Fallen ‘Heroes’: Jeph Loeb and Jesse Alexander are fired

Nov. 03, 2008 | 2:48 p.m.

Heroes_4The last time I saw Jeph Loeb was when I moderated a panel he was on at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books in April. I remember I asked about his show, “Heroes,” being faced with “a crossroads” moment in both its loss of audience and urgency, and he scowled at the mere mention of such a notion. So why am I thinking of that on this November morning?

Here’s the scoop from Cynthia Littleton of Variety:

Big shakeup on the staff of NBC’s “Heroes” came down on Sunday with the axing of co-exec producers Jesse Alexander and Jeph Loeb.

Both scribe-producers had been with the show since its first season and were known to have led the day-to-day production operation under the direction of creator/exec producer Tim Kring.

“Heroes,” produced by Universal Media Studios, has struggled in the ratings its third season.

It’s understood that Alexander and Loeb were let go because of Peacock execs’ frustration with the creative direction of the show. The show is also said to have been grappling with hefty budget overruns this season that are going well beyond its already sizable $4 million per-seg pricetag.

Reps for NBC and UMS declined comment.

The show that was once NBC’s strongest scripted series really lost its way, and a lot of casual fans just threw their hands up in the air and reached for the remote. This feels like the beginning of the end. Why did it happen? I thought Matt Roush of TV Guide had a good point last week when he expressed his “Heroes” fatigue: “The reality of the situation is that there aren’t a lot of people, even critics, who want to work that hard at watching a show like this. I take notes as I watch many shows, but I don’t expect anyone else to. ‘Heroes’ has become needlessly overstuffed, which isn’t the same as complex.”

— Geoff Boucher

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22 Responses to Fallen ‘Heroes’: Jeph Loeb and Jesse Alexander are fired

  1. kATE says:

    have this season's writers of Heroes seen the show 4400? I'm sure they have;)

  2. Season one fan says:

    Heros should be a single season event. Each new season of Heros should be cast with a new set of Heros who embark on a new mission with no need to create continuity between the seasons. The brilliance of the first season was the rich detail between the characters and the ultimate self sacrifice of Peter and Nathan. The continued story of the Heros only serves to dilute the impact of season one. Stop making episodes and trash everything since the finale of Kirby Plaza and start writing and casting for a set of Heros.

  3. Shrike says:

    This is great news. Jeph Loeb has been holding back comic books creatively for years by trying in vain to relive bygone eras, rather than moving the medium further. I am sure it is no coincidence that Heroes was having the same problem as his stale comic books. Good riddance.

  4. Connie says:

    "Heroes" hooked me the first season. Each episode just flew by, leaving me anxiously awaiting the next. The whole "Save the cheerleader, save the world" campaign worked for me. Then Season 2 brought us Maya and a few other unnecessary storylines. Why? I stayed with it hoping this was a temporary bump in the road. Then you brought Maya back. By the end of the season, I was bored stiff. You should also remember, that there are alot of us who were fans of the show who don't have time to seek out story details online. Put it into the show. From the very beginning of Season 3, you lost me. Two weeks ago, I officially removed "Heroes" from my DVR shows to record. Along with having to work way too hard to keep up, there was no one to root for anymore. And, the dialogue was inane. The shark has been jumped. You had a great thing and ruined it.

  5. Greg says:

    Heroes has simply gotten too confusing. I thought this season would be the rise of the villains not the introduction of fifteen new characters a week. It is impossible to follow.
    That is not to say shows can not have interwoven storylines and new characters each season. "The Wire," which I consider to be the best television of all time, nailed this formula. Each season involved new characters, a new complex storyline, but still there were overarching themes.
    Heroes, on the other hand, is a broken stream of endless storyline impossible to piece together. I think it started last season with the abrupt end (due to the strike unfortunately). This season, however, is a disaster. Most of my peers who have watched have long dropped the show. I am sure I will not be that far behind.

