For sci-fi fans, one aspect of the new fall TV schedule is particularly noteworthy: NBC's superpowered drama Heroes has been canceled after four seasons. The show, which concerns a group of ordinary people discovering they have the power to do things like fly, stop time, and walk through walls, started strong in 2006 but suffered flagging ratings after its first season. Critics, who have long lambasted the show for meandering story lines and weak characterization, were cheered this week at the news that Heroes has been put out of its misery.

  • What Took So Long? wonders The A.V. Club's Sean O'Neal. After all, by pulling the plug on Heroes, NBC is only "echoing the nation's DVRs approximately three years ago." O'Neal goes on to provide a caustic capsule history of the show: "The comic-book series made by people who apparently hate comic books has spent the years since its breakout first season seeing declining ratings, increasingly irritated fans, approximately 1,012 time travel and death/sudden resurrection subplots that served to completely negate everything that happened before them, and a critical reception that could be charitably characterized as 'It buuuurns! It buuuurns!'"
  • Great News for the Cast, points out Entertainment Weekly's Darren Franich. "I’m happy that the Heroes cast is finally free. They’re a talented bunch of actors. That’s especially true of Zachary Quinto, who can now officially begin the second act of his career." Still, Franich can't help but find the announcement bittersweet: "As bad as Heroes got, you always got the feeling that it was just one massive reboot away from getting good again."
  • Might Have Saved NBC, sighs Maureen Ryan at the Chicago Tribune. The cancellation serves as "a strange and sad end to this show that, if handled right by the networks and writers, could have been the Peacock's flagship drama."
  • Do We Really Need a Coda?  At the sci-fi blog io9, Marc Bernardin balks at the prospect of a series wrap-up in the form of a two-hour movie. "The idea of a potential eleventh-hour rescue hits with a bit of ambivalence. The ending we got was enough, wasn't it? Do we want more? Do we need more? Do we trust that Tim Kring and his staff can give Heroes a finale that puts a button on four years of distant flirtations with greatness? Or should NBC simply leave well enough alone?"