Inside 'Heroes'

Season Two

If you're a "Heroes" fan, you're probably on the edge of your seat waiting for the lowdown on the new season. Here are some tidbits to tide you over until Sept. 24.

  • Teflon cheerleader Claire Bennet (Hayden Panettiere) surfaces at a Los Angeles high school, where Lyndsy Fonseca and Dianna Agron will recur as members of the cheerleading squad. Claire's relationship with her adoptive father, Noah, will remain complicated.
  • Life for Niki (Ali Larter) will be less schizophrenic now that her alter ego, Jessica, has been eliminated, but no less challenging. "To be able to focus on the one character is, I think, going to be the best move," Larter says. "I heard it will be a little like 'La Femme Nikita.'"
  • Beat cop Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg) has been promoted to detective. "He gets to be in the position he always wanted to be in, so I'll be working with a lot of the people I've wanted to work with," Grunberg says. Parkman's wife is pregnant, but because she cheated on him, there's a strong chance it's not his child.
  • Zachary Quinto says his character, the nefarious Sylar, will be "in a radically different landscape than you'd expect to find him in, in a radically different power structure, a place no one would ever expect him to be."
  • The return of evil shape-shifter Candice Wilmer is up in the air because portrayer Missy Peregrym is a regular on the new CW series "Reaper," which shoots in Vancouver. "The studios are working together to make it happen," Peregrym says. "I know some things about her that haven't come out yet. So we'll see what happens."

Quite a few new characters will be joining the "Heroes" ranks this season. Here's a look at a few of them:

  • Jessica Collins ("The Nine") will recur as a mystery woman named Sophie.
  • Barry Shabaka Henley will appear as a New York police officer.
  • Holt McCallany joins the cast as the ringleader of a gang of Irish thugs.
  • Dana Davis comes on board as a young relative of D.L.
  • Kristin Bell (of "Veronica Mars" and the narrator of the new CW series "Gossip Girl") will appear starting in October in a multi-episode arc as Elle, described by Kring as "a sexy, intriguing, mysterious young lady" who'll commit a heinous crime. A woman with unclear allegiances, she has ties to Peter Petrelli and Noah and Claire Bennet.
  • Dania Ramirez ("The Sopranos") joins the cast as Maya Herrera, a Spanish-speaking character first seen somewhere in Central America on the run from the law with her twin brother, Alejandro (Shalim Ortiz). "She's trying to cross borders to get to the U.S. illegally," Ramirez says. "She is essentially a good person, but she has a hard time controlling her abilities and because of that has harmed some people around her."