HEROES: Volume 3 In The Fall

Everyone's favorite cheerleader, Hayden Panettiere, confirmed that her NBC series, Heroes, has retreated to lick its wounds until September.
MASTIDON of Ain't it Cool News received confirmation directly from actor Hayden Panettiere, at the the Berlin Film Festival, that Heroes is done for the season, despite the end of the WGA strike.

So, the second season has wrapped with 11 episodes. Apparently, one of the reasons there will be no more is that creator Tim Kring told NBC he thinks he can complete only three additional episodes this season. Moreover, Kring had hoped to use the next storyline to redeem the most recent one.

The original plan was to divide the sophomore season into Volume Two, "Generations," and Volume Three, "Villains," rather than have one 24-episode story like the freshman season. But the slow pace and unsatisfactory content of Volume Two so disappointed many (if not most) fans that the creative team decided to cauterize the wound and, essentially, reboot the series with "Villains."

But, when the writer's strike hit in November, the Heroes scribes had just begun plotting the new storyline. The first episode of that arc, in fact, hadn’t fully been written. So, the last episode of "Generations," in which Hiro (Masi Oka)and his super-powered co-stars (barely) saved humanity from a global plague, was tweaked before airing in December, to allow it to serve as a season finale.

Beginning in April, Kring can assemble some more segments before relaunching the show. As he explained it: "With a show like Heroes that's so strongly serialized, and given what we wanted to accomplish with the new storyline, to come back with just three episodes could be creatively dangerous."

The delay also allows several cast members to complete their unrelated projects, including Panettiere, who will arrive a little late for Season Three after finishing a movie in Canada. Hopefully, fans will use the time to work up some excitement again, following the generally-unsuccessful Season Two.

The third season likely will begin airing in September.

As for which characters will return for Volume Three, E!Online's KRISTIN DOS SANTOS has some spoilery info regarding the fates of Elle (Kristen Bell), Adam (David Anders), Nathan (Adrian Pasdar) and Niki (Ali Larter). But those secrets won't be revealed here.

In the meantime, the Heroes Wiki reports that the second Heroes graphic novel collection will be released next Tuesday, February 19. (This writer has not yet dug up confirmation for this.)

Also, fanatics can immerse themselves in the Heroes universe by joining the totally free RPG forum at HeroesTheSeries.com, where you can "start zipping around town in super speed or morph into, like, a giant 20-foot alien or something. Your only limitation is your imagination."

[Thanks to HERCULES at AICN, to SILAS LESNICK at The IESB, to LYNETTE RICE & JEFF JENSEN at Entertainment Weekly and to SAM at HeroestheSeries.]
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