Heroes’ Ratings In Sharp Decline

Published 7 years ago by , Updated January 23rd, 2013 at 7:44 pm,

2008 heroes Heroes Ratings In Sharp Decline

The marketing team behind NBC’s superhero drama Heroes spared no expense in getting viewers revved-up for the show’s third season, “Villains,” which promised to correct the turtle-crawl pace of season 2 by delivering a rogues gallery full of super-powered bad guys, along with more of the action-packed throwdowns that made the end of Heroes debut season worth the long journey of 22 episodes.

Well apparently NBC’s money would’ve been better spent on other prime-time fare, because the Nielsen ratings for Heroes are currently falling faster than a drunk girl in heels, with a whopping 22% of its viewership having turned away from the show as of the October 6 episode.

But are the criticisms and complaints about how Heroes has (just barely) unfolded this season as meritorious as they seem? Or is this yet another case of “Joe Sixpack” trying to play amateur critic?

(You’d better believe we will discuss.)

I try not to editorialize too much on this site–even though it is a blog and that’s what blogs are pretty much for. Regardless, I always believe that the best opinion for the public sphere is the even-handed one–an opinion that is at least CONSIDERATE of counterpoints of view that may be out there.

However, in this rare case, in defense of one of the few shows I still truly enjoy, I must draw my daggers.

En Garde.

About a week ago I posted a heated comment after reading Screen Rant‘s own Vic Holtreman’s post: Is Heroes Season 3 Awesome or Ridiculous? (BTW, whenever someone frames a question that way 9 out of 10 times they’re just trying to dress up their negative opinion to look pretty. Can’t fool me.) My tirade basically had to do with the fact that… oh hell, just read it verbatim for yourself:

Kofi Outlaw said,
October 8th, 2008

This season is EXACTLY what we all wanted to see since season 1. You all claim that it was the Characters that made season 1 so special? Have you watched Season 1 recently??? MAJOR CHEESE FACTOR. (“Save the cheerleader, save the world????”) [With S1] We all were waiting for the super-powered showdown to save NYC and even that climax, while good, was a bit underwhelming.

Season 2 was a wash because it took SO long developing the characters and the story arch that we all were like “where’s the action???” That’s why only the last 3 eps of S2 were good, and why the show lost viewers

Now in S3 we have action, we have good twists and turns, good VILLAINS (Marlo from “The Wire?”) and many of you are COMPLAINING ABOUT IT???? It just goes to back up what I always say about TV, which is that the audience doesn’t know WHAT the hell it wants. Everybody is a wannabe critic who thinks they know how it could’ve been better. Write Tim Kring if you feel so strongly, then.

If you’ve “fallen off” the show, good riddance. Go watch Knight Rider while I keep enjoying this thrilling season of a show I enjoy immensely.

While I might’ve betrayed that “objectivity” I pride myself on, I stand by what I said. It is amazing to me that people can have such short memories, or sometimes fail to connect the dots between past and present to see an emerging pattern. To put it simply: Heroes “Villains” is a direct emulation of season 1, only with a much higher ante and weaving a much more intricate pattern, to be revealed (hopefully) in due time.

Ever the Zen master that he is, Vic tried to quell a Screen Rant behind-the-scenes email fight by stating that it is specific elements–convoluted time-hopping plot lines, shallow characters, bad dialogue, blink-and-you-miss-it editing–that are flushing Season 3 down the crapper. Well, if you’re shaking your head in agreement with ol’ Vic’s assertions–if you too are part of the 22% of viewers who are trying to divorce yourself from Heroes at this crucial juncture, may I remind YOU as I reminded Vic:

Wed, Oct 8, 2008 at 6:29 PM
S1 was JUST LIKE THIS: Random quick snippets of story and character that slowly (SLOWLY) wove into a purposed design. [DUDE, RANDOMNESS FORMING PURPOSE] WAS THE THEME OF THE WHOLE FIRST SEASON!!! At first, if you remember, an episode was

- Peter/Nathan bromance
- Claire high school angst drama
- Hiro/Ando hijinks
- Nikki gorefest
- Parkman’s cop/family snore fest
- Mohinder’s back and forth and back from India story
- Sylar mystery
- HRG/The Hatian mystery

That was the exact formula

It irks me that the show is going back to basics, and people are now like “it’s too quick-moving, I wish it would go back to basics…”

I mean really: HAS THE WORLD GONE INSANE???? After Season 2 “Generations,” (a season which was never fully developed story-wise, BTW), don’t you think that Heroes needs to be doing a little bit of narrative catch-up? And talk about ‘judging a book by its cover’: tonight’s episode “Angels and Monsters” is only the fifth installment of a twenty-two episode season! That’s more than 3/4 of the story yet to be told!


