Viewers abandon Heroes in droves: Can it be saved?

Oh, Heroes, it's been nice to know you!

Despite talk that NBC is considering bringing Heroes back for a fifth season, it's not looking good! Apparently few people wanted to see Hiro battle his brain tumor, Sylar kiss Claire or Samuel try to woo the woman of his past in Monday's episode, "Pass/Fail," which hit a series low in the ratings.

The show's ratings had been dropping gradually since the season premiered last September with about 6 million viewers, and there was a noticeable drop when new episodes began airing this year: under 5 million. But Monday's episode completely tanked and drew in fewer than 4 million viewers. That's a drop of about 2 million viewers since the season began, and 2 million more viewers than Heroes can afford to lose.

Just over a week ago we reported that NBC executive Angela Bromstad said that NBC was considering keeping Heroes for another season and was expecting a pitch from creator Tim Kring about a fifth season before making any decisions. But the falling ratings call into question the show's chances for getting a pickup.

Why exactly have a third of viewers abandoned Heroes this season? (Loss of interest? Sylar not being himself, literally? Killing off Nathan for real? Claire kissing a girl? Hiro's brain tumor? Or maybe the viewers were kidnapped by aliens?)

And consider this: Heroes was a hit in its first season, averaging 14 million viewers. Now the series has an average viewership of 3.93 million.

With just three episodes to go before Heroes' season finale, "Brave New Year," on Feb. 8, fans had better start rallying if they hope to see another season.

Meanwhile, NBC's delightful Chuck is doing fairly well, averaging about 7 million viewers so far, and there's reason to be hopeful for the show's future. (Heroes airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT.)

Do you think Heroes can be saved? Should it be?

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