It appears to be retro-00’s week as word has come that at least one sci fi show from the past decade will be getting a revival with two more possibly in the works.
NBC announced that the one-time hit series Heroes will be returning as a 13-epsiode “event” mini-series (to be titled Heroes Reborn) at some point in 2015 with original creator Tim Kring onboard. That series about people with super powers debuted strong out of the gate back in 2006 and remained a contender for the network for two-plus seasons. By its fourth year, though, it had run out of ratings steam (with fans complaining about its inconsistent storylines and declining quality) and the network cancelled the show, even though it ended on a major cliffhanger. There were talks at the time about a shortened fifth season or at least a final TV movie to wrap up the storylines, but nothing ever surfaced. And there is currently no indication on whether the new series will pick up where the fourth season ended or if any of the previous characters will be returning (but you can count on them getting back as many as are available). The press release claims that the mini-series will be a “stand alone story arc” with “all details of storylines and characters being kept under wraps.”
This is definitely an interesting and unprecedented move for a previously cancelled sci fi series. Rival network FOX already has plans on reviving one if its previously retired shows for a limited run (non-genre entry 24), and NBC’s move could trigger more revivals of this type. Heroes ended with an episode count of 77 which is a tad short of what the syndication market prefers, but it has still managed to live on in an encore run on the G4 cable network. Still, that additional thirteen episodes would be a nice pad out to the overall count and I consider it very possible that a second “limited” run could be ordered if the first scores well in the ratings. So it’s not impossible that this could lead to the show returning on a part time or even permanent basis (and right about now many fans are cringing who witnessed that show’s steady decline into ineptitude over its four years). Apparently the show has continued to sell well on DVD (over a 10 million units sold according to the press release) and it has a strong international following, so the additional thirteen episodes seem sure to turn a profit for the network and the show’s studio. Note that a network will probably have to have considered a show a strong property on its previous schedule entertain plans of similar revivals, so fans of short-lived shows like Sarah Connor Chronicles and Pushing Daisies should not get their hopes up too high for return of their shows.
In addition to the Heroes announcement, word of a Farscape revival (also a show from the 00’s) has surfaced, though that project is not as far along. Former writer for that series Justin Monjo has indicated that he is working on a script for a movie that would revive the property. The story would focus on the son of John Crichton (Ben Browder) and Aeryn Sun (Claudia Black) who has special powers and whom his parents must keep hidden from aliens who have an interest in his abilities. This is early in the development stage, though, so it is uncertain how quickly something could emerge from the current efforts. Series co-creator Rockne S. O’Bannon has been trying to revive the show for years and had talked about doing a web series some time back. That never surfaced, but perhaps the movie has a better chance of moving forward. (Monjo is also currently involved with developing a sci fi/detective series for HBO that would star Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage.)
And one other show from the 00’s–CBS entry Jericho which debuted the same season and Heroes–may yet see a continuation of its story. That show was cancelled after two seasons but it attracted a rabid fanbase that lobbied hard to keep it on the air after its cancellation. Over a year ago, Netflix showed some interest in reviving the series–they currently stream the first two seasons on their service where it performs quite well. And just recently in an article over on TVGuide.com about post-apocalyptic TV shows, they made the following statement:
Netflix is still kicking the tires on CBS’ long-canceled post-nuclear explosion mystery Jericho, which it has considered reviving. Execs at the streaming service said fans shipped them several more boxes of peanuts over the holidays.
So while no substantial news has come out on that one of late, apparently there’s still a slight chance it could get more episodes at some point.
Heroes is the only one of these three definitely happening at this point, but it’s not impossible that the other two shows could return as well. Keep an eye on this site and the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site for more news on these and other possible revivals of past sci fi / fantasy shows.