Heroes to Return for Fourth Season

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Despite a ratings decline this season, NBC plans to bring back “Heroes” for a fourth season, said entertainment president Angela Bromstad.

The Hollywood Reporter says the network plans to order 18-20 episodes of the show for next season. That’s fewer hours than “Heroes” first or current third season (which each had orders of at least 23 episodes), with season two having been cut short due to the writers strike.

For all its headline-making audience erosion, “Heroes” is still tied with NBC’s “The Office” as the network’s top-rated series among adults 18-49 this season. “Heroes” also still performs well internationally.

The network has privately discussed setting a series end date for “Heroes,” which would followed the creative model used with critical success by ABC’s “Lost,” SCI FI’s “Battlestar Galactica” and FX’s “The Shield.” But even if NBC ever made such a move, Bromstad said, they wouldn’t want to make next season the conclusion.