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+.

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@heroesfan I'm surprised you think I'm a heroes writer.

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(@Mark / Heroes Writer) I'm glad you are proud of your work on Heroes. It's totally original and seamless, or as Tim Kring says in the interview "We’ll take an idea from the guy who gets our coffee, you know?" I see major plot-holes. So we agree to disagree.
Peace.

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i think its lost its track, there is no point in insulting or being aggresive, Tim Kring should just finish this up, take his holidays and then return with a good tv show...doesnt have to be related to heroes but it could. Ah! There is still juice in the super heroes stuff...but not with these characters: Sylar who´s character cant be read and one cant feel him real, same goes to the cheerleader, hiro, suresh and all except Peter.
The viewer somehow expects the classic lame ending of "all this was a dream" with the way the story is developing. Characters went in a loop and the only one to be saved, the only one who actually "evolves" from episode to episode is Peter. This boy, Peter, is the only one who got better with time...and it wasnt that his acting was bad in the first place, just the story pictured him as an overpowered hero with zero will to use them and now is the only one that feels real. BTW, i kinda get the feeling that the heroes world isnt real anymore as characters seem to be all alone, no interaction with other actors unless they are "different".

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(I was referring to a different comment you made above.) And, really, Tracy vanished from the plot entirely. She went from an important character to disappearing, only to randomly reappear on the show to save HRG and Claire and vanish again. To someone who wasn't reading the graphic novels, it all would seem quite odd.

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@Mark: The graphic novel in question was showing the inevitability of events that were altered by time travel. New York was going to be destroyed by someone with powers once, but this was averted only to nearly happen again a few years later. Nathan telling the world about specials was stopped by Future Peter, but his daughter told the world about specials a few years later. And I assume the dream of people dying in New York was the vision Angela saw before Hiro changed the past and subtly altered Sylar's timeline.

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@Derek No, I agree that some of his points are fair, but what I don't like is the fact he only focuses on the negatives. He never looks beyond the plot or characters either. For the graphic novel, it still isn't required. It just explains where Tracy has been. The showed in the Art of Deception that Lauren called Tracy, so in the GNs they were just more depth about her. Nothing was required for watching the show.

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@Mark: A TV show should NOT require it's viewers to read a graphic novel on the side. While Season 1 also featured tie ins with the online graphic novel, it was never REQUIRED of the viewer to read them to understand what was going on. They simply further explained characters and stories the show only glazed over. However, you are right about Hiro's dream. It was a dream, and the healing was a metaphor. But, in spite of a few unfair points M.L. House has made about the show this season, a LOT of his points are true. And his overall view of the show is very much justified. I just wish he'd do his research a bit more before trying to back them up.

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You see, it's immature people like you who are bringing the standards of writing down. As I've said before, you come up with a tv show and let me know when it reaches it's fourth season.

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@Mark "Heroes Writer / Troll" Oh yeah, one more thing... Plot-HOLESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

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@Mark Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce you to "Mark" a Heores writer trolling, trying to defend his writing. Thank you for a great season "Mark". You have shown us all with your comments here, why the season was what it was. Keep talking and maybe you will really believe your own crap. Now I'm moving on. I will leave you to your endless piles of BS.