Page last updated at 12:53 GMT, Friday, 16 January 2009

Heroes 'will start from scratch'

Heroes
Series four of Heroes is due to return to BBC Two in February

Sci-fi TV show Heroes is returning to its roots in a bid to turn round falling audience figures in the US.

Creator Tim Kring said series four will start "pretty much from scratch", after fans criticised a lack of direction in the second and third series.

US television network NBC says it is committed to Heroes, which starts its fourth season in the US on 2 February.

But primetime president Angela Bromstad admitted it may have taken on too much "in terms of characters and stories".

The first series of Heroes, about a group of individuals who have extraordinary abilities, such as regeneration, the power to fly and telepathy, launched in 2006.

It won a Golden Globe and a People's Choice Award for favourite new TV drama. It was also nominated for eight Emmys, although it failed to win any.

Series criticisms

But series two of the show split fans, with many complaining about a lack of pace and poor storylines. In the US, viewing figures dipped from a peak of nearly 14 million to just over 11 million.

Series three slumped even further, with audiences of 8.5 million - leading media magazine Entertainment Weekly to run a story headlined: "Heroes: Five Ways To Fix It".

In the UK, Heroes is shown on BBC Two, where it has also seen a dip in viewing figures. The opening show of series three drew 4.3 million people, while the final episode which was watched by just 2.24 million.

Kring told US magazine TV Guide about the fourth series: "There is almost nothing that the audience needs to know from the previous volume in order to follow the storyline."

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