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Feature: Heroes

One Kring to Rule Them All

The heroes!

Creator and executive producer Tim Kring introduces us to the people destined to save the world!

Tim Kring had a super hunch. Kring, the creator and executive producer of the hit freshman series Heroes, knew better than to believe the pundits who labelled his show one of the top candidates for a quick cancellation. In fact, more than a few people predicted a photo finish between Heroes and Jericho for the dubious distinction of being the first network show to get the hook. However, a funny thing happened along the way to doomsday: Heroes elicited rave reviews and is not only one of the most highly rated new shows – an honour it shares with Jericho, by the way – but it’s now one of TV’s top-rated shows. Period.

“Well, we didn’t really take any of that seriously because we knew that we were going to launch big,” says Kring, whose previous credits include Crossing Jordan, Providence, Strange World, Misfits of Science, Knight Rider and, yes, the film Teen Wolf Too. “So it was an outsider’s opinion, but anybody on the inside knew that that wasn’t true. The truth is that most things do fail. It’s a much easier prediction to say something is going to fail than to say it’s going to succeed. But we had some very accurate tracking numbers and we had them very early, so we were working off a whole different set of data than the people who were just taking a wild guess from the outside.

“I think that unlike a lot of the serialized shows that were presented this year, Heroes has, ultimately, a very hopeful message attached to it. And I think the ones that failed didn’t. They presented a much darker worldview. They were stories about tragedies and crimes. While Heroes has had at its centre, at least as a first-season arc, an apocalyptic event being prophesied [specifically the destruction of New York City in a nuclear holocaust], the truth is that there are people coming along to do something about it. Ultimately, that’s a hopeful message.

“Now, just back to conversation about people who predicted the show wouldn’t work, it was very strange because I would say that about 90% of the things I read were predicting its success,” Kring adds. “And then every once in a while you’d read something that was predicting its failure and you’d be like, ‘Where is that coming from?’ You’d have no idea where that was coming from, and then we were surrounded by internal stuff – internal meaning Hollywood, internal meaning tracking and all of that – that was so contrary to all that. It was like, ‘Why don’t these people just go on the Internet and look up some of these tracking numbers?’”

by Ian Spelling

Read the full interview in
Cult Times Special #42

Photo © NBC
Feature © Visual Imagination 2006. Not for reproduction

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Special 2006
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