LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - It's official. NBC has canceled "Heroes." The network also pulled the plug Friday on its two freshman medical dramas, "Mercy" and "Trauma."
The network seriously mulled bringing back "Heroes" for a shortened final season to wrap up the serialized show, possibly as a two- or four-hour movie.
In the end, given the fairly high cost of the drama, the show's consistently declining ratings and the number of new hour-long shows coming to NBC next season, the network decided the series wasn't worth an additional episode order.
The show has long had a rocky relationship with its fans. Out of the gate, "Heroes" was a big hit for the network -- an ethnically diverse big-concept ensemble that performed well overseas. It was NBC's "Lost."
But the show's writers struggled to keep the twisting narrative on track. Characters were killed off and resurrected with regularity. Narrative threads were started, then abandoned. Unlike "Lost," the show seemed not to be driven by central questions that needed to be resolved with a final season.
The long-struggling Wednesday night drama "Mercy" most recently pulled a 1.0 rating among adults 18-49 in the 9 p.m. hour.
NBC executives had already indicated earlier this season that "Trauma" was canceled, then ordered a few additional episodes once it became clear that "The Jay Leno Show" wasn't going to last. "Trauma" was averaging around a 1.7 rating in its final days.
"Heroes," "Mercy" and "Trauma" join "Law & Order" on the NBC ax-list. The long-running police procedural/legal series was cut early Friday after a protracted struggle to stay on the schedule.
Among NBC's new shows, there are several aimed at genre fans that the network hopes will rekindle its audience -- superhero drama "The Cape," "24"-style conspiracy thriller "The Event" and J.J. Abrams' lighthearted spy drama "Undercovers." And "Chuck" is returning.