Heroes likely to be cancelled? PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Cult Team   
Friday, 29 January 2010 10:38

Two weeks ago NBC announced it hadn’t yet decided whether or not to renew Heroes and wouldn’t NBCdecide until creator Tim Kring pitched his ideas to the network regarding a possibly fifth season. The broadcaster stated it would be deciding the future of the series within the next few weeks. Well two or so weeks later and ratings for Heroes have continued to decline in America and also in the UK as well. More importantly earlier this week ABC decided to cancel its comedy drama Ugly Betty which had once rated so well for the broadcaster but now was performing very badly. So does the demise of Ugly Betty spell the end for Heroes?

Ratings for the current fourth season certainly haven’t been speculator and in fact every week seems to bring news of further decline. In September the fourth series opened with 6 million viewers but over the following weeks this declined to around 5 million viewers. Since January onwards ratings for Heroes have got even worse with around 4 million viewers per episode – one episode dropping to 3.7 million viewers. In the UK ratings have also not been good for the BBC Two broadcasts of the episodes with less than 1 million viewers tuning in. Ratings are crucially important to the long term survival of shows and so far this season we’ve seen Fox cut down Dollhouse because of its continual poor ratings performance. ABC quickly cancelled Eastwick when its ratings fell below 5 million.


It’s also not as if Heroes hasn’t been struggling in the ratings for some time – it has. The show was tipped to be cancelled by some at the end of its third season because of low ratings but NBC showed faith in the series and re-commissioned it. Now ratings have fallen below season three levels and so signs of only dropping further even though the season finale of Heroes isn’t far away. The fact that Heroes has been ratings-challenged for some time don’t bode well for it.


However, on the plus side NBC has something of a drama crisis at the moment due to the cancellation of The Jay Leno Show. This could be Heroes saving grace this time around because the broadcaster desperately needs drama to plug the gap left behind by the Leno situation and as Heroes is already an established show NBC may renew it yet again – it would be cheaper than commissioning a pilot and then a new drama series because the sets are already there, crew is under contract and so are cast.


Heroes also sells relatively well on DVD in America and internationally as well this coupled with the fact NBC has sold it to many countries has been tipped by several cast members as strong reasons for NBC’s renewal of Heroes. But it then comes back to declining ratings because if, like with BBC Two, ratings are falling for the international broadcasters as well are they going to be prepared to acquire a fifth season? The BBC is already under pressure to cut back on American acquisitions and concentrate on home-grown drama. Heroes could be an easily target for it because of its low ratings and even if Sky were too pick it up they probably wouldn’t be prepared to pay too much for it.


At the start of 2010 we tipped Heroes as one of the shows we think will be cancelled this year and we’re going to stick by our prediction. We’ll be very surprised if NBC does renew Heroes for a fifth year.


Comments (5)
  • Cassius Carty  - The fans
    I think I speak for most fans when I say Heroes has definately had its struggles, but overall the show is still amazing.
    The stories are very complex, but those of us that can concentrate for fourty five minutes a time dont mind this. Anyone who can read a decent novel would be able to watch Heroes - if you watch it one episode after another (which is why the DVD sales are very good) the continuity and small story links are so clever.

    Bring on Heroes season 5, bring our Heroes togther within 'the company' and let them find, stop and help new people with abilities, bring freshness but also continuity to the show!
  • Allen
    No one is arguing that it's easy to follow. It's just poorly written and not nearly as entertaining as it used to be. I'm not sure which fans you are referring to who say it's still amazing, because almost every Heroes fan I've spoken to either says it should be cancelled, or stopped watching last season. Even though I continue to watch Heroes weekly, I am only doing so out of habit. I honestly don't care whether it gets cancelled or not. If anything, I hope it does, so I can find something better to do with the 45 minutes a week that it wastes.
  • robert  - Rating system is outdated
    Nielsen ratings are old and substandard. Have people forgot that we invented the internet? A strong surge of TV media is online now. I can watch Heroes on NBC.com OR Netflix.com. Who's accounting for viewership from those sources?

    I don't think you can entirely benchmark viewership with just Nielsen, the times are no longer that simple. So be it if the death of shows like Heroes, which likely appeal more to tech savvy i-love-my-computer-more-than-my-tv viewers is because that time slot doesn't bring in the ad revenue it should be.

  • Elton
    Heroes is the #1 downloaded show currently. It has 6 million people watching episodes online and the ratings show it actually has less than that watching live. NBC did a good job making the show work online with the website and now they just need to take advantage.
  • Libby  - Bring Heroes Back for Season 5
    I like the last episode of Sylar becoming a good guy. Bring on more bad guys like Simon, and let Peter and Sylar and the rest of the clan stand up to them to save the world....

    I about quit watching Heroes when they started killing off all the good guys (Nathan). I am tired of Sylar being evil....Bring in more bad guys with creative ways of being evil and let Peter and Sylar, Claire,Bennett, Matt, Hiro, Ando, and Tracy work their magic to defeat them.

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