This Just In: Tim Kring Has No Idea How to Write a TV Show

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Tim Kring may be a very nice man. He's responsible for one of the best set of episodes in TV history (Heroes, season one) and we don't wish unemployment on anyone.

But the Heroes creator gave an interview last week in which he sounded like someone from the mail room that had never penned a single second of a television show.

The good news? Many of his quotes go a long way toward explaining the problems Heroes has faced over the last couple seasons. The bad news? We didn't know how far Kring had fallen sooner. Otherwise,, we could have legitimately tried to get him replaced.

Read the full interview here and check out a few telling excerpts below, many of which are followed by TV Fanatic (TVF) notes/responses...

On who ratings plummeted: "We took a seven-week break [during season one], and the audience never came back after that."

TVF Note: Lost took a six-week break on season three; The Sopranos once took a break for over a year. Try another excuse, Mr. Kring.

Useless Villain

On characters evolving:" The characters have to change. If they don’t, the audience says, “Why aren’t they changing?”... [but then] you’re either held to some standard where the audience wants them back, or you have to just say, 'This is who they’ve become.'"

On never killing anyone significant off: "We obviously know that certain characters are popular, so we’re not going to kill those off. But even that is hard to know... For everyone who hates this one character, there’s a fan club that loves him."

TVF Note: The Wire killed off Stringer Bell on season three, one of its most fascinating and popular characters. Creator David Simon had a great quote at the time, referencing how characters must serve the purpose of the show, NOT the audience. Something to think about for any writer.

On his ideal version of Heroes: "I would have started with new characters all over again... But once fans fall in love with certain characters, it’s harder to do that."

AND OUR FAVORITE QUOTE: "We’ll take an idea from the guy who gets our coffee."

Trust us, Mr. Kring, the last few seasons made that abundantly clear.

Our overall take from this interview? Kring and his staff have no idea how to actually build a TV show. A solid writer must possess enough confidence in his vision to go through with whatever stories he wants to tell. He must have faith that the audience will follow them wherever they go.

Take Lost.

Producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindeloff have been adament that they will always write the drama how they see fit. This is their world and their vision. The result has been a wild ride full of time-traveling and flashbacks that may have lost a couple million viewers along the way, but has remained consistent in its unique narrative and will go down as the most layered show in TV history.

Kring admits that he listened to far too many voices along the way and would have stopped writing for these characters years ago. No wonder he has nothing to do with Hiro but send him off on wild goose chases and give him tumors that every fan knows won't kill him.

We've often been asked if there should be a fifth season of Heroes. But now we need to ask the same of its loyal followers:

Do you really want another season if Kring is at the helm?

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


I know that this is old but there is one thing that I'd like to point out. Of course he's going to be a shit writer, Heroes wasn't even his idea to begin with. It all started as a forum role play called "Super" on Gaia Online. The forum was created by my brother and I was about to make a character before it was abruptly taken down. My brother messaged the administrators about what happened and they said that the forum never existed. About a year later we are watching TV and we see a commercial for Heroes with the character Hiro Nakamura in his office turning the clock hand back. The whole scene was exactly the same as my brother's opening post with his character with the same name. The only difference is Hiro was originally a high school boy. But unfortunately there was nothing we could do as we were shit poor and would never stand a chance in court. Not really anything I can do now either. But I just had to get this out of my system somehow. It's bothered me for too long.


Thanks for the Wire spoiler dickhead, give a warning next time asshole.


This is how you know that Tim and his writers have no clue on what their doing. Killing off of Adam, Arthur, Bob, Elle and Nathan. Enough Said!


A few thing they could of done differently. Arthur didn't need to kill Adam or drain him of his power to heal himself. Adam could of gave him his blood to heal him and then you would of had two good Villians working together. Adam was a good character. To kill him off was foolish. And if Arthur can steel people's powers wouldn't that make him the ultimate villian that even Sylar couldn't stop!


P.S. This isn't just me being a negative critic. Tim Kring ADMITS they do not plan ahead, they take ideas on a weekly basis from random people and they cater to various fan opinions on what characters are popular at what time. What's even to debate here? I've been catching up on all the seasons on netflix. And I love the show despite them killing off of characters so easily. But It's hard for me to believe that Tim Kring and his staff go through various ideas on a weekly basis. For instants the developing story between Elle and Sylar. Even if your not a fan of Elle, You had to be blind to not see the chemistry these two had. Obviously they weren't going by what was popular. Because I see more people upset about them killing off Elle then any other cast member on the show. The only thing missing from this show was a hot romance and they had it for 2 Episodes and blew it! Also Sylar doesn't always have to be the villian, they could of had him and Elle playing both sides of the fence between bad and good. They could have Adam, Mr.Petrelli and Bob bishop as the main villians. But there all dead now! So maybe they should actually listen to whats popular.


