'Heroes' Gets Early Pickup

They've saved the cheerleader, and now "Heroes" will have a little longer to save the world.

NBC has given the first-year hit an early pickup for the 2007-08 season, network chief Kevin Reilly told reporters Wednesday at the Television Critics Association press tour. Three other series -- comedies "My Name Is Earl" and "The Office" and long-running drama "Law & Order: SVU" -- also got the go-ahead for next season.

"These four series represent some of the best of what we consider to be the 'NBC brand' of quality shows," Reilly says. "It's a pleasure to give them an early renewal to develop more stories for next year, since we know they will remain both critical and commercial successes for a long time to come."

None of the four pickups is much of a surprise. "Heroes," after all, is the top new show of the season in both viewers and the coveted adults 18-49 demographic, drawing better than 15 million viewers per week. "SVU" is NBC's No. 2 drama at 12.9 million viewers per week, and "Earl" and "The Office" are both drawing solid numbers on Thursdays, particularly among younger viewers.

NBC hasn't made decisions yet on any of its other shows yet, but Reilly says that in the case of well-received but underperforming shows like "Friday Night Lights," "30 Rock" and "Studio 60," "I certainly think at least some of those shows will be back next season."

"Heroes," which returns from hiatus next week, has also added one more episode to its order for this season, bringing the total to 23.