I can honestly say I've been pretty much obsessed with Heroes since the very first episode aired on BBC2. Having read the hype coming from the US, the first season was an office talking point every Thursday morning and, while season two was undoubtedly affected by the writer's strike, season three is due to kick off in the UK on October 1st and the teasers are looking good.
CPLG, which represents the Heroes brand over here, admits the property really exploded in the UK even before a single episode had been aired.
"There was so much buzz around the show coming from the US that it became immediate destination viewing," says Susan Bolsover, category director at CPLG. "We were lucky enough to represent the show from the start as part of our representation of Universal. When the rights for movies and TV were split between Universal and NBC at the beginning of 2008, we were lucky enough to follow the brand over to NBC Television."
Bolsover says that while viewers are obviously attracted to the storylines and characters first and foremost, Heroes has also had a huge pop culture impact, on which CPLG is looking to build from a licensing perspective.
"Product had to follow the three Cs: cool, cult and collectible. Equally, the producers had clear ideas of where they wanted to position the show, which allowed us to tailor the programme to meet their vision.
"The key with Heroes is to find licensees who understand the show and, more importantly, the show's audience. As such, the programme here in the UK and internationally has been really targeted. To date deals have included apparel, publishing, figurines and collectibles and paper products such as posters and calendars.
"As I said, the three Cs were vitally important when looking at potential licensees," Bolsover continues. "We really assessed every approach on this basis and, yes, we did turn down some licensees for products that we [CPLG and NBC] felt just weren't right for the show.
"Merchandise really targets an older teen/young adult audience, although we recognise that the show might skew towards a slightly younger viewing audience. I'm proud to say that we have brought on board the right mix of licensees that really have reflected the brand values of Heroes."
The genre of the show and its US origins certainly don't seem to have challenged CPLG in any way - indeed Bolsover tells Licensing.biz that the creator, Tim Kring, has been at pains to stress that Heroes isn't a sci-fi show; it's a drama which simply has some sci-fi elements.
"The past 12 months have been excellent in terms of an initial launch and consolidation both for the show itself and for the consumer products programme," Bolsover says. "We have been thrilled with the response to date and look forward to developing the consumer products line even further in the months ahead."