As fans of NBC’s Chuck are painfully aware, the show is on the bubble for renewal. The peacock network’s entire Monday night line-up has been struggling this season. Heroes has declined the most significantly but Angela Bromstad, NBC’s Entertainment President, has said that the network plans to renew the sci-fi show for season four.
With Jay Leno’s new show set to take over the weeknight 10pm timeslot next season, NBC has far fewer schedule positions available for other shows. That’s really bad news for series like Chuck which has often landed in fourth place for its timeslot.
Last night, with its second-to-last episode of the season (or series), Chuck had its best opportunity to shine in the ratings. Rather than the very popular House, FOX opted to air an episode of less-popular Bones. On top of that, CBS’ The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother were both in repeats. In the past week or two, there’s also been a huge amount of online support for the show from blogs like our friend Kath at Give Me My Remote and numerous TV critics. That equates to lots of free publicity and valuable word of mouth for NBC and the show.
So essentially, if Chuck was going to have a breakout night in the ratings, this would be it. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Chuck attracted a disappointing
6.05 6.11 million viewers and a 2.3/6 2.4/7 rating/share in the 18-49 demographic. That’s fewer total viewers than last week but the same a little better in the targeted demo. It was also once again in fourth place for the timeslot.
How does this bode for Chuck’s future? Not very well. This performance essentially shows the network that, under the best of conditions, the show’s audience isn’t getting much bigger.
On the plus side, the network isn’t doing very well on the whole and the execs supposedly love the show. They have fewer timeslots to fill but Chuck is at least getting some attention. Though 18-49 viewers are what really counts, the network might be willing to take what it can get. They also co-produce the show which doesn’t hurt.
Unless NBC makes a decision sooner, we’ll have to wait until mid-May to find out their Chuck plans for sure.
Image courtesy NBC.