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'Heroes': Casting news, Jeph Loeb fired, and Milo on directing

November 7, 2008 |  5:25 pm

Since "Heroes" didn't have an episode Monday ("SNL" was good) and we all had a monumental election week, the show got a breather — though it still wasn't out of the news. Entertainment Weekly reported that "Everwood" actor Justin Baldoni is joining the cast as a comic-book shop employee. Most likely he'll have something to do with previously cast comic-book aficionados Seth Green and Breckin Meyer, and maybe even the guest-starring role of "Aliens in America" star and possible Sylar apprentice Daniel Byrd.

I really like Jeph Loeb. Personally, he's a cool guy, and I was sad to see him go. We talked before the first showing of "Heroes" at Comic-Con a few years ago, and we talked this year. Creatively he's helped launch lots of stuff that many of us enjoy (or at least enjoyed) with "Smallville," "Lost" and numerous comic-book story lines.

LoebwkristenWill his dismissal, and that of Jesse Alexander, signal a new direction for the show?  Possibly. Variety's Cynthia Littleton writes about the tough choice that Tim Kring had to make in letting the two executives go. When speaking to Loeb before, he told me about a "powers walk," when he and Kring took a long stroll and talked about crafting the different powers of many of the characters Kring had in mind. Kring was creating Peter Parker, while Loeb was helping shape Spider-Man.

Now it seems that Spider-Man has gotten a bit too big. Kring is apparently being asked to scale things back and focus on simplifying the story. Truthfully, I don't think this season has been going badly, but if the $4-million-an-episode price tag needs to be cut so that we get more seasons, then so be it.

Forums, boards and fan sites were going wild. Comic Book Resources was able to get a quote from Loeb late Sunday, but still no real explanations.

Some have, like we are now, tried to figure out if this move will help the show and ultimately bring back viewers. No one seems to know yet. Many are probably not sure how much of a guiding hand Loeb and Alexander had, but when you look at the initial success of not only this show but also others, maybe it was a situation in which the starting pitchers were left in the game too long. We'll see if Kring, whose hand has never been that far from the rudder, can steer the show back to the 12-million- to 15-million-viewer waters that NBC execs want to splash in.

Forum fodder and beyond

- Milo Ventimiglia gives a pretty good interview to the folks over at Comics on Comics.  In it, he talks about his interest in comics, his production company DiVide and his desire (or non-desire?) to direct an episode of "Heroes." And he reveals a bit about how this season was supposed to go before outside circumstances derailed it.

- A G4 forum poster rates the parents on "Heroes," with interesting explanations on why Matt Parkman might be a worse parent than his nightmare dad Maury.

- On the 9th Wonders boards, music artists Wendy and Lisa stopped by, registered and asked the board members to tell them their favorite "Heroes" music moments and give their opinions on the duo's new soundtrack release.

- Another poster on the G4 forums, Peeves, offers one of the many ways that Peter can regain his powers:

Peters gains new abilities when he finds a syringe with Mohinders perfected DNA altering serum that was left behind by his future self...  Just a thought

Maybe so, Peeves. Maybe so. If we ever get to speak to Kring, we'll try to find that out.

— Jevon Phillips

Photo: Kristen Bell and Jeph Loeb.  Courtesy of IGN.com, a site that also has many clips of next Monday's episode.

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