  6. Arwen says:

    My feelings, exactly, Connie! The pace is moving so slow that I actually missed a couple weeks; was too bored to watch them online; and I apparently didn't miss anything when I finally tuned in three weeks later. It was so uninspiring, that I have no motivation to tune in tonight.
    This is why I don't watch daytime soaps.
    Also, having to almost a full year with no catch up reruns left me very confused, especially as season 2 was so terrible most of it was blocked from my conscious memory. How and when did Nicky die? Was that something I had to go online for? What else have I missed because I don't feel like having to keep up with 2 mediums just to keep up with one boring show??
    Thanks for the opportunitiy to vent.

  7. Jen says:

    Seasons 2 and 3 have been disappointing, but I think it has been improving. The addition of Papa Petrelli as the big bad has given it some legs. They also seem to have stopped the incessant time travel that drove me crazy the first few episodes this season.

  8. Good. Now Jeph Loeb can get back to writing comic books again full-time.

  9. Ken Moreno says:

    Speaking as a long-time comic book geek, I think seasons two and three were just too… comic booky.
    Comic books and TV are two different media; what works in one doesn't always translate to the other. In this case, Heroes began using too many comic book elements; characters who don't stay dead, convoluted plot twists that deny even fanboy logic, vast global conspiracies that never allow you to build trust in any characters.
    It used to be about characters, ordinary people who found themselves in situations beyond their control. Now it's who's the real hero, who's really a Skrull or Hydra agent or whatever.

  10. Blue247 says:

    Jeph Loeb borrowed too much from the X-Men and wasn't really creating anything new with Heroes, yet I continued to watch because the stories were still pretty fascinating. Unfortunately this season has left me scratching my head. I too thought the concentration was going to be on Villains, but the season just keeps dragging. I used to anticipate watching this show on Mondays. Now I just record it on my DVR and scan through it the next day, while I watch Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles on mondays.

  11. je40 says:

    There were several mis-steps with Heroes in Seasons 2 and 3. The first was the overuse of time travel. In the begining it was an effort for Hiro and was more about stopping time than traveling through it. Whenever you do time travel you mess yourself up. If Peter can go back in time once, do it again and uncluster your mistakes. Also, they conveniently forget things (the first "power" Peter gained was Clair's healing ability. Why would she try to kill him with a pistol)? Bringing people back from the dead was a non-starter also: HRG is shot (through the eye, behind which is the brain, by the way), and Mohinder brings him back to life with Clair's blood ("I thought I was dead. "You almost were.") No – he was. And finally, this seasons heros/villians shift. The title's Heroes – if we have no one to root for, then what's the point of watching. I have 2 episodes recorded, and will I make the effort to watch? I really don't know.

  12. Ivan A. Arcaya says:

    I'm glad to hear that Jeph Loeb was fired. Hie is a terrible comic book writer. Heroes was like any other show about paranormal characters. Some of the individual shows were great, some were good, some were fair and some were poor. However; I would never state that any of the seasons were terrible. They were inconsistent. However; The Villains story arc is the best story arc since the first season. Now that the network has eliminated the men who were killing The show a little every season; they and the fans need to give the new writers a chance. Personally; I believe that if the network continues the path it's on with story arcs like the Villains Story Arc; the show will be a success. It needs another season to undo the damage done by Mr Loeb and Mr Alexander.

  13. Captain Sauce says:

    Surprising! Heroes had writers?
    lol, honestly this show had so much potential. I love the subject but they are just running this thing to the ground. How about make it more realistic? The biggest draw of Heroes was that it was supposed to be a grounded, realistic, show. The characters act so stupid, the story arcs are painfully predictable, and they use time travel way to freaking much and it adds nothing to the story but an escape clause for the writers.

  14. C. T. Lyles says:

    If these two producers are to blame for the state of "Heroes," then I am glad that the network is taking steps to correct a series of bad judgment calls. However, I for one did not have any particular problems with Season 2, except that the Writers' Strike placed a huge dent in what could have been a great season if it had the time to develop.
    As for Season 3, I for one like the new direction. The concept of exploring the other side of our heroes allows us to see just how fragile they are despite their abilities. Like Superman, for example who succumbs to the effects of the multi-color kryptonite rocks, our heroes have their 'Achilles' heels' and seeing how they handle them is good television. Still, I do agree with most posts that the episode pacing should be tighten up for better and faster continuity. The good news is that, for once, the networks have listened to what the fans had to say on the issue. Now, I ask that everyone be a little more patient in seeing the positive results come through.

