New 'Heroes' promo shots whet the appetite for S2

Take a few minutes to get in a Heroic mindset by viewing new Season 2 promo pics and gathering some intel on what's to come.

As the Emmy-nominated drama soars into its sophomore season, the roster will expand to include Maya Herrera (Dania Ramirez), a woman trying to get from the Dominican Republic to the U.S.; and Monica Dawson (Dana Davis), who lives in post-Katrina New Orleans. Star Trek's Nichelle Nichols will play Monica's grandmother.

And, of course, there's the highly-anticipated arrival of the former Veronica Mars herself, Kristen Bell.

The new season will be split into two major story arcs, as opposed to last season's one, in hopes of holding on to current fans and attracting new ones who might be turned-off by strung-out, season-long storylines.

"Shows like this have an addictive quality to them," says creator Tim Kring. "When you break the addiction [with a hiatus], you've allowed a lot of people to leave the show."

Masi Oka, Emmy-nominated for his portrayal of time-traveling Hiro Nakamura, warns that the Heroes team must listen when viewers aren't 100% happy, as was the case with the heavily promoted season finale.

"I heard people who absolutely loved it, and some people were mixed about it," Oka says. "From my perspective, we had a lot of stories to tie up. If we had the two hours to tell the story we wanted to tell and finish it off, they would have been blown away."

He hopes fans will like the second-year stories. "The writers have come up with some brilliant story lines to keep it fresh. It's going to be a lot of fun."

The Sept. 24 season premiere will catch up with characters as they try to readjust to everyday life four months after the S1 finale.

"What's fun is we drop into all these characters' lives with this missing four months," Kring says. "In some cases, you can put the pieces together of how they got there. With others, you have no idea."

In the finale, Hiro "dropped" 400 years into the past to feudal Japan. There, he will meet his Samurai hero, Takezo Kensei (David Anders of Alias) — who isn't exactly what the idealistic young man ever expected.

Other heroes are spread across the country and the world, in such far-flung places as Haiti, Ireland, Mexico and Ukraine. But as duty calls, heroes will reunite.

After establishing the characters last season, Heroes won't have to feature so many in each episode, which will allow the series to introduce new heroes and get into deeper stories with returning ones. And if the cast gets to be too large, there's always the tried-and-true solution.

"Obviously," says Kring, "there may be some that don't survive."
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