Season 3 to be a 3-hour event

Heroes will return to NBC on Sept. 15 with an expanded third-season opener, but network executives confirmed that the proposed prequel spinoff, Heroes: Origins, is officially dead.

“We consciously chose to rest [Heroes] this spring so that [creator] Tim Kring and his team could get ahead of the creative and build up to a massive event–a three-hour Heroes night,” Ben Silverman, co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, said during the network’s upfront presentation to advertisers in New York on April 2. “On Monday, Sept. 15, we’ll kick off with a Heroes clip show to try to bring back the audience and [then air] a massive two-hour Heroes film.”

Silverman also explained why the heavily hyped, much-anticipated Heroes: Origins was scrapped. The show was originally conceived to help eliminate Heroes repeats, and directors and writers–including feature-film vets Kevin Smith, Eli Roth and Michael Dougherty–were already lined up before NBC dropped the idea.

“We were taxing our creative team to do too much around that,” Silverman said. “We wanted 35 Heroes [episodes] and 12 Heroes: Origins, each of which was supposed to be a mini-movie and backdoor pilot. We reached far and challenged our people, and we decided it was better to focus on keeping the Heroes mothership as strong as possible.”

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