Why is Linderman in Nathan’s head?

Is Sylar really Peter and Nathan’s brother?

Is the Nikki Sanders/Tracy Strauss triplet storyline going to bear fruit or fall flat on its ass?

Will Peter go “Sith Lord” on everyones’ ass now that he has absorbed Sylar’s murderous “hunger?”

What kind of freak is Mohinder morphing into now that he gave himself the super-shot?

Will we ever truly care about Parkman?

Are Ando and Hiro really going to have to fight to the death, thereby ending TV’s cutest bromance?

What other sadistic villains do Tim Kring and company have waiting in the wings?

(And just try and tell me that the episode where HRG and Sylar teamed up to stop that first batch of villains wasn’t cool. Try and tell me that.)

sylarhrg Heroes Ratings In Sharp Decline

These are all good tidbits of mystery that can potentially blow up into badass episodes–if people give them time to develop properly. Understand: you can’t have an intricate story line develop properly and have it all happen NOW! NOW! NOW! It doesn’t work like that, people. Just ask yourself: how many lingering questions did the first two episodes of “Villains” answer? Is that not the kind of mystery resolution fans had been clamoring for? Trust in the storytellers for god’s sake, they’ve earned that trust!

I’ll end this rant by saying this: while our source, Reel Comix, is quick to point out that this 22% drop does NOT include the number of DVR or online viewers who watch Heroes every week (the final figure will be calculated later), the show’s popularity IS in the steepest decline of its 2.24 season run. That basically means that more people are displeased with “Villains” than they were with “Generations.”  And to me, that is all kinds of wrong.

Finally, take heed comic book fans. Tim Kring is the best thing we’ve got in our corner right now, as far as television is concerned. (Do I need to bring up unpleasant comic book TV shows of the past like Birds of Prey?) And if no one else will say it, I will say it here: Smallville is a joke. And not a funny one.So if you want to see quality comic book dramas on TV anytime in the near future, Heroes cannot flop. Here’s a tag line for you: “Save the show, save comic book TV.”

villains heroes Heroes Ratings In Sharp Decline

Seriously though, if you are displeased with the current direction of Heroes, be steadfast. Pay close attention to what you don’t like in each episode and send Kring and Co. an email. The makers of Heroes have stated in the past that they are exploring new terrain; that they aren’t the biggest comic book savants around; and that fan feedback is an important element of their brainstorming process. So put down the complaints and pick up a purpose and just maybe you’ll get back the Heroes you seem to remember so fondly, without throwing out a beautiful baby along with some dirty bath water.

There, I’ve said my piece. I’m cool now. I calmly await your daggers.

Source: Reel Comix

TAGS: Heroes
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  1. You sum it up nicely in your article: the show is going back to what worked in Season 1. The only problem with this? Season One was not that great.

    I’ve watched every episode of this terrible show, and your article did a nice job of summing up why I should quit along with the others. Season One was not very good. I thought the show had potential, so I stayed with it. Season Two? Terrible. The entire season was awful. I’ve tuned into Season Three to find it back into mediocrity, but still 3 seasons in and this show has never been very good.

    The problems? Bad characters, lazy writing. I don’t need to waste 2 episodes a year on “this is the future that won’t happen,” and then another 5 episodes worth of storytelling focused on lame characters that only anger the viewer.

    By now this show should have improved. No surprise: it hasn’t.

  2. Maybe I missed it too, but what happened to Molly? Last I saw she was being taken care of by Mohinder and Parkman, and they aint available now…

    Season 3 is lacking that “woah, did that just happen?” moment that season 1 kept throwing at us. Except for Hiro stabbing Ando, last night.

