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Feature: Heroes

The big banf painting and Tim Kring

They’ve saved the world, and now they’re going to tour it, as the stars of the hit series set out to meet their fans, wherever they are… We talk to series creator Tim Kring

A year ago, Tim Kring might well have been a worried man. His series Heroes had been picked up for the Fall season in America, and the pilot had gone down well with convention audiences, but despite the success of Lost a genre series with a massive ensemble cast seemed less likely to triumph than, say, its much-hyped stable mate, Aaron Sorkin’s Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. A tell-tale sign was that when overseas buyers assessed the new season’s pilots, none of Britain’s major networks were interested in Heroes, allowing the Sci-Fi Channel to pick it up… only to find the terrestrial networks begging them to sell it on when Heroes became one of the two bona fide hits of the American Fall season (the other being Ugly Betty). So as Heroes finally comes to terrestrial television in Britain, on BBC2, and production on the second season gears up to immense expectations, Kring has other worries on his mind, like the effects of an global publicity tour his cast will be conducting to promote the DVD release of Season One on his production schedule.

“We are going to shut down basically,” the series’ creator comments. “There are a couple of characters, a couple of actors, who will not be going – some of the newer characters. And we’re trying to carve out enough production to keep the production trickling along for that week. But the idea was always to build in this week as a week that we shut down production.”

The hue and cry is a far cry from the moment when the anxious producer first exposed his creation to the critics at Comic-Con a year ago, as he acknowledges.

“We had very little to show. It’s a fairly audacious thing to come down there and fill a screening room with two thousand people and pretend that we were worthy of any kind of adoration, and yet they just overwhelmed us with support. So I think that was the first inkling that we were onto something. It was that and at six o’clock in the morning the day after we premièred when I heard the ratings – those two events really standout for me.”

For that reason, he says, “Comic-Con for us has got a very soft spot in our hearts. They embraced us and took to the Internet and really helped launch the show, so this year we’re going back with kind of a big thank you. We’re going to try to bring everybody involved with the show, the entire cast and all of us writers and producers. We’re going to be doing a much bigger venue and a bigger room with some behind the scenes and some clips and some announcements that we’re saving just for them.” The danger though is that the show’s now so popular no hall can hope to hold all of them. “I can’t stress enough what a soft spot we have for these fans and how much it means to us to go down there. So if there is going to be an issue, we need to figure out how to deal with that. The last thing we want to come out of there with is any sort of dark cloud that we didn’t please people.”

by Brian Sambois

Read the full interview and more on the series in
TV Zone #218

Photo © NBC
Feature © Visual Imagination 2007. Not for reproduction

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TV Zone #218, see below for ordering options
TV Zone #218
August 2007
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