Save the cheerleader, save the world. NBC’s Heroes was packed with shocking twists and turns that still have fans reeling, years after the show’s 2010 finale.
Hayden Panettiere, Milo Ventimiglia, Ali Larter and more starred as seemingly ordinary people who discover that they have supernatural abilities and are forced to band together to prevent life changing disasters. The first of Heroes’ four seasons aired in September 2006 and saw an average of 14.3 million viewers, making it one of the most successful NBC debuts in years.
The sci-fi series wasn’t just a fan-favorite — it also earned recognition within the industry, including multiple nominations for Emmy Awards and Golden Globes. Despite the show’s popularity, Ventimiglia admitted to struggling to find his next step once Heroes came to an end.
“I’ve had moments where I’ve had to pick myself up. Probably in my early 30s, I couldn’t get hired in town. I really couldn’t,” the This Is Us star recalled during a 2018 interview with Access. “That was back in the Heroes days. I did not work for one calendar year. One entire year, I couldn’t get a job. … I was really having to re-evaluate what I was going to be doing because, you know, it’s a profession. You need to feed yourself and clothe yourself and have a roof over your head. I was starting to see those things minimize.”
At the time, the California native came “pretty close” to leaving the entertainment world entirely — and he wasn’t the only one. In December 2020, Leonard Roberts opened up about his post-Heroes experience and described “tension” between him and Larter, his onscreen wife.
“I was tarnishing her brand,” Roberts alleged in a lengthy Variety essay, recalling the day he found out he was being written off the show. “In a short voicemail message, [creator Tim Kring] said that due to ‘the Ali Larter situation,’ when the show returned for Season 2, audiences would learn that [my character] had died, and that I was free to call him if I wanted to talk. I was stunned.”
Larter later issued a statement in response to Roberts’ allegations, noting that she was “deeply saddened” and “heartbroken” by his description of their working relationship. “I am truly sorry for any role I may have played in his painful experience during that time and I wish him and his family the very best,” she told TV Line at the time.
Keep scrolling to find out what Panettiere, Ventimiglia and more Heroes alums are doing now.