Can Any of the New Superheroes Series Survive More Than One or Two Seasons?

Hey Otakus and Geeks fans, Sean ( The True Comic Fan ) here. Today I had a chance to check out  more previews of the 2 upcoming superhero shows. They seem like pretty good shows, but can they survive more than one season? There has been very little success in the past. Shows like Smallville, Heroes, Arrow, and Mutant X lasted longer than one season, but there have been a few that had potential and didn't make it. Here is a list of shows that are still on going and some that were cancelled. 

Mutant X 2001-04

 Mutant X is a science fiction television series that debuted on October 6, 2001. The show was created by Avi Arad, and it centers around Mutant X, a team of "New Mutants" who possess extraordinary powers as a result of genetic engineering. The members of Mutant X were used as test subjects in a series of covert government experiments. The mission of Mutant X is to seek out and protect their fellow New Mutants

STORY:  Several years ago a company called Genomex carried out a series of illegal and immoral experiments on human subjects, forever altering the DNA of any children they might have, to make them mutations from the norm. Now many of those children have grown up, and it has become increasingly difficult for the rest of the world to ignore the New Mutants in their midst. Genomex, under the direction of Mason Eckhart, one of the original scientists, seeks to exploit its creations. Others seek to protect them. A New Mutant Underground has sprung up, and one of the most prominent cells in that organization is Mutant X, a team of powerful New Mutants led by Adam Kane, head chief biogeneticist of The Genomex scientists who participated in the experiments which have altered the world forever.

Why it was Cancelled: Even though the series had high ratings and was meant to be renewed for a fourth season, it was abruptly canceled in 2004 after the dismantling of Fireworks Entertainment, one of the show's production companies, ending the show on a cliffhanger.

Heroes  2006-10

Heroes is an American science fiction television drama series created by Tim Kring that appeared on NBC for four seasons from September 25, 2006 through February 8, 2010. The series tells the stories of ordinary people who discover superhuman abilities, and how these abilities take effect in the characters' lives. The series emulates the aesthetic style and storytelling of American comic books, using multi-episode story arcs that build upon a larger, more encompassing arc.

STORY:  The first season, known as "Volume One: Genesis", begins with a seemingly ordinary group of people who gradually become aware that they have special abilities. The story develops showing their reactions to these powers, and how this discovery affects their personal and professional lives. At the same time, several ordinary individuals are investigating the origins and extent of these abilities. Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy), a research geneticist, continues his late father's research into the biological source of the powers, while Noah Bennet (Jack Coleman) represents, and is a lead agent for, a secret organization known only as "the Company" that wants to control and, if necessary, terminate those who are gifted. After only having a short time to come to terms with their new abilities, each of the heroes is drawn into the final showdown. They must each do their part to stop the destruction of the world that starts with an impending explosion at Kirby Plaza in New York City.

Why it was Cancelled: Low ratings, writers strike during season 2, Season three  started with strong ratings that dropped steadily throughout the season. The season's finale placed last in its time slot. You can take your pick of reasons why it was cancelled, but in February 2010 one of the best series ( I think ) was over, ending how each season did in the past with a scene that would start the next season. (Cliff Hanger). While creator Kring was hopeful over the show's future,the network considered making a television special event to conclude the series. However, on September 9, 2010, NBC announced the decision to stop any further development of the Heroes franchise.

No Ordinary Family 2010-11

 No Ordinary Family is an American television series that aired on ABC and CTV in Canada. The one-hour science fiction comedy-drama was produced by ABC Studios for the 2010–11 television season. The series ran from September 28, 2010, to April 5, 2011, on Tuesdays at 8:00 pm ET/PT. The show centers on the Powells, a typical American family living in fictional Pacific Bay, California, whose members gain special powers after their plane crashes in the Amazon, Brazil.

STORY:  The series focused on the Powells, their powers and attempting to discover the nefarious plot of Dr. Dayton King, Stephanie's boss. In the pilot episode, Jim Powell forces his disjointed family into a vacation to Brazil, which ends when their plane crashes in the Amazon Rainforest and the family returns home. In time, each family member is revealed to have a superpower: Jim has superhuman strength, which includes leaping tall buildings in a single bound and near-invincibility; Stephanie has superhuman speed; Daphne has telepathy, specifically mind reading; and JJ has super-intelligence, although he keeps his power a secret from his parents for a while.

 Why it was Cancelled: The Show had alot of  potential that should have earned it a second season. The premiere was watched by 10.69 million viewers, the second episode dropped to 8.99 million viewers. So due to low viewer ratings on May 13, 2011, ABC announced that No Ordinary Family had been cancelled.

