If there’s something that truly stands out about “Heroes,” it’s the popularity of its ensemble cast. The series featured main characters from different countries and segments of society, from a recovering gambling addict in the U.S. to a young man working in a cubicle of a Japanese office building. The series also featured a politician, a nurse, and a cheerleader, among other characters, and each one developed a following. Fans eagerly waited to see how the story of their favorite character would evolve, whether it was the mind-reading policeman Matt Parkman or the mysterious serial killer known as Sylar.
Surprisingly, the initial plans the creator of “Heroes” had for the show would have made such a dedicated following impossible. In 2008, during a panel at the Screenwriter’s Expo Tim Kring, the creator of the show, described how each season of “Heroes” was originally intended to tell the story of different groups of people coping with their newly found abilities (via). To do that, “Heroes” would have featured an all-new cast of characters after each season finale.
However, as Kring explains, pretty much everyone, from the network to the viewership, became strongly attached to the characters from Season 1. Given that starting every season with a new cast could potentially destroy the show’s enormous popularity, Kring opted to continue telling the story of Peter, Claire, Hiro, and Sylar for three more seasons.