You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

TV Review: ‘Heroes Reborn’

Jack Coleman, Ryan Guzman, Zachary Levi, Robbie Kay, Danika Yarosh, Henry Zebrowski, Gatlin Green, Rya Kihlstedt, Judith Shekoni, Kiki Sukezane

Few programs have generated more initial enthusiasm than “Heroes” did when it premiered in 2006, before proceeding to demonstrate how quickly that heat can fade when the producers begin losing control of such a complicated dramatic enterprise. Enter “Heroes Reborn,” which could easily be titled “Heroes Remade,” a revival of the series that combines characters old and new, replicating the original’s intricately woven template while introducing a new slate of super-powered players strewn across the globe. The two-hour premiere plants plenty of potentially interesting seeds, while offering scant guidance as to how many of them will actually bear fruit.

“Heroes” owed an obvious debt to the “X-Men” franchise, which, when introduced in comic-book form, created an analogy about teenagers feeling different — like outcasts. The relationship between those feelings and gay rights later entered the picture, and that link is even more conspicuous here, as the series opens with “Evos” (basically the show’s term for “mutant”) having come out into the sunlight, while someone brandishes a “God Hates Evos” sign.

The good times, however, can’t last, and an act of terrorism again pushes Evos into the shadows. Investigating what happened is Noah Bennet (Jack Coleman), whose daughter Claire is presumed dead, largely because she’s busy starring in a series on another network. And once again, the show is wrapped in a mysterious conspiracy, where “Save the world” (sorry, not the cheerleader) is the vague mantra.

NBC was wise to introduce the series with two episodes, which provide a tiny bit more clarity than a single hour would have. Among the new characters, the most interesting is Tokyo-based Miko (Kiki Sukezane), whose search for her missing father takes her into a new and fascinating dimension. The show makes less interesting use of Zachary Levi (“Chuck”), who has a motive for harboring a grudge against Evos.

Beyond Coleman, a few original cast members are featured in the pilot, and several more are shown in the “This season on” tease. Yet while that should kindle a sense of excitement among those who enjoyed the show, considering it’s been five years since its demise, and given how the series fell apart in its third and fourth seasons — along with the current assortment of plots that are, literally, all over the map — the most helpful power of all would be the ability to remember the significance of those various connections.

In addition, despite how liberally “Heroes” borrowed from comic books, the show’s tone and style felt relatively novel at the time. Today, with a more ambitious roster of Marvel and DC properties currently available — as well as sci-fi projects like Netflix’s “Sense8” — the freshness label has long since expired.

Given that, “Heroes Reborn” — whose competition includes Thursday-night football until “The Big Bang Theory” returns — faces a formidable challenge. Without possessing quite the same nostalgia factor as “The X-Files,” the show must seek to recapture its early days while establishing new threads to reach beyond that core. All told, the premiere isn’t a bad step in that direction, but it’s unclear whether enough untapped power resides in the premise to ensure that the series can save itself, much less the world.

TV Review: 'Heroes Reborn'

(Series; NBC, Thur. Sept. 24, 8 p.m.)

Production: Filmed in Toronto by Tailwind Prods. and Imperative Entertainment in association with Universal Television.

Crew: Executive producers, Tim Kring, Peter Elkoff, James Middleton; co-executive producer, Holly Harold; supervising producer, Seamus Fahey; producer, Kevin Lafferty; directors, Matt Shakman, Greg Beeman; writers, Kring, Elkoff; camera, Anette Haellmigk, Alan Caso; production designer, Matthew Davies; editors, Louis Cioffi, Martin Nicholson, Tom Costantino; music, Wendy Melvoin, Lisa Coleman; casting, Jason La Padura, Natalie Hart, Kendra Patterson. 120 MIN.

Cast: Jack Coleman, Ryan Guzman, Zachary Levi, Robbie Kay, Danika Yarosh, Henry Zebrowski, Gatlin Green, Rya Kihlstedt, Judith Shekoni, Kiki Sukezane

More TV

  • Gillian AndersonX-Files press conference, Century City,

    Gillian Anderson to Play Margaret Thatcher in Season 4 of 'The Crown' (Report)

    “The Crown” has found its Iron Lady. Gillian Anderson is said to have signed on to play British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in the fourth season of the much-praised Netflix drama series. Anderson’s casting was first reported by the Sunday Times. A Netflix rep declined to comment on the report. Related Watch: New ‘Heroes Reborn’ [...]

  • FICG Names Estrella Araiza As New

    Estrella Araiza To Head Up Guadalajara Intl Film Festival

    The Guadalajara Intl. Film Festival (FICG) has announced that Estrella Araiza, until now the festival’s head of industry and markets and director of the Guadalajara IntL. Film Festival in Los Angeles, has been promoted to the position of general director of the prominent Mexican festival. She replaces Ivan Trujillo, appointed director of TV UNAM. Related [...]

  • AGS2 Key Art, Image IDs: AGS2_081218_2727,

    Starz Releases 'American Gods' Season 2 Trailer (Watch)

    Starz has released a second season trailer for “American Gods,” which returns to the cabler Mar. 10, depicting the brewing war between Gods old and new in the series based on Neil Gaiman’s novel of the same name. “When people first came to America they brought us with them,” the trailer begins, flashing images of [...]

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Accusers Detail Abuse, Reveal Evidence on 'Dateline'

    The continuing controversy surrounding R. Kelly, including allegations of sexual abuse by a number of women over three decades, was the focus of Friday’s episode of “Dateline.” Speaking to accusers Sparkle, Jerhonda Pace and parents Tim and Jonjelyn Savage, among others, NBC’s Andrea Canning heard more harrowing tales of abduction and sexual misconduct on the part [...]

  • Kenan Thompson

    NBC Orders Comedy Pilots 'Saving Kenan' and 'Like Magic'

    NBC has ordered comedies “Saving Kenan” and “Like Magic” to pilot. “Saving Kenan” is a single-camera comedy starring “Saturday Night Live” veteran Kenan Thompson as a “newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives.” Related Watch: New ‘Heroes Reborn’ Trailer Teases [...]

  • The First -- "The Choice" -

    'The First' Canceled at Hulu After One Season

    Hulu has grounded the space exploration drama “The First” after one season, Variety has confirmed. The series hailed from Beau Willimon and starred Sean Penn and Natascha McElhone in Penn’s first regular television role. “The First” was set in the near future and followed the first human mission to Mars. Hulu gave the show a straight-to-series order in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content