Angela Bromstad, the new president of prime-time entertainment for NBC and Universal Media Studios, told reporters that she expects writer/producer Bryan Fuller's return to Heroes to bring the show back to its creative peak and that the network expects to pick the show up for a fourth season.
Fuller wrote during Heroes' first season before leaving to run ABC's Pushing Daisies for two seasons. He returns in the wake of Daisies' cancellation.
"Bryan was originally on the staff and has a great relationship with [creator] Tim [Kring]," Bromstad said in a group interview on Thursday in Universal City, Calif., during NBC's portion of the Television Critics Association winter press tour. "It's really just to get a fresh perspective and to put those two creators back together in a room and see where they go with it."
Bromstad added that such a perspective will already noticeably affect the upcoming fourth volume, "Fugitives." Kring promises in a statement that the new volume will completely restart the franchise: "There is almost nothing that the audience needs to know from the previous volume in order to follow its storyline. One of the goals of 'Fugitives' is to reset our characters back into the 'real world.' It is also a chance to set up a situation where they'll need to find each other again and join forces in order to save themselves."
Bromstad added there are no hard feelings for departing Heroes writer/producers Jeph Loeb and Jesse Alexander, who left the show last year. "Well, we have a pilot script with Jesse Alexander, so we have development with Jesse, and we'd look forward to working with Jeph as well," she said.
NBC has not officially picked up a fourth season of Heroes yet, but Bromstad expects to. The show has struggled in the ratings since returning after an extended break due to the 2007 writers' strike. Both fans and critics have complained about its increasingly complicated storylines. But Bromstad said that the show's fate does not hinge on the performance of the next batch of episodes.
"It will impact the discussions, but it won't determine," Bromstad said. "We have tremendous faith in Heroes."
Bromstad also confirmed that the proposed Heroes: Origins spinoff series is off the table for now. "It was more just about—it was budgetary at that point," she said. "It was also about really focusing on the main show." Heroes returns with new episodes on Feb. 2 and airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT.