I don't have a television, so I first encountered Heroes via their iTunes site... and now I'm hooked.
NBC's Heroes site says:
As a total eclipse casts its shadow across the globe, a genetics professor in India is led by father's disappearance to uncover a secret theory — there are people with super powers living among us. A young dreamer tries to convince his politician brother that he can fly. A high school cheerleader learns that she is totally indestructible. A Las Vegas stripper, struggling to make ends meet to support her young son, discovers that her mirror image has a secret. A fugitive from justice continues to baffle authorities who twice have been unable to contain him. A gifted artist, whose drug addiction is destroying his life and relationship with his girlfriend, can paint the future. A down-on-his-luck Los Angeles beat cop can hear people's thoughts, which puts him on the trail of an elusive serial killer. In Japan, a young man develops a way to stop time through sheer will power. Their ultimate destiny is nothing less than saving the world.
Yeah... pretty long-winded. Good thing the show has better writers.
Basically, this show is what happens ( to borrow a metaphor from M Night Shamalyan ) between the first and second panel of a debut superhero comic — it's what happens _after_ the discovery of powers, and _before_ being a hero.
What's more, is that NBC is finally starting to "get" the web, and has short, 6-page Heroes web comics available after each episode that explore some of the show's themes in greater detail — character backstories, titilating bits and pieces that you won't get anywhere else. Very nice... and if that's not enough, series creator Tim Kring has an amazing fansite of his own, 9th Wonders.
And the good news? The show is on hiatus until Jan 22 — so there's plenty of time to catch-up before new episodes start airing. Just download the Hereos episodes via iTunes or from the NBC site ( I think the NBC downloads have commercials )!
Want the cliff's notes ( including spoilers )? Check-out the Heroes entry at Wikipedia.