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'Heroes' boss Tim Kring on series wrap-up and his next project

tim-kringImage Credit: Frank Ockenfels/NBCEW caught up with Heroes creator Tim Kring to talk about his next project — creating interactive content for Nokia that’s meant to inspire social change — and whether fans of his popular NBC series will enjoy some closure after the network opted out of ordering a fifth season of the heavy-serialized drama.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Talk about your new project, Conspiracy For Good.
TIM KRING:
Hopefully, we are creating a narrative that will play out across multiple platforms. It’s taking what I learned on Heroes. We told a lot of story online and through mobile, publishing, and merchandising. Everywhere you could connect to an audience with the narrative, we were telling stories. This is taking that same idea and rolling it out, literally, into the streets. The exciting part is that the narrative lives all around you — on your mobile phone, on the internet, and starting on July 17, literally on the streets of London for three weeks. The narrative is a deep mythology with good guys and bad guys, but a little more grounded in the real world in that it doesn’t deal with supernatural or super powers. It’s grounded very much in the real world. It has twists and turns and lead characters and all of that.

Who’s your villain?
Our villain is an evil corporation. They’re involved in many things that we associate with greed and corruption. The conspiracy for good is a global movement around trying to fight this corporate greed and social and environmental injustice. It involves a single storyline that makes its way from Africa to the UK in the next several weeks, and then rolls out onto the streets of London. One character in particular is on a real quest to get justice.

Is the character in law enforcement?
No. It’s an average person.

How do you gain access to the content?
There are many points of entry.  Right now, the main way in is through Conspiracyforgood.com, which is now up and launched. You go to the webpage that features videos and recaps that point you to the activities that are going on and, essentially, how you can get involved. There is other online content that falls into the category of an alternate reality game. Lots of clues and ciphers and hidden codes, codes in songs embedded into music. You’re using the Nokia maps to find things.

Does it have the potential to become a TV show?
It’s not really meant to be a TV project. It’s meant to be an interactive, immersive, pervasive project as opposed to a laid-back experience where you let content wash over you. This is a participation project and I think it’s playing into where audiences are really heading. We have this mobile phone in our hand for four or five hours of the day. When we’re watching TV, we have our laptops open so we can email our friends. In a sense, we are never offline anymore. For someone like me who is a storyteller, it affords tremendous opportunity to tell stories to wherever you are.  That’s what I’m fascinated by and that’s what this project does.

Is TV feeling too old school for you now?
I still have a very active career in the traditional medium of television. I very strongly appreciate what got me to the dance to begin with. I must admit, in the last several years, I’ve seen where the audience is going and how they are consuming content. I’m really beginning to see if you really want to be relevant and really want to reach a mass audience, you have to go where people seem to be going right now.  A show like Heroes was very much at the forefront of the paradigm shift of how people are consuming content. Heroes became the number one downloaded show in the world, even while it was having traditional slipping Nielsen ratings. It certainly was a complicated issue for the network. For me personally, I was intrigued by that, [where] people were consuming content.

Have you given up on TV?
Not at all. TV is still an incredibly exciting medium to work in. What I did learn is that television for me is not enough. Heroes really taught me that much of the excitement of it was creating this three-dimensional platform around a show. It used to be thought of as a one-way street. You push content out into the world and if they liked it, you’d find out two or three months later. Now, the feedback loop is so immediate between you and the audience. You can push out content and an hour later you can have people participating in it or voting on it or doing mashups.

Are you working on anything for TV?
I am currently working on some projects that can be perceived as traditional. I don’t think I can ever approach a project again without thinking about how it could also live on other platforms. To me, it’s become second nature.

Are you going to Comic-Con this summer?
Yes. I may be talking a little bit about this. I’m also talking about a book that I have coming out in the summer. Heroes is something I still want to talk about, too.

Will we see a Heroes movie on NBC next season?
No decision has been made. But the Heroes brand is an extremely broad premise. It was a premise about ordinary people, an undisclosed number of people all over the world, who were waking up to these extraordinary abilities. Any number of stories could happen around that. We never posited a single ending or a single premise.  It wasn’t about getting off of an island or stopping something from happening. We told stories in volumes that had a beginning, a middle, and an end. Those volumes could go on and on and on with many different characters. As a result, that Heroes universe is something that can be tapped into again in many ways. Certainly, a movie is a way to do that and clearly, there is an entire world and a number of platforms that this property could live in. Movies sometimes need a little distance from the television show.

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Scoop: Will 'Heroes' movie take flight?

heroesImage Credit: NBCNBC wants to do a two-hour Heroes wrap-up movie. Series creator Tim Kring wants to do a two-hour Heroes wrap-up movie. The majority of the show’s cast wants to do a two-hour Heroes wrap-up movie. So what’s standing between the project and an official green light? The answer (via my buddy — and newly-christened Love Bites series regular — Greg Grunberg) can be found in the embedded video player below. READ FULL STORY

Bubble Show Update: 'Heroes' is dead

Click here for Lynette Rice’s full report on the demise of Heroes. My Bubble Show Scorecard has been updated.

