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'Heroes' Novel Makes a Man Out of Hiro

Heroes may have screeched to an abrupt halt after this month's midseason finale, but hard-core devotees of NBC's sophomore serial need only wait until Dec. 26 (yes, Boxing Day) to get their next fix. That's when the novel Heroes: Saving Charlie hits the streets to teleport fans back to the heady days of Season One.

Written with the full cooperation of the show's creators and published by Del Rey, the 261-page hardcover tells the untold story of the protagonist Hiro's attempt to teleport back in time to save Charlie, the small-town waitress he falls in love with shortly before the villain Sylar swipes her brain.

“Fans of the show will get to see the scope of Hiro's life—as a kid, a tween, an awkward teenager,” the author, Aury Wallington, tells B&C. “You see his first date, first kiss, the progression of his relationship with Charlie.”

And while viewers already know that Hiro fails to save Charlie, they may be surprised—and perhaps a bit unnerved—by the book's climax, in which the lovably nerdy Hiro loses his virginity to Charlie in a sizzling scene described on p. 254:

“Everywhere they touched caught fire, smoldered, turned to ash. It felt legendary, epic, like they were going to need to name constellations after their love, like their hours together were going to form a whole new mythology.”

Such moments aren't, er, virgin territory for Wallington, who's written for Sex and the City and Veronica Mars. Her previous book, Pop!, followed a high-schooler trying to lose the big V before graduation.

But Heroes purists may react the same way Hiro does after his shared moment of ecstasy: “Wow…. Really, wow.”

You Vote, Girl!

WE tv is jumping into the election year with “WE Vote '08,” a new public affairs campaign aimed at driving a million women to the polls.

In January, the Cablevision-owned network will roll out public service announcements featuring the actress Kerry Washington, the singer LeAnn Rimes and the talk show host Kelly Ripa.

Available now on YouTube, the PSAs have been e-mailed to 350,000 women ages 18-49 and are set to run on WE and other networks through cross-channel spots from local cable operators, as well as on They're also being sent out by the campaign's partners The Creative Coalition, Women's VoicesWomen Vote, America's Promise Alliance and Women's Campaign Forum.

Says WE's Senior VP of Marketing Kenetta Bailey, “It was really important to us to create spots that not only got the messages across, but engaged the viewers, made you want to watch and had you take away an entertaining message.”

Indeed, the Ripa PSA is a cute spot featuring an older actress, decked out in fur and pearls, who introduces herself as “TV personality Kelly Ripa.” While stroking a lapdog, the faux-Ripa says, “Global warming is a big issue this election year, but personally I like the warmer weather. Besides, I'll be long gone before any of this nonsense affects me.”

The real Ripa then appears, warning: “It's never a good idea to let someone speak for you, but that's what happens when you don't vote.”

Artful Dodger

CBS Corp. chief Les Moonves nearly stepped in it last week when he offered a characterization of his network's programming.

Commenting on CBS' programming response to the writers' strike at last week's UBS Global Media and Communications Conference, Moonves ticked off the various unscripted specials filling the December grid. Noting the holiday programs, the Kennedy Center Honors Gala and the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, he said, “we are a very diverse network, from the ridiculous to the sublime.”

Pressed by an audience member to name which category the oft-ridiculed “fashion” show belongs in, Moonves punted: “I'm not going to comment because I'll only get in trouble, no matter what I say.”

Wrong, Les. The right answer: It's both.

With Michael Malone, Anne Becker and Jonathan Hemingway