In a bit of news that could only be qualified as "bad" for Heroes fans (who have had no shortage of it for the past few years), it is being reported that writer and co-exec producer, Bryan Fuller has exited the show...again!
Fuller first exited the show after its monumental first season to work on his other project, Pushing Daisies. When news hit last Fall that Fuller would be returning to Heroes for the upcoming fourth season of the show (after the cancellation of Pushing Daisies was finalized), it was generally viewed as optimistic. Fuller, who wrote some of the more memorable episodes of the show's first season, would presumably have returned the show to its roots, after being stuck in creative ambiguity and declining viewership in its subsequent seasons. However, while the exact direction that this Fall's fourth season will take remains a mystery, it cannot be a good sign that the show's "savior" has already decided to move on to other projects. According to Fuller:
"Development was really starting to heat up, And it appears like I may be writing multiple pilots for NBC so that wasn't leaving a ton of room for 'Heroes,' unfortunately," the star writer-producer tells AICN exclusively. "We crafted some really great arcs for the season that I'm excited to see come to fruition. I love that cast dearly and am sad to go, but the plate -- she was over-flowing."
One of the things that is rumored to be on Fuller's "plate," is the proposed TV series set to take place in JJ Abrams' Star Trek universe. (You know, the one where Starfleet cadets can be promoted to Captain, there are two Spocks, and the planet Vulcan has imploded?) While nothing has even been close to being confirmed, Fuller has openly expressed his desire to be part of that project.
"I'm hoping that by the time they're ready to do a television series that I am available and can participate, because, I mean, even if it's J.J. Abrams' team, I would love to join that team for a new Star Trek series. I think it would be a ball."
So what do you think? Is this a sign that season 4 may end up being the last stand for the plagued Heroes? If there's one thing that can be said for it, is that it's a survivor. (Not to be confused with the long-running reality staple.) It's absorbed the critical blows of the Writer's Guild Strike, and a few bad seasons on the tail of that event. It's still here, so far. (Whether that's based on leftover momentum from season 1 is debatable.) Point being, Heroes has taken its share of blows, and while it may be rocked, it's still on its feet. As recent as a few weeks ago, Fuller had nothing but praises for the upcoming season of the show and seemed to be genuinely invested in its success. We've also heard recent news of the addition of a slew of new cast members designed to shake things up. It seems that the creative team might have had a legitimate shot at getting things back on track. However, it's difficult to put any kind of fanboy-spin on this recent development.
The way I see it, it may become a choice between believing this to be "catastrophic" news, or the more optimistic scenario of it being simply "bad" news. In other words, we could chose to take Fuller's second (and abrupt) exit from the show as a sign that he was jumping off a sinking ship (catastrophic), OR that he simply left for greener pastures (bad). Whichever scenario you wish to subscribe to, it does not bode well for the struggling Heroes.