Powered by i.TV
November 27, 2014

'Heroes' Season Finale Gets Low Ratings -- But Show Still Might Return (Why?!)

by Scott Harris, posted Feb 9th 2010 5:30PM
Last night's season finale of 'Heroes' brought a number of storylines to startling conclusions, but don't worry, we won't be spoiling anything here. Because, like the rest of America, we were busy watching something else.

Yes, the ratings are in and they are, in a word, dismal: according to Zap2It.com, the climax of season 4 played to a nearly empty house, pulling in just 4.4 million viewers. Those numbers are a far cry from the 16.93 million viewers the series once commanded (for the season 2 premiere) and pale in comparison to the numbers of their direct competition, the CBS comedies 'Two and a Half Men' and 'The Big Bang Theory,' which brought in more than quadruple the viewers with 17.55 million and 16.2 million respectively.Last night's season finale of 'Heroes' brought a number of storylines to startling conclusions, but don't worry, we won't be spoiling anything here. Because, like the rest of America, we were busy watching something else.

Yes, the ratings are in and they are, in a word, dismal: according to Zap2It.com, the climax of season 4 played to a nearly empty house, pulling in just 4.4 million viewers. Those numbers are a far cry from the 16.93 million viewers the series once commanded (for the season 2 premiere) and pale in comparison to the numbers of their direct competition, the CBS comedies 'Two and a Half Men' and 'The Big Bang Theory,' which brought in more than quadruple the viewers with 17.55 million and 16.2 million respectively.

The precipitous ratings drop for what once was one of NBC's flagship properties is just another blow for the struggling network, which remains mired in last place among the major broadcasters. But while this downward spiral may seem to spell the end of the cult series -- 'Heroes has shed over a quarter of its remaining viewership this season alone -- star Greg Grunberg is among those who think the show will still be picked up for a fifth season.


Watch 'Heroes' full episodes online at SlashControl


"I don't have any doubt that the show will be back," Grunberg, who plays psychic cop Matt Parkman, told Entertainment Weekly last month. "We will wrap it up properly in the next season and get to 100 episodes. At least that's what I would like to see happen. They take so much care in writing the show that I would hope we get the chance to end it right."

So what's the source behind Grunberg's optimism? The reference to 100 episodes offers a clue, because while ratings may be lower than ever, NBC executives are looking at a more important number: the profit margin. If 'Heroes' should reach 100 episodes, which it is poised to do with one more full season (last night's finale marked the 77th episode for the series, which debuted in 2006), then it will be considered a viable property for syndicated reruns.

And additionally, though the show's popularity has plummeted domestically, it remains a strong performer overseas, which could become an important factor when licensing fees and DVD sales are added to the mix. Taken as a whole, then, the franchise's profit potential in secondary distribution may outweigh the feeble ratings, lower advertising revenue and lost viewers the network would face should they renew 'Heroes.'

If all this sounds like the kind of shady economics that led to the 'Jay Leno Show' debacle, well, that's to be expected, as NBC's policy seems to be "in for a penny, in for a pound." But perhaps they would be better served looking to another old proverb and stop throwing good money after bad.

Because so far the only pennies they are turning up are bad ones.


Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

Follow Us

From Our Partners