‘Heroes’ flies to top of fall schedule

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    “Save the Cheerleader. Save the World.” If you don’t know where this TV season’s most popular catch phrase is from, then you are missing out.NBC’s “Heroes” is the most watched new show of the season, and for good reason. It tells the stories of common people with uncommon powers and how they must come together to fight the ultimate evil.

    NBC is about to air the last new episode before taking a six-week break, which means there is no better time to get caught-up on all the action. NBC still has the first 10 episodes posted on its Web site.

    There’s Claire (Hayden Panettiere), the cheerleader whose body can regenerate after almost any wound; Nathan (Adrian Pasdar), the politician who can fly; Isaac (Santiago Cabrera), the artist who can paint the future – although only when whacked out on heroin; Niki (Ali Larter), the online stripper with an alter-ego who lives in mirrors; Hiro (Masi Oka), the Japanese office worker who can travel forward, backward and stop time; and Peter (Milo Ventimiglia), who can mimic the powers of others around him.

    You might be sitting there thinking this sounds an awful lot like X-Men, and to tell the truth, it is. But the beauty of the show is that you aren’t introduced to characters who know how to use their abilities yet. The series allows the viewers to learn at the same rate as the characters themselves.

    While the above characters are nowhere near the entire cast, they do comprise the most compelling of the heroes. The interesting thing about the majority of the cast is that they are relatively unknown actors. Sure, some may recognize Ventimiglia from “Gilmore Girls” and even fewer Larter from “Final Destination,” but that is about the extent of it.

    Another great thing about the show is after each episode, viewers can go online to nbc.com and download a six-page graphic novel that advances one character’s story line into the next week’s episode. The featured character changes week to week in order to spread the love around.

    Even after only 10 episodes, the show has already generated comparisons to “Lost,” the 2005 Emmy winner for Best Drama Series. Viewers are drawn in by the complicated plot lines and conflicted characters much in the same vein as “Lost.”

    Did Claire really kill the quarterback? When did Hiro learn English and ditch the dorky glasses? Who is this evil Sylar, and what exactly are his powers? Were the heroes able to “save the cheerleader and save the world”?

    If you have missed out on the beginning of the season, and find yourself complaining that there is nothing new on TV over winter break , head sover to nbc.com and catch up on the best new show of the year.