Fox announced Tuesday that Heroes creator and showrunner Tim Kring will return to television with a new pilot. Touch follows the story of a father and his young son, who develops precognative abilities in addition to being deaf and autistic.

Not much else is known about Touch at the moment, though Kring’s involvement alone should peak the interest of sci-fi fans. Kring wrote the pilot, and given his history of heavy involvement will probably continue writing if the show makes it to air. Heroes alumnus Katherine Pope and Fox executive Peter Chernin are the only other names attached to the project at the moment, both sharing  executive producer duties with Kring.

Touch will be Tim Kring’s first Television work since Heroes aired its final episode in spring 2010. He created the NBC powerhouse and has writing and producing credits for every single episode in the show’s four-year run. Kring’s work on the show netted him an Emmy nomination and a BAFTA award for Best International Show. His prior work includes Crossing Jordan (where he once again wrote and produced over 100 episodes), Providence and Chicago Hope.

Fox is once again widening its sci-fi stable. While recent casualties Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Dollhouse left the network with only Fringe to hang its speculative hat on, the ambitious Spielberg project Terra Nova shows every sign of success – at least initially. In the likely event that Touch is picked up for a freshman season, Fox will be well-placed to compete with the myriad of superhero and other sci-fi projects coming to rival networks. Terra Nova‘s first episodes should hit the airwaves in late summer or early fall.

Should Heroes fans be excited? Yes and no. The excellence of Heroes‘ first season is nigh indisputable – as is the mediocrity of the following three seasons. It’s clear that there was tight arc for the first batch of episodes, and that the writers and producers didn’t really know what to do with their characters after finishing it. Not unlike some of the comic book heroes the show emulated, the plots grew further and further from the character-driven drama and intrigue that kept viewers watching in the first place. While Heroes will be remembered as the show that divested itself of the tights and cowls which defined its genre, it will also be remembered as an unfortunately wasted opportunity to capitalize on a great start.

But let’s not put the cart before the horse. It’s quite likely that Kring and company have learned from their short-sighted woes at NBC and are planning for a long, steady run at Fox. In a television environment where massive, ambitious arcs are the norm, I’ve got to believe that the writing and production staff will keep the intrigue high over several seasons.

We’ll be keeping an ear to the ground for a Touch season order from Fox.

Source: Deadline Hollywood