    I do want to remind everybody, that Dr. Who and Star Trek:TNG were full of continuity gaffs and plotholes. We still love love those shows.

    It’s just entertainment… Escapism. Don’t overthink it.

  3. First, I’m waiting to see how things turn out. I got fed up fast with the Hiro in Japan bit, but that was when thought it was just Hiro’s own story. When it affected the main story, I felt fine with it.

    Second, spot on with the plotholes and stupid mistakes, but most scifi fans should be used to it by now. I mean I’ve watched Stargate for years and wow, there’s some nonsense in there. But still enjoyed it as the characters, and actors, were worth it.
    I often think that’s the thing that keeps people into a show.

    Third, I love reading the strong opinions, if not rants, on here. As long as people don’t go too nuts (ahem,Dragonball) then the more passion about shows and movies the better.

  4. Kofi, you’ve voiced all the same thoughts I’ve had over the past few weeks. I think the vast majority of this criticism is unfounded, and completely unreasonable. The gleeful negativity is totally appalling – I honestly think some people just couldn’t wait to tear the show down. I have no idea as to why this is happening, but it is very disheartening. If Heroes becomes a rating underdog, then I will still support it, but I think those who are giving up on it are missing out on something very special.

    Keep up the goog fight, Kofi. I’m with you.

  5. Heh. Is a goog fight better than a good fight? Time will tell.

  6. I’m not “gleeful.” I’ve been a huge supporter of Heroes in the past.


  7. I’m with Vic I was wanting this season to rock. I loved season one and I’m one of the few who liked season two aside from the writers strike hurting it I thought it was doing well. Season 3 had me all amped up and ready to go. I thought the premiere was decent , but it went down hill from there.

  8. Hey, if I can hang in there with Smallville for 7 seasons, you can be sure I’ll be sticking with Heroes in the hope it’ll start to gel. :-P


  9. I haven’t enjoyed this season of Heroes at all. I didn’t enjoy the last season either. I’ve been waiting for the show to get back on track from when it derailed around the 6th episode of the first season. I’ve been extremely patient, but my patience has just about run out. No, it ran out when the guy sucked himself into his own vortex, just so Claire and HRG could dance the same dance they have already danced before. Having Sylar save Claire was stroke of convenience. I don’t expect the show to be genius, but it should at least be intelligent.

    I totally disagree with the idea that Tim Kring is the best thing we have going for us and we need to support this show. That’s ridiculous. But even more ridiculous is the suggestion that we should watch Heroes and take notes of everything that doesn’t work, because, maybe just maybe, if we are lucky, Tim Kring will take our ideas into consideration. LMAO!!

    That sounds like work. Work without a paycheck. No, sorry, Tim Kring makes an extremely large amount of money since he’s the creator of Heroes. He should be capable of writing an intelligent story about people who have abilities. This is his job after all, not mine.

    Personally I think he should be writing for a really bad daytime soap opera. That’s what Heroes would be if you took away the special effects. Kring may have come up with the this great concept but the man clearly had no long term ideas. I’d rather see someone else give it a shot and do it better. The sooner we stop watching the this lame show, the sooner we will get a better version to take it’s place.

    We are wasting our time clinging to a show that doesn’t exist. I should know I’ve been clinging since the beginning of the first season. And living in fear that we will never have another show like this is silly. And using a scare tactic as part of your argument doesn’t really help your argument. You’re wrong, another network can and will do this type of show again and hopefully better. Heroes isn’t a first and it won’t be the last. NBC already had the 4400 before Heroes, on the USA network.

  10. Did anyone else have the same mistaken presumption as me? When we found that Vortex man was alone on a carousel, and sad about his family not trusting him–didn’t you just *know* that the following scene would be an enraged/scared Vortex Man and a rift opening up to swallow the carousel?

    Vic: What’s the best thing about FutureHiroinBlackWithASword? Ando is nowhere in sight! (It’s usually together when the goofy music plays and the stupid “antics” happen.


    How many champagne corks would pop among the fans, if NBC gave Kring the boot and replaced him with Robert Hewitt Wolfe (Deep Space Nine), or Kevin Falls (Journeyman)?

