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Fat Lady Sings For 'Heroes'

NBC ends one-time signature series after four seasons

"Heroes" star Greg Grunberg was fighting for his show until the end on Twitter, suspending his Yowza talk long enough to tell followers first that it looked like the end was nigh for "Heroes," and then later saying it might not be over yet.

Well, he was right ... the first time.

NBC cancelled "Heroes" officially on Friday, ending what had been weeks and even months of speculation, pulling the plug on the show after four seasons.

The move wasn't exactly surprising. Even if NBC was going to order more episodes of Tim Kring's creation, the most that was being discussed was a mini-season in the spring, or simply a wrapup television movie. But not even a movie seems to be in the cards at this point.

Two years ago, "Heroes" was averaging a 6.6 rating/10 share, behind only "Lost" among network genre shows. Last year, it fell nearly 29 percent to a 4.7/7, well behind "Eleventh Hour" on CBS, "Fringe" on Fox, "Lost" and the quickly canceled "Harper's Island."

This season, "Heroes" managed just a 3.5/5 in the Monday 8 p.m. timeslot -- a 25 percent fall from the year before, and a 47 percent drop from two years ago, and a 2.7/4 when it moved to 9 p.m., a 23 percent audience loss just from the first part of what turned out to be its final season.

"Heroes" ended the fourth season with a 3.5/5, ranked 16th among 19 franchises on NBC this season through March, and had the network's lowest average ratings when it came to 9 p.m.

"Chuck" replaced "Heroes" at 8 p.m., but so far has done slightly better, earning a renewal. It's averaging a 3.7/6, a 6 percent increase, but is NBC's best-performing Monday show, if you exclude the 4.3/7 that "Sing-Off" earned in its December run.

So far, genre shows that have been axed or are about to be cancelled include "FlashForward" and "Happy Town" on ABC. "Lost" was already planned to end this season. Shows that are coming back include "Fringe" on Fox, "V" on ABC, "Chuck," and The CW trio of "Vampire Diaries," "Supernatural" and "Smallville." Along with a few other planned genre shows including "The Cape" and "Terra Nova" making it out of pilot stage, it looks like the 2010-11 season will be much more crowded with genre programming than originally anticipated.

About the Author

Michael Hinman is the founder and editor-in-chief for Airlock Alpha and the entire GenreNexus. He owns Nexus Media Group Inc., the parent corporation of the GenreNexus and is a veteran print journalist. He lives in Tampa, Fla.
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