ALPHAS 2011-13

 Alphas is an American science fiction dramatic television series created by Zak Penn and Michael Karnow. It follows a group of people with superhuman abilities, known as "Alphas", as they work to prevent crimes committed by other Alphas.

STORY:  The series follows five people, known as "Alphas", led by noted neurologist and psychiatrist Dr. Lee Rosen (David Strathairn), as they investigate criminal cases involving other suspected Alphas. Rosen and his team operate under the auspices of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the criminal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Defense. While investigating these crimes, it does not take the team too long to discover that a group known as "Red Flag", which was thought defeated and eliminated long ago, is using other Alphas to commit crimes.

 Why it was Cancelled:  Despite critics praising the series and becoming a fan favorite after season one. Alphas didn't capture the same viewing audience in season 2 and on January 16, 2013, Syfy announced that the program would not be returning for a third season, ending the series with an unresolved cliffhanger.

Honorable Mentions: 

These shows only got one season

Birds of Prey  2002

The Cape  2010                       

These shows never made it past the pilot Episode

Mercy Reef ( Aquaman )   2006

Notice Aquaman is the guy who eventually plays  Green Arrow in Smallville.

Generation X  1996                  

Wonder Women 2011
( Adrianne Palicki )

If you go to and search Wonder Women Pilot, you will find the failed first episode. It's one that's 42:00 long or just a bit shorter. Check it out and tell me what you think.

Despite the failures, there has been some success with shows like Smallville and Arrow that could give  the two new series a chance to make it. The question I have is what doomed the other shows to low ratings and viewership?  How can they avoid many of the pitfalls that have bedeviled other superhero-flavored projects.

SMALLVILLE   2001-11

Smallville is an American television series developed by writers/producers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar. It is based on the DC Comics character Superman, originally created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The television series was initially broadcast by The WB Television Network (The WB), premiering on October 16, 2001. After Smallville's fifth season, The WB and UPN merged to form The CW, which became the broadcaster for the show in the United States. It ended its tenth and final season on May 13, 2011. The series follows the adventures of Clark Kent (Tom Welling), who resides in the fictional town of Smallville, Kansas, during the years before he becomes Superman. The first four seasons focus on Clark and his friends' high school years. After season five, the show ventured into more adult settings, eventually focusing on his career at the Daily Planet, as well as introducing other DC comic book superheroes and villains.

WHY IT SUCCEEDED  The writers and producers of Smallville were highly creative, and  produced some excellent episodes, while introducing very appealing and likeable characters. Tom Welling, is the perfect Clark Kent. He is very handsome, well built, and looks more like the Superman character than anyone. Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor borders on genius. He provides us with the perfect mix of intelligence, class, cunning, and restrained evil, that we so admire in  wealthy Billionaire villains. With the introduction of various DC Universe characters at the right episodes and seasons, Smallville kept viewers interested every season till the end.

ARROW 2012-Present


Arrow is an action adventure television series developed by Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, and Andrew Kreisberg. It is based on the fictional superhero Green Arrow, a costumed crime-fighter who appears in comic books published by DC Comics. It premiered in North America on The CW on October 10, 2012. The series follows billionaire playboy Oliver Queen, portrayed by Stephen Amell, who, after five years of being stranded on a hostile island, returns home to fight crime and corruption as a secret vigilante whose weapon of choice is a bow and arrows. Arrow will also feature appearances by other DC Comics characters.

 WHY IT SUCCEEDED With a strong premiere episode that gave some brief insight into the back story of Starling City’s new protector, who is based on DC Comic’s bow-wielding superhero Green Arrow. While the pilot didn’t exactly illustrate how a rich playboy trains himself to become a nearly-unstoppable crime fighting machine, it left this missing part open for future episodes to explain. The series is also slowly introducing us to DC universe characters like: The Flash ( Barry Allen ) and Roy Harper ( Speedy or Arsenal ) who will eventually become his sidekick. It's rumored that the introduction of The Flash in season three will spawn a spin off for it's own series, further showing DC's success on the small screen for it's comic book heroes.

So can Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D and The Tomorrow People make it? In my opinion, I think one out of the two can. Agents of Shield seems to be the front runner to succeed. With Iron Man 3 and The Avengers being huge box office hits, the series can build off of their success with creative stories that link the show to the marvel universe. Tomorrow People will have to have a great first episode and stories to carry the series, but shows like Arrow in the line up it might help it  make it to season two.

Marvel's Agents of Shield series premieres Tuesday Sept 24th 8/7c

Tomorrow People series premiere Wednesday Oct 9th 9/8c