  15. colin says:

    i'm going to protest by lying down in front of some whales.

  16. Someone says:

    You people are such idiots. You cant just start watching season 3 and expect to figure it out by reading the summary of season 1 and 2. YOU NEED TO WATCH IT FROM THE BEGINNING and if there is anything you dont understand from the beginning, check on the internet by asking the question or looking for the answer.
    To the others: Niki died in the fire in season 2. So now there is Tracy (who is one of her triplets). She is not Niki, she is Tracy idiots. Claire wanted to shoot Peter because remember if the bullet goes in the back of their head, they are technically dead until the bullet is removed. Christ…
    I agree that season 3 has been a little confusing, but once u watch them again, they make more sense. Trust me. It makes perfect sense of what is going on.
    Future peter goes back in time to stop Nathan from revealing to the world about his power. He does this to prevent the world from knowing about these people's powers. To prevent the future he is coming from where they are being hunted, used, and killed.
    He has time travel so he stops time and bring Matt to Africa and puts present peter in Jesse Murphy's body (a criminal from level 5). The future peter has 2 new powers that present peter doesn't have: illusions and body insertion.
    He then uses illusions to disguise himself as present peter.
    Maury parkman has telepathy (reading minds and sending messages telepathically) and can make you see things that aren't really there. So he makes Nathan see Mr. linderman, who is not really there.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Heroes has a lot of problems. The first season was good, but towards the end, it was already having a slight decline in quality. The writing for the second and third seasons have been terrible. The writers are completely unwilling to write off popular characters, so we keep seeing characters become more and more powerful, while the writers introduce new characters only to kill them off a few episodes later. The new characters that stick around are written in an unrealstic way, and there personalities are more a reflection of their powers, unlike in the first season where the character's personalities could stand on their own.
    They constantly reuse the same plot devices — traveling into the future to see a disaster, people painting the future, people coming back from the dead. The show has also become painfully convoluted, with plot holes, continuity errors, and retcons left and right. That a show only in its third season even HAS retcons shows just how bad the writing has been.

  18. Cdeezy says:

    Look I honestly don't understand why people are bashing the show so hard now. I mean in my opinion the current season is way better than season 2. The only thing I can think of if there's some kind of gap between the comic boon audience and the general public. I'm a comic book fan and I love seeing this show on tv so… I'm really finding it hard to jump on the I hate Heroes bandwagon.

  19. Patty Bosko says:

    I've followed the show from the beginning. Even went to the NY Tour, and I am STILL a loyal watcher! Agreed, it is not as good as Season 1, but keep in mind last season had the writers strike. But to fire Jeph is drastic. Now I can only guess that the show will hit the trash can. I HOPE Tim Sale doesn't walk out as he is very close friends with Jeph. I HOPE the show isn't canceled. It would be a grave mistake, but networks don't really care as we saw with Moonlight.

  20. Nick says:

    Heroes died because there aren't "heroes" in Heroes anymore. End of discussion. I don't want psychoanalytic drek. There are good-guys in this world

  21. SLG says:

    Oh thank goodness there are people coming forward and supporting Heroes at the end of this rant! I think the writing has been quite high quality all the way through and as some of the later people point out, if you are watching all the episodes it all makes perfect sense.
    I can only assume that the people trashing the show are the same people who love reality TV and plotless driven things so don't have the brainpower or desire to appreciate something deliciously overflowing with plot and character development and which evolves week by week. I hadn't noticed any degredation in the quality of writing and production in Heroes over the last 2 1/2 seasons, but if the departure of the 2 gentleman improves an already excellent program, then I am fully prepared!

  22. you says:

    Heroes is fine. it just runs like a comic, almost to a tee. maybe thats whats turning people of, the fact that people who aren't into "supers" try watching it. but isn't that like a hells angel watching sex and the city?
    i do hope that this helps though, cutting these useless execs.
    about heroes being hard to follow, have you ever seen lost? case and point.

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