They may have saved the world, but it seems the super-humans of Heroes have suffered a loss to two even more powerful groups than Sylar could ever be: Critics and Writers.

According to Variety, NBC has stopped production on Heroes: Origins, which was to be aired while original Heroes took a mid-season hiatus. The show was to fill a void that would normally be filled with reruns, and already had attracted geek-boy favorites Eli Roth and Kevin Smith to be involved. The six-episode project was to focus on a different hero each week, then have an online vote to see which of the six would join the regular cast of the main show.

NBC won’t comment on the situation, but sources told Variety that NBC executives didn’t want to commit to a potentially expensive series when the possibility of production being halted was still a factor. In fact, the publication is saying that any NBC project that isn’t already on-air will be reconsidered and might not see the light of day.

Right now, the news couldn’t be worse for the Heroes crew. In addition to getting its spin-off killed, the current season is being assailed by critics and fans alike. Most people are annoyed that the unifying themes of last season (“Save The Cheerleader…,” “Are You On The List?”) are gone, and have been replaced by too many non-converging storylines. People at NBC are saying that Origins decision had nothing to do with ratings or creative direction, but you have to think that the drop in ratings for Heroes could have been a factor.

This is definitely a sign of things to come. If a formerly monster hit like Heroes is starting to feel the writers strike pinch, what chance do the new shows that are still building audiences? And what will it mean for the shows like 24 or Lost that are in the midst of still shooting their seasons right now? You better go out and get some DVD sets, because the DVD extras might be the most original thing you can watch about your favorite shows.

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