'Heroes Reborn' Was Designed As 'Heroes' Season 10

Heroes Reborn joins Arrested Development and 24: Live Another Day as shows brought back years after their series finales. Heroes ran for four seasons on NBC, telling stories about people who discovered they had abilities such as flight, teleportation, rapid healing, and telepathy.Heroes creator Tim Kring returns for Heroes Reborn. Last night he was at the NBC party for the Television Critics Association and told reporters that Heroes Reborn is not written as Heroes season 5, but rather something even more ambitious.

"No, I would actually say that it is season 10," Kring said. "I know that sounds a little provocative but the point is, one of the things that we talked about at the very beginning in the writers room was how we wanted every single bit of the mythology to feel as though there was a continuum from the show, and the show picks up five years later. So, ergo, it would be five seasons later and this would be season 10. That was the thinking."

Heroes ran from 2006 to 2010, so had it continued airing, they would actually be on their 10th season in 2015.

"That's the whole idea," Kring said. "That's why we're saying it's season 10. In other words, even the loyal viewer has missed all of this. That's the point. You're somewhat on equal footing. That's exactly the point. The idea is that for the loyal viewer of the original series, we want to honor them and they are rewarded for having been loyal fans of the show by seeing all kinds of things inside the show that other people may not see. There are tons of Easter eggs, but it was really important to me and to the network. It was never an argument. It just seemed like the obvious thing. We need to be able to say if you weren't a viewer of the show originally, you needed to have an on-ramp."

Some cast members from Heroes return, and one of the central characters helps explain what's happened in the five years since the original show was on the air.

"One of the things that we did with that is the character HRG, played by Jack Coleman, his storyline is uncovering the mystery of what happened in the intervening years," Kring said. "By following him, he kind of unpacks a lot of the mythology from the original series for the audience. There are things that he doesn't remember for various reasons that he has to go and find out why don't I know what I'm supposed to know here? He's uncovering a mystery."

"There was a seminal event that happened a year prior to when our show started on June 13," continues Kring. "The June 13 date has all kinds of mystery attached to it. By having to go back to discover what happened or follow the trail of what happened, we unpack a lot of what happened in the intervening years, in a thriller-esque kind of way. His storyline has very much a '70s thriller / Three Days of the Condor quality because it's a bit of a paranoid thriller. Who does he trust and what does he know and who's telling him the truth?"

Certain characters who are not returning were killed on this June 13 attack. That include's HRG's daughter Claire, played by Hayden Panettiere. Claire has the regenerative powers and could not be killed, unless her brain was destroyed. "In this series, she has died along with many, many other people on June 13," Kring said.

"There was an event that happened, which is a mystery. It's a big mystery because we all know that Claire shouldn't die. Don't know how, don't know why? We uncover a lot of that."

Sylar, the main villain of Heroes originally played by Zachary Quinto, does not return, and he will not be addressed. "We do not deal with that," Kring said. "Partly that was exactly the reason of how much do you need to know? If you're not going to have somebody no the show, you have a loaded name attached to that person, why make people think about a character that isn't in the show or not going to be in the show? We hope that the story we're telling doesn't lead you to ask that question."

Adding to that idea, he went on to say, "There's always going to be fans that want to know what happened to all the [characters] but it was very important that this show be a relaunch. I really felt very strongly that the brand always was very elastic. The show was done in volumes, not seasons, so we were always constantly restarting. It was very important to tell the audience that this could restart with new characters."


Heroes Reborn premieres on television Thursday, September 24 at 8 on NBC, but the premiere will first be shown at the Toronto International Film Festival as part of the fest's new "Primetime" program.