'Heroes Reborn' Picks Up As If It's In Season 10, Tim Kring Says

Creator Tim Kring says he doesn't approach 'Reborn' as the fifth season that he never got to do but as if the new NBC drama had gone on the entire time it was off the air.
Christos Kalohoridis/NBC

Tim Kring is approaching NBC's Heroes Reborn as if it’s the 10th season of the franchise and not the fifth season of the drama he never got to finish.

Kring's original drama, which burned bright right out of the gate when it launched in 2006, became a television phenomenon. However, the stretched-out storytelling of a 22-episode season led to some unfortunate creative missteps — ones that Kring has been vocal about in the past few years — and fans jumped ship in droves by the time the series ended abruptly after its fourth season.

Now, five years later, Kring and NBC are bringing the drama back with a mixture of returning fan favorites and a roster of new "evolved humans" as Kring and company look to save the world again after the shocking death of formerly indestructible cheerleader Claire. The cast includes returning stars Jack Coleman (Noah Bennet), Christine Rose (Angela Petrelli), Greg Grunberg (Matt), Masi Oka (Hiro), Sendhil Ramamurthy (Mohinder) and newcomers to the franchise Zachary Levi, Judi Shekoni, Kiki Sukezane, Ryan Guzman and Robbie Kay.

"The show ended and we didn't know we were going off the air," Kring told reporters at the final panel of the Television Critics Association's summer press tour. "We left at a time where Hayden Panettiere [who played Claire] for four seasons, the whole world had never known there were people with powers in the world and we ended on a scene where she outs that there were people with powers. It was almost an obligatory baton pass to where we needed to go from there. Because we didn't get to have that fifth season, I had in my mind that there was an unfinished [piece] of this. We now have the benefit of being five years later — and we're starting the show … [with that being] how much time has passed. We're saying the exact amount of time that [Heroes has] been off, is the amount of time the story moved."

He added: "This is not the fifth season; we're treating this as the 10th season — as if there were stories in between. I'd always wanted to tell the story of what happened in that time."

One highlight of the panel came when Coleman noted that he was surprised to learn that Heroes would be coming back to NBC when they all saw the NBC ad that ran during the Olympics. "The original cast was all furiously texting when we saw the ad during the Olympics," Coleman revealed, noting that he quickly said yes once Kring called him with the offer to return.

The bulk of the half-hour panel featured Kring being peppered by critics — who have still not seen a screener of the new series — about lessons from the past, whether there could be a second season of this and more questions that the showrunner previously discussed in a wide-ranging interview with THR ahead of the show's Comic-Con panel. Click here to read the full interview.

Heroes Reborn will premiere with a two-hour premiere on Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. on NBC.