Possible strike might have influenced decision
NBC is putting the kibosh on “Heroes: Origins” — and the possibility of a strike contributed to the decision.Net has indefinitely shelved production on the planned six-episode spinoff of its Monday hit. Skein — which had attracted heavy hitters such as Eli Roth, Kevin Smith and Michael Dougherty (“Superman Returns”) — was set to unfurl later this season while “Heroes” was on hiatus. Now NBC has decided to not move forward with the production, at least for now. Peacock wasn’t talking Wednesday, but people familiar with the situation said NBC U entertainment co-chairs Ben Silverman and Marc Graboff didn’t want to move forward with the project given the financial uncertainties of a possible WGA work stoppage. Indeed, it’s believed that all unproduced NBC production commitments are being re-evaluated in light of a likely strike. “Heroes” also has been facing sophomore growing pains, losing some key staff members. Trying to take on the production of six more episodes of a hugely complicated, mythology-based skein might have proven to be too difficult, especially given the possibility that all production could halt soon. Insiders cautioned that “Heroes: Origins” isn’t completely dead and could very well be revived at a later date, perhaps as soon as next season. Move comes as the original “Heroes” has been taking a drubbing from critics, who’ve complained loudly about storyline direction on the show this season. Ratings for the show also have been disappointing, with any hopes of a season-two surge in the ratings now faded. Peacock insiders, however, insisted creative reasons weren’t behind the temporary shutdown of the spinoff. Peacock execs believe future episodes of the show will return the skein to its season-one form. Separately, NBC has put its musical quizzer “The Singing Bee” on hiatus for the November sweep. Its absence will be filled by an expansion of “The Biggest Loser” to two hours.