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NBC’s ‘Heroes’ are reborn into a darker world with higher stakes

Image: (L-R) Cast members Jack Coleman, Zachary Levi, Judi Shekoni, executive producer Tim Kring, cast members Kiki Sukezane, Ryan Guzman, and Robbie Kay participate in the NBCUniversal “Heroes Reborn” panel at the Television Critics Association (TCA) Summer 2015 Press Tour in Beverly Hills, California August 13, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn

By Solarina Ho

TORONTO (Reuters) – Five years after “Heroes” was retired from saving the world on television, NBC is reassembling its rogue team of humans with superpowers for a new miniseries.

“Heroes” premiered on NBC in 2006 and featured an ever-expanding global cast of characters that possessed hidden superpowers, adopting a story-telling structure that mimicked comic books.

“The first time around, we kind of set the bar for this kind of show. But since then, there have been incredible shows,” Greg Grunberg, one of the original cast members, told Reuters at the show’s premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Since the show, created by Tim Kring, was cancelled in 2010 following a drop in viewership, caped and masked crusaders have flooded pop culture, from the mass ensemble of “The Avengers” on film to CW’s “The Flash” and “Arrow.”

The reboot, a 13-episode NBC miniseries premiering on Sept. 24, will see original cast members join an ensemble of newcomers and is expected to touch on real-world issues such as the environment, corporate greed and technology.

“The world still need heroes. Even with a TV show, we can definitely translate what’s going on in the world,” said Jimmy Jean-Louis, who played a mysterious Haitian in the original series.

The new show picks up a year after a terrorist attack has decimated a Texas town, with officials blaming the event on those with special powers. The heroes are forced into hiding and reevaluate their relationships to the society around them as they are feared and hunted by authorities and vigilantes.

“It’s a very dark and different world for them,” said original cast member Jack Coleman, who plays Noah Bennett. “It’s a dangerous time and place. So the stakes are higher.”

The miniseries model, steadily gaining popularity among broadcast networks, was a welcome change for Kring, who said crafting the first four seasons with 23 to 26 episodes in each was extremely challenging.

With a beginning, middle and end for the miniseries, Kring remains coy about whether the “Heroes” saga will continue.

“This show was always designed to be rare and special,” he said. “I think ‘Heroes’ would’ve always been better if it was more rare and more special, and less about being on all the time.”

(Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and Cynthia Osterman)

Copyright 2015 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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