Tim Kring, the creator of NBC's Heroes is aware of the fact that reaction to the second season of his hit show has been lukewarm. The show has suffered a 15 percent ratings drop compared to where it was this time last year. But Kring realizes what the show needs to fix it, and he offered a candid appraisal of the show's sophomore season to Entertainment Weekly.

Kring realizes several key areas where the show needed fixing, including the slow pace of the first group of episodes, the length of time it took to establish the world-saving stakes, the fact that Hiro spent far too much time in Japan, and the weak introduction of several of the show's new characters like the Mexican siblings Maya and Alejandro.

None of these weaknesses in the plot are new to fans - they're precisely what they've been complaining about. But it is fortunate that Kring recognized the mistakes, and has worked to correct them.

THE PACE IS TOO SLOW

''We assumed the audience wanted season 1 - a buildup of intrigue about these characters and the discovery of their powers. We taught [them] to expect a certain kind of storytelling. They wanted adrenaline. We made a mistake.''

THE WORLD-SAVING STAKES SHOULD HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED SOONER

The premonition of nuclear apocalypse created a larger context that unified every story line last season. Kring now sees that Volume 2 (the first 11 episodes of season 2) would have been better served if Peter's vision of viral Armageddon had appeared in the season premiere rather than episode 7. ''We took too long to get to the big-picture story,'' he says.

THE ROOKIES DIDN'T GREET THEMSELVES PROPERLY

New Heroes Monica (Dana Davis), Maya (Dania Ramirez), and Alejandro (Shalim Ortiz) ''shouldn't have been introduced in separate story lines that felt unattached to the show. The way we introduced Elle (Kristen Bell) - by weaving her in via Peter's story line - is a more logical way to bring new characters into the show.'' (That said, Kring says a few newbies won't make it beyond this second volume, which wraps Dec. 3.)

HIRO WAS IN JAPAN WAY TOO LONG

Hiro's (Masi Oka) time-bending adventure in 17th-century Japan - where he mentored samurai hero Takezo Kensei (David Anders) - finally came to an end on Nov. 5. But Kring says it ''should have [lasted] three episodes. We didn't give the audience enough story to justify the time we allotted it.''

YOUNG LOVE STINKS

Kring regrets sticking Claire (Hayden Panettiere) with a super-dud boyfriend and forcing Hiro to moon over a cutesy princess. ''I've seen more convincing romances on TV,'' he admits. ''In retrospect, I don't think romance is a natural fit for us.''

Yet while Heroes has finally found some dramatic traction, this second volume is pretty much a wash. The Dec. 3 episode has been retooled to function as a potential season finale - a move inspired by the writers' strike and a desire to give the show ''a clean slate'' when it goes back into production for Volume 3. At that point, Kring wants to craft a rebooted Heroes that can attract new fans and win back those who've tuned out: ''The message is that we've heard the complaints - and we're doing something about it.''

Meanwhile, Tim Kring, Jeph Loeb (his co-producer) and several of the show's stars took time to answer some questions for fans of the show over at TV Guide. Within the questions, several key points were revealed. Mohinder is not going to develop any powers, Hana (Stana Katic) and Claude (Christopher Eccleston) may be returning, if their schedules allow and there are more fortune-telling paintings by Isaac floating around.

CLICK HERE to read the entire set of questions and answers.

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