes

Suzanne Sng S: (From left) Actors Jack Coleman, Zachary Levi, Jimmy Jean-Louis and Greg Grunberg attend the Heroes Reborn premiere at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.
Suzanne Sng S: (From left) Actors Jack Coleman, Zachary Levi, Jimmy Jean-Louis and Greg Grunberg attend the Heroes Reborn premiere at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.PHOTO: AFP

TORONTO (Reuters) - Five years after Heroes was retired from saving the world on television, NBC is reassembling its rogue team of humans with superpowers for a new miniseries.

Heroes premiered on NBC in 2006 and featured an ever-expanding global cast of characters who possessed hidden superpowers, adopting a story-telling structure that mimicked comic books. "The first time around, we kind of set the bar for this kind of show. But since then, there have been incredible shows," Greg Grunberg, one of the original cast members, said at the show's premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Since the show, created by Tim Kring, was cancelled in 2010 following a drop in viewership, caped and masked crusaders have flooded pop culture, from cinema's The Avengers to CW's The Flash and Arrow. The reboot, a 13-episode NBC miniseries premiering on Sept 24, will see the original cast members joining an ensemble of newcomers and is expected to touch on real-world issues such as the environment, corporate greed and technology. "The world still need heroes. Even with a TV show, we can definitely translate what's going on in the world," said Jimmy Jean-Louis, who played a mysterious Haitian in the original series.


Heroes Reborn. PHOTO: HEROES / FACEBOOK

The new show picks up a year after a terrorist attack has decimated a Texas town, with officials blaming the event on those with special powers. The heroes are forced into hiding and reevaluate their relationships to the society around them as they are feared and hunted by authorities and vigilantes. "It's a very dark and different world for them," said original cast member Jack Coleman, who plays Noah Bennett. "It's a dangerous time and place. So the stakes are higher."

The miniseries model, steadily gaining popularity among broadcast networks, was a welcome change for Kring, who said crafting the first four seasons with 23 to 26 episodes each was extremely challenging.

As there is a beginning, a middle and an end for the miniseries, Kring remains coy about whether the Heroes saga will continue. "This show was always designed to be rare and special," he said. "I think Heroes would've always been better if it was more rare and more special, and less about being on all the time."