Exclusive: NBC unveils Emmy submissions!

emmy-storyImage Credit: Byron Cohen/NBC; Chris Haston/NBC; Larry Watson/FoxEvery year prior to Emmy nominations, the suits at the major TV studios stuff voters’ mailboxes with tons of DVDs featuring what they feel are their shows’ best episodes of the season. I just got a hold of Universal Media Studios’ fancy Emmy kit, and here are the episodes they chose to single out from this season’s Office, 30 Rock, Parenthood, etc. Note: These may differ from the formal submissions that are used in determining the winners. Also, keep in mind that Emmy-worthy episodes that aired after the mailer deadline could not be included, which is presumably why SNL didn’t include the Betty White episode.

30 Rock
“Dealbreakers Talk Show #0001″
Aired: Dec. 3, 2009
Everyone tries to be who they’re not, and Liz gets bangs.

and…

“Anna Howard Shaw Day”
Aired: Feb. 11, 2010
Valentine’s Day; Liz gets a root canal. READ FULL STORY

Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on '24,' 'Smallville,' 'Mother,' 'Glee,' 'Grey's,' and more!

ask-ausielloImage Credit: Michael Desmond/ABC; Fox; CBSGot a scoop request? An anonymous tip you’re dying to share? Just want to say hi? You can send any/all of the above to ausielloscoop@ew.com

Question: I’m literally dying for some 24 scoop. Please, give me some! – Daniel
Ausiello:
The May 24 series finale will find Jack squaring off against his most formidable adversary yet: Chloe! “Chloe and Jack are in a real face-off,” reveals executive producer Howard Gordon. “And Chloe has to decide between her duty [as head of CTU] and her friendship and allegiance to Jack. Their relationship gets put to the test in a way it’s never been tested before. It’s a collision course that culminates in the finale. It’s about as hairy a confrontation as you can possibly imagine, and it’s a nearly lethal one.” Playing those scenes was “really fun” and “very emotional,” says Mary Lynn Rajskub. “[It’s] kind of crazy…what happens between Jack and Chloe. I’ve never done anything like that.”

Question: I realize Katherine Heigl isn’t returning, but will Grey’s Anatomy find a way to give Alex closure about Izzie? —Sharon
Ausiello:
Not on Shonda Rhimes’ watch. The boss lady tells me she has no plans to tie up the loose ends of the Alex-Izzie love story. “It’s going to linger,” she says. “And I actually feel good about it lingering because [it means] Alex is left with unfinished business. And that’s going to be very interesting for his character.” READ FULL STORY

Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on 'Grey's,' 'House,' 'Glee,' 'Bones,' and more!

Got a scoop request? An anonymous tip you’re dying to share? Just want to say hi? You can send any/all of the above to ausielloscoop@ew.com

Question: What’s coming up for Sam and Addison on Private Practice? —Lisa
Ausiello:
Things will heat up between those two crazy kids in February, but their guilty consciences will prove a major obstacle. There will also be an added complication involving (MAJOR SPOILER ALERT) another doctor who has long been waiting in the wings.

Question: I am drinking a Diet Raspberry Snapple and thinking of you (in a non-stalker sort of way) and am hoping you might give me some Grey’s Anatomy scoop! —Lesley
Ausiello:
Mexie is M’over. The lovers will break things off this week, but it doesn’t really become official until next week when word of their respective dalliances comes to light. Interestingly, someone’s not as pissed off as I would’ve thought. READ FULL STORY

Ratings: 'Two and a Half Men' delivers huge numbers

Despite Charlie Sheen’s recent negative media coverage, ratings for his sitcom are still huge: last night’s episode of Two and a Half Men scored an impressive 17.3 million viewers, according to preliminary overnight ratings. That’s 1 million more viewers than the sitcom’s last new episode, which aired in December. Over on ABC, The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love actually grew about 1 million viewers from last week’s premiere. And Chuck may be one of the lone bright spots in NBC’s line-up as the action-comedy settled into its regular Monday time slot with a solid 7.3 million.

Time Show Viewers (in millions)
8pm House (Fox)
The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love (ABC)
How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
Chuck (NBC)
One Tree Hill (The CW)
12.3
10.5
9.8
7.3
1.2 (repeat)
8:30pm Accidentally on Purpose (CBS) 8.5
9pm Two and a Half Men (CBS)
House (Fox)
Heroes (NBC)
Gossip Girl (The CW)
17.3
7.8 (repeat)
4.7
0.8 (repeat)
9:30pm The Big Bang Theory (CBS) 15.8
10pm CSI: Miami (CBS)
Castle (ABC)
The Jay Leno Show (NBC)
13.7
9.5
4.8

Source: Nielsen

Press Tour Video: 'Heroes' cast talks death, shake-ups, and a possible season 5

Heroes fans may be split on whether the show should continue on for another season, but there’s no such chasm among the show’s cast. “It would be a shame to end it now,” Jack Coleman told me last night at NBC’s press tour party. “I think there are more stories to tell.” Adds James Kyson Lee: “The funny thing about the [Heroes] world is that there are so many possibilities. It could be us, it could be the next generation of Heroes, maybe we’ll come back older… ” New Heroes? Come back older? What the what?! Please proceed to the video player after the jump for more…  READ FULL STORY

Greg Grunberg confident 'Heroes' will be back!

