Among comic book geeks, Heroes (NBC, Mondays, 9 p.m.) is far and away the most anticipated new show of the season, what with comics creators Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale working behind the scenes, and the superhero premise, and the structure indebted to comic book pacing. And I think, if nothing else, comic book fans will be pleased with this show. It takes the idea of superheroes very seriously (perhaps even, one could argue, a little too seriously), and has a suitably grandiose and intricate serialized story in mind (when the first episode begins with screen titles proclaiming it volume one, chapter one, you know they're shooting for epic). Some of the characters are a little broad, and the tone is sometimes overly somber without earning it, but overall I think this show has a lot of potential and, as I've said elsewhere, resembles in its best moments M. Night Shyamalan's Unbreakable, which is one of my favorite movies.
And then there's Runaway (The CW, Mondays, 9 p.m.), a completely unnecessary drama from the CW that must have fans of Everwood up in arms - this is what they had to cancel something in order to air? It's an awkward hybrid of WB-style family drama and Prison Break-style serialized drama, and it doesn't really succeed at either. The family is on the run from the requisite wide-ranging conspiracy, but they settle down in a small town to start a new life, and the teens go to school and deal with typical teen angst TV stuff. I don't know how they're going to balance the two elements in the future, but I imagine the conspiracy will recede and it'll turn into just another mediocre melodrama, with the authorities closing in only during sweeps or the season finale. That is, of course, if it even lasts that long.