  12. Dosnt work that way JC,,,
    like it or not, Tim Kring created the show…
    This season of Heroes has been greenlit for all 22 episodes so sit back and enjoy the show,,, ;-)

  13. Lol, Kevin Falls. Yah, if you want the “heroes” to be greenpeace activists fighting the “villains” which would be like Big Oil or something like that… :-D

  14. Pete, unfortunately just about any of these shows lately are like soap operas. Especially the ones targetting younger viewers, they are like teen soaps… I think it’s the cheapest and easiest ways to get viewers or something. Why else would almost every show on television be like that?

  15. http://www.tvsquad.com/2007/03/18/nbc-sued-over-heroes/

    I think Stan Lee has more reason to sue.

  16. IMO if anything, its a rip-off of Unbreakable.

  17. I’m going to nip any more lawsuit talk in the bud. I won’t have this thread hijacked like the last one was.


  18. @ the movement to (blah blah blah…) and Pete

    What are “the twins” going to POSSIBLY sue for? Everything in Heroes from characters to themes to plotlines has been copied from the DC/Marvel Universe. The twins didn’t come up with jack Sugar Honey Ice Tea. Heroes is basically what it looks like when X-men is directly translated to TV in full comic book absurdity. And you both are WRONG. TV is a medium where when it works, everybody does it; when it doesn’t work, or worse, fails horribly, nobody will even touch the genre or type of show for years. Kring and Heroes is what we’ve got, like it or lump it. Cuz that Robin/Batman prequel show coming out on CW ain’t going to fill the comic book TV void, I can assure you.

  19. Hey “The Movement to put Tim in Jail,,,”

    We’ve all heard about the lawsuit,,, the Twins this and the Twins that…
    (Its over btw)

    Please take your crusade to another site …

  20. Dear “Movement”,

    Move it elsewhere, please. And no one goes to jail for civil cases. Look at O.J. Simpson, and that stemmed from a murder trial…

  21. I would have gotten to this sooner but I’ve been away from a computer all morning.

    All of “movement’s” comments have been deleted and further comments from him will go into moderation and I will determine whether to post them or not.

    Sorry you had to put up with that, folks.


  22. Kofi, I do enjoy the show, and will continue to watch. But the problems that have been addressed here are, IMHO, very valid. For me, Vic is spot on about Hiro; the man is just extremely annoying to me, yet in season 1, he is suppose to mature into a real hero, a bada–. When is this going to happen? I know, I know, just give it time (no pun intended).

  23. I’ve really picked apart many scenes and issues with the first 4 episodes in the last few heroes threads.

    Which is why I’m happy to say, episode 5 was much more enjoyable then the priors – they introduced new villains – but I wish they were developed earlier or mentioned as part of the breakouts from the Company prison.

    Vortex dude was pretty cool, too bad he’s gone :(

  24. Vortex dude will be back as surely as Suresh’s new business cards say “Your friendly neighborhood Man Spider”

  25. I agree with most of the complaints. However I love Hiro and would hate to see him change. He’s really fun to watch and pretty much the only comic relief.

  26. I don’t mind some comic relief, but the way they wrote Hiro makes him more Jar-Jar Binks than an X-Man-like character. I figured he would have matured a little after his father died.

  27. The last episode was a lot better. I thought the puppetmaster was much more engaging than the previous villians. The sequences of Hiro getting repeatedly whacked with a shovel was hilarious. It really showed how his time jumping can be counteracted in a humorous way. I agree that the relationship factor from season 1 has been lost. It made everyone seem more believable. I think after this season, they could do more small scale stories devoted to individual characters in situations that aren’t always world threatening. This season will probably develop into a big brawl, so there is little chance for those types of stories until in the future. I agree with Suresh being absent as the moral conscience negatively affecting the storylines. I still think that Sylar only regained his telekinetic power. It’s been the only one he’s used aside from Claire’s healing ability.

  28. It seems people are chiming in from all walks of life on how bad the show actually is..


    I have to say… quitting on Heroes, has to be one of the best things I’ve done in a long time…

  29. Lol Ergo,,,
    Yeah it was easy for me too,,,
    When the show gets that bad, eh its no prb to put it down like a wounded beast…