Bryan Fuller's Heroic Escape


The cancellation of Pushing Daisies was good news for Heroes, because Bryan Fuller came back to that show as a writer-producer. As I’ve noted a few times, it’s very common for creator/showrunners to pass the time between their own projects by working on other people’s shows; Fuller has done that twice with Heroes, working on the show while waiting for his own shows to get picked up. But this time, Fuller has left the show again, without even a show pickup to justify it; though he has a development deal with NBC (and was re-assigned to Heroes as part of the deal), he says he’s leaving because he’s “crafting two pilots right now.”

Since deals like Fuller’s are specifically set up to make sure that the deal-ee can create pilots for the studio while simultaneously working on someone else’s show, I would lean more toward the explanation that the article denies: that there were “creative differences” going on behind the scenes. One way or another, of course, it doesn’t bode well for the future of the show, which people do still care about (I don’t really care about Heroes any more, even with the improvement after Fuller’s brief return, but I’m not dismissing those who do).

It’s interesting that Fuller has been one of the people most responsible for the good periods of Heroes — at least, the times it’s been good have been the times when he’s been working on it, and he’s received a lot of fan credit for the good episodes (whether that contributed to the so-called creative differences with the creator, I don’t know). Interesting because it doesn’t have a great deal in common with the projects he has created on his own. Fuller’s most successful ventures have been as a writer-producer on sci-fi adventure shows like the Star Treks and Heroes, but his own shows have all been whimsical modern-day fairy tales. He seems to be more successful (at least in ratings terms) applying elements of that style to more conventional material.

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