I actually haven't been following Heroes like I used to but it seems like a lot of people haven't been following Heroes like they used to either. For one reason or another, NBC is only going to air approximately 18 to 20 episodes next season. I know that seems like a lot, but originally next season was going to have 25 episodes. At least, that was the plan while the show was going gangbusters.
What gives NBC?
In its first smash season, Heroes averaged just under 12 million viewers - I was one of those viewers. But they lost me 1/2 way through the 2nd season and I've found other shows to occupy my time.
It's not that I have actively avoided Heroes, it's just that there are other shows for me to watch and I've never been drawn back in by the commercials. Besides, if you watch enough commercials, they're like mini-episodes or Twitter episodes. After enough weeks, you can pretty much piece it all together.
As it stands, some day I intend to watch this season but that's when I have the time or when the repeats air. One thing that doesn't help is the fact that NBC charges 99 cents to watch an On-Demand episode when other networks don't, so it's a principal thing for me, at least via On-Demand on Comcast.
Despite the 12 million viewer count from the first season, complicated story lines and the doldrums of season 2 have seen the numbers dwindle. Some folk even drag the writers strike into the equation still. It's not a crash and burn kind of deal, but a cooling off. As of last week, the season average number of viewers have dropped to just under 8 million viewers.
To me, that would seem to be a good hefty number, but apparently it's not hefty enough for the advertisers pocketbooks. Eh, what do I know?
People are still blaming that damn writers strike because they keep looking at the interruption created by the strike as the bubble when things changed. I'm not buying that myself because all the shows were affected, but it is what it is. Yet Since that "bubble", advertiser dollars have dwindled a bit.
It's Jay Leno's Fault?
It might not be all his fault, but the network is doing quite the dance to accommodate his new show that's coming up. With the new Jay Leno show sliding into a weekday slot, NBC needs to cut 5 hours a week from programming time to make room for their perceived cash cow.
And that is leading to new and "innovative" ways to present programming.
For example: although Harper's Island isn't doing too hot, the idea of short-burst seasons, like Harper's 13 episodes is appealing to networks. From my angle, it's a form of commitment that doesn't last longer than it needs to. It's not really commitment, but if something takes off, it's a renewable resource, so to speak.
As it stands, regardless of how many weeks Heroes gets, be ready because Heroes 5th season is going to have a few mysterious deaths. Murders or accidents? I guess you'll have to watch to find out.
Source: TV Guide