In announcing its new fall schedule Monday in New York, the Peacock's biggest surprise was the unveiling of a hitherto top-secret spinoff of the network's lone rookie hit from this season. Heroes: Origins will focus on previously unseen folks whose lives are transformed when they discover they have incredible abilities.
In an American Idol-esque twist, viewers will get a chance to pick their favorite new superhero during the spinoff's six-episode run, with the character tallying the most votes moving up to the big leagues, becoming a full-time cast member on Heroes during the 2008-09 season.
Adding the new series will allow NBC extend the reach of the Heroes brand to a combined 30 episodes, with the new show running during Heroes ' long hiatus. The series took a ratings hit after returning from a seven-week absence this season.NBC is sticking with the superhero/sci-fi theme with an updated take on the 1970s cyborg hit Bionic Woman. From a producer of the Sci Fi Channel's much lauded Battlestar Galactica, the new series stars British actress Michelle Ryan in the role originated by Lindsay Wagner in the 1976-78 ABC series (itself a spinoff of The Six Million Dollar Man).
Can't say I'm too thrilled with NBC milking their new cash cow till the udder falls off, but I'm not surprised. Hey, at least we won't have to wait 9 months to get our Heroes fix, eh? And the Bionic Woman?! Sweet! 'Specially with one of the BSG producers on board - should be good stuff!