About comparing King to the Lost guys: Did it ever occur to you that maybe NBC keeps a tighter clap on their producers than ABC? (who has more money and better ratings) That maybe if Lost premiered on NBC and they said the network cant tell them what to do, they would be out on they're ass and Lost would have been canceled? Purely hypothetical I know but I'm just trying to say maybe Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindeloff could do w/e ever they wanted and Kring couldn't bc of what network they were on.


I think Heroes from get go has been intriguing, so many stories, lots of actors, I don't about you but who signs Mr. Kring's pay cheques? Me? NO you apparently not, Walt Disney? Getting warmer.
I don't know much. I kinda stopped at a permitee with IATSE 891 and should have perused things a little further. All the on set stuff I see comes out a year later somewhere on box sets. Once in a while I'll stumble across something on you-tube or Google video search.
I have worked on features, MOV, commercials, music videos and know that takes a lot of time to get an episode.
So instead of blasting TK (which you will do anyways), look at it from another POV (point of view) break down the episode(s). Who is the focus, why, what are the actors bring to the table, what are the hidden elements, man vs. man, man vs. nature.
For someone who has put this place in motion (from very little I've looked around at) you certainly have done your homework. I don't know about but I'd look at taking a writers course.
Hey, there's an idea. Boycott NBC, boot out the writing staff, corporate take over, . . .
(Was that supposed to be my inside voice?) Thanks for listening.


That's why I've gone off it - I can accept any set of sci-fi rules as a starting premise, but the show has to continue working within the rules it sets itself - and heroes which did that brilliantly in season 1 doesn't do that anymore.


@Mark.... Stop defending so much, man...


Couldn't agree more with M.L. House, Ditto what he/she said... AND..... how unfortunate is it that this show went the way it did? season one was such an AMAZING season filled with hope for many good years of exciting, fun tv to come. how in god's name did you fuck the rest up?? i mean, we barely even go any of the title out of the show!! Who was a HERO? The only thing I saw after season one were a bunch of whiny bitches with special powers arguing about the same things over and over again!! who was an actual hero?? Hiro was on his way before he was sidetracked with some of the laziest, ridiculous, uneventful plot lines in tv history! Matt Parkman went from being a possible hero to complete asshole (and not in a fun antihero way either)... seriously, i've never really seen a 4 season character arc go from blue collar, hard on luck guy starts acting heroic with special powers to compete douche bag with special powers for no reason. hey, could we watch more of HRG and Claire bickering? I know! Let's have a single mom's special power be that she's got her dead psycho twin sister's personality splitting time with her, (which was weird but at least original and bad ass), then we'll kill her off so we can write in that they were actually triplets and the third sister is basically the girl version of the male Wondertwin with no particular purpose in any storyline except to be a lazy escape for writers (and Claire and Noah! I write this post with as much contempt as I could possibly have for a show. I know anyone who reads this will just ask, "Well, why didn't he just stop watching?" The only answer I have is that I am a guy who likes to see where things end up... even if the show gets bad, I want to know the rest of the story. Once I start, I'm hooked. I'm also eternally optimistic. Even when things go south for a while, I hope that they'll get corrected... especially in a TV show that has the possiblities HEROES did.... because there's just no way that someone could be that horrible as a showrunner.... In the case of HEROES, I was dead wrong. Oh, I'll watch the next season if it happens because my special ability is to be a dumb ass optimist... and I still hope that someone will come in and give me something enjoyable and maybe even makes sense to watch, to finish up a series that developed a lot of characters that I really, really liked when it started out. Please, if you're out there douche bag Parkman, trap Tim Kring and the rest of his compatriots inside of their own minds where they can live with their crappy ideas for the rest of time. i can take bad tv if it's at least fun and makes SOME sense... so much of HEROES wasn't and didn't... So Disappointed.... Thanks for listening

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Heroes Quotes

Ando: And why is everyone always chasing us?
Hiro: Because I'm special.
Ando: Well, I'm not special
Ando: And I'm tired of getting chased.

My power is understanding people like you. That's what I do.


Heroes Music

  Song Artist
Song Road to Joy Bright Eyes
Song Mustang Sally Wilson Pickett
Song I Want It That Way Backstreet Boys