Tube Talk: Not really gone: Some shows haven’t entirely disappeared

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-118115473224367.jpg’, ‘Courtesy of‘, ‘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, don’t despair. Yes, you’ll have to wait until 2008 to spend another day with Jack Bauer or find out what’s going on over on the Lost island, but some shows haven’t 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. It’s an unusual situation, as creator and Executive Producer Jenny Bicks told me, “I’ll be intro-ing my season with my outtro.”

The setup offers fans two advantages: One, if there’s a big cliffhanger, you don’t have to wait all summer to learn what happens next. Two, it gives viewers 27 new episodes to look forward to in the fall.

“We’re thrilled to have 27 so we won’t have repeats for a while, which should really help us,” Bicks says. “But we’re thrilled to be coming back. That’s really the bottom line.”

ABC is moving Men in Trees back to Friday, which is a mixed blessing. It’s 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-Grey’s 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, they’re 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 there’s only so much rehashing a fan can do. (Most fans, anyway.)

Heroes fans, have no fear, there’s 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,, and, and now is offering new content in the form of an online, interactive, graphic novel at (you’ll need a Flash 8 plug-in). The stories are ancillary to the show—things you don’t 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 network’s 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

from the June 6-12, 2007, issue

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