Ratings shmatings. Greg Grunberg says Heroes will be back next fall for a fifth season — and he’s got proof. “We wrapped yesterday and the [final episode] is nowhere near a series finale,” he told us at last night’s People’s Choice Awards. “It is cliffhanger-y and exciting, but it is nowhere near an end to a series that people are so invested in. It does not tie everything up in a neat bow… I don’t have any doubt that the show will be back.” READ FULL STORY

Ratings: 'House' wins and holiday programming scores for ABC

With the Dancing with the Stars season over, House delivered the top ratings for Monday night, according to preliminary overnight ratings. The Fox medical drama delivered 13.2 million viewers. Viewers looking for some holiday spirit tuned in to ABC’s re-airing of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (9.6 million) and Shrek the Halls (10.0 million). ABC’s new reality drama Find My Family, which aired two back-to-back episodes, dipped quite a bit from last week’s premiere of 12.9 million to 7.9 million and 7.8 million, respectively.

Time Show Viewers (in millions)
8pm House (Fox)
Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (ABC)
How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
Heroes (NBC)
One Tree Hill (The CW)
13.2
9.6
6.3 (repeat)
5.9
2.4
8:30pm Shrek the Halls (ABC)
Accidentally on Purpose (CBS)
10.0
5.4 (repeat)
9pm Two and a Half Men (CBS)
Find My Family (ABC)
Lie to Me (Fox)
Trauma (NBC)
Gossip Girl (The CW)
11.3 (repeat)
7.9
7.6
5.9
2.3
9:30pm The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Find My Family (ABC)
10.1 (repeat)
7.8
10pm CSI: Miami (CBS)
Castle (ABC)
The Jay Leno Show (NBC)
9.4 (repeat)
6.8 (repeat)
4.7

Source: Nielsen

Ratings: CBS scores with 'CSI' crossover

The first episode of CBS’ much-hyped, three-night CSI crossover scored, according to preliminary overnight ratings. Guest star Laurence Fishburne helped CSI: Miami earn 13.8 million viewers, a boost of 1.3 million from last week’s episode. Elsewhere, it was a pretty standard Monday night with ABC’s Dancing with the Stars dominating with 17.6 million viewers. Over on The CW, the controversial threesome episode of Gossip Girl (2.3 million) gave the series only a slight boost from last week’s 2 million.

Time Show Viewers (in millions)
8pm Dancing with the Stars (ABC)
House (Fox)
How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
Heroes (NBC)
One Tree Hill (The CW)
17.6
12.8
9.0
5.4
2.7
8:30pm Accidentally on Purpose (CBS) 8.2
9pm Two and a Half Men (CBS)
Lie to Me (Fox)
Trauma (NBC)
Gossip Girl (The CW)
14.1
7.5
5.4
2.3
9:30pm The Big Bang Theory (CBS) 12.4
10pm CSI: Miami (CBS)
Castle (ABC)
The Jay Leno Show (NBC)
13.8
10.7
4.0

Source: Nielsen

Ratings: 'Dancing' and baseball lead the night

Fox’s airing of Game 5 of the World Series proved no match for ABC’s Dancing with the Stars last night, according to preliminary overnight ratings. The Yankees/Phillies match-up yielded 15.5 million viewers compared to Stars‘ 16.2 million during the 8-10pm slot. Elsewhere, CBS’ comedy block performed solidly, particularly Two and a Half Men (13.6 million) and The Big Bang Theory (12.7 million).

Time Show Viewers (in millions)
8pm Dancing with the Stars (ABC)
2009 World Series (Fox)
How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
Heroes (NBC)
One Tree Hill (The CW)
16.2
15.5
9.1
6.2
2.4
8:30pm Accidentally on Purpose (CBS) 8.5
9pm Two and a Half Men (CBS)
Trauma (NBC)
Gossip Girl (The CW)
13.6
6.2
2.0
9:30pm The Big Bang Theory (CBS) 12.7
10pm CSI: Miami (CBS)
Castle (ABC)
The Jay Leno Show (NBC)
12.5
9.7
4.3

Source: Nielsen

'Heroes' spoiler alert: The rumors are true

I wasn’t planning to reveal this until after his swan song aired, but outside forces have, um, forced my hand. The rumors are true: Adrian Pasdar is leaving Heroes. And yes, he was the subject of my Oct. 13 blind item.

Okay, show of hands, who guessed correctly?!

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