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Chuck: So How’d the NBC TV Show Do Last Night? Awesome?

ChuckAs 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.

 

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{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

linda April 28, 2009 at 7:33 pm

SAVE CHUCK!
LOSE LENO!

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WI-ChuckFan April 28, 2009 at 6:44 pm

People with higher incomes tend to watch Chuck and as such are the ones who can BuyMore. Chuck with the retail concept is poised to covertly advertise merchandise in every episode. I don’t need my MBA to figure that out. In this day and age where everyone either records shows or just buys the DVD’s, putting the ads within the show eliminates the ability to by-pass the ads. The ratings models have been flawed for several years and is similar to relying on VHS as a medium to distribute movies. It’s time is over. Wake up advertisers and Networks before it’s to late…

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Char April 28, 2009 at 8:19 am

Chuck, is one of our favorite shows to watch as a family, in fact almost all our favorite shows our on NBC. Earl,Heroes,The Office, and Chuck are all on our must watch list. With a DVR box we are able tailor tv to our schedule. Dancing With the Stars is the reason for poor ratings for Chuck and Heroes could have declