HEROES, the NBC television series about a bunch of ordinary folk who gain mysterious powers that they cannot understand but must learn to live with, airs for the first time on network television tonight on NBC at 9 pm EDT. To say it is debuting would be inaccurate, as the pilot has been floating around on the internet since July and you’ve been able to download the pilot from iTunes and Yahoo for days.
Obviously, in the new, competitive landscape of television, producers have made no effort to keep the pilot under wraps, hoping instead to create a groundswell of grassroots interest based on the developing mystery of the storyline. It’s all viral, all the time. (All similarities to LOST entirely coincidental — and yet it’s funny that Lost was launched with a raft of comics-loving folk on staff — JJ Abrams, Damon Lindelof, Jeph Loeb, Paul Dini — while HEROES’ creator Tom Kring admits he’s not a big comics person. Loeb and Aron Collete are board with HEROES, however, so quality control will be in effect.)
More interesting from our standpoint is HEROES’ online comics support, at a site called 9th Wonders, which bills itself as the “official unofficial fan site for Heroes” but which is very official indeed, with comics and pin-ups by Tim Sale and Dave Johnson (one reproduced above). Apparently this all ties in to the mystery, so you must spend mucho time clicking around to get in on the fun.
In addition, Webcomics by Michael Turner, Jim Lee and Tim Sale will be debuting at NBC.COM as soon as the shows finally “air”, as well. (We’ll link up in the morning.)
As for even more comics connections, Sale is the staff artist for the show — one of the characters is a painter with strange visions, and Sale creates the art used for this character.
Also, for trivia buffs, actress Tawny Cypress, who plays Simone Deveraux, is the sister of comics artist Toby Cypress, so she may know a thing or two about comics.
As for ourselves, we don’t really watch television aside from THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER and THE VENTURE BROS, so it will be hard to remember to tune in let alone play all the online games. So, we’ll see.