StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-118115473224367.jpg’, ‘Courtesy of suburbarazzi.lohudblogs.com‘, ‘Between the release of season one DVDs and various Web sites, Heroes fans have plenty to keep themselves busy this summer.‘);
Just because the broadcast networks have wrapped up their seasons, dont despair. Yes, youll have to wait until 2008 to spend another day with Jack Bauer or find out whats going on over on the Lost island, but some shows havent entirely disappeared.
A lot of people have been asking me if and when Men in Trees is coming back. The good news: it is. The bad news: fans have to wait until fall to see the final five episodes of the first season. To placate fans, ABC plans to repeat previously-aired episodes throughout the summer, so you can still spend the summer chilling with the folks in Elmo, Alaska. Its an unusual situation, as creator and Executive Producer Jenny Bicks told me, Ill be intro-ing my season with my outtro.
The setup offers fans two advantages: One, if theres a big cliffhanger, you dont have to wait all summer to learn what happens next. Two, it gives viewers 27 new episodes to look forward to in the fall.
Were thrilled to have 27 so we wont have repeats for a while, which should really help us, Bicks says. But were thrilled to be coming back. Thats really the bottom line.
ABC is moving Men in Trees back to Friday, which is a mixed blessing. Its good to have a second season, but Friday shows generally struggle for ratings. The series managed to build a respectable Friday night audience before ABC moved it to the prime post-Greys Anatomy slot (arguably the best timeslot any network has to promote new shows) this spring, so the hope is extra exposure will bring new viewers to Friday nights along with Men in Trees original fans.
Over at NBC, theyre making every effort to keep Heroes fans sated as they wait for season two. Countless blogs and fan sites let fans pore over every detail of past episodes, but theres only so much rehashing a fan can do. (Most fans, anyway.)
Heroes fans, have no fear, theres plenty to occupy you over the summer, or at least until season one DVDs hit the market in August. Heroes has already spawned ancillary Web sites like PrimatechPaper.com, VotePetrelli.com, and YamagatoFellowship.org, and now NBC.com is offering new content in the form of an online, interactive, graphic novel at nbc.com/Heroes/novels/ (youll need a Flash 8 plug-in). The stories are ancillary to the showthings you dont need to know to enjoy the show, yet might offer additional insights to characters and situations. You can read dozens of chapters online or even print them out.
Like Men in Trees, Heroes will also have more than the standard 22 or 24 episodes next season. Well, sort of. Producers are launching a six-episode spin-off called Heroes: Origins, which will serve to introduce new characters. Combined with the original show, this means 30 new (televised) hours for Heroes fans next year.
No matter your favorite show, remember that thanks to streaming video, many network series can now be viewed online for free at the networks Web site. Maybe your favorite show is among them.
Paula Hendrickson is a regular contributor to Emmy magazine and Variety, and has been published in numerous national publications, including American Bungalow, SatelliteORBIT, and TVGuide. Send in your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
from the June 6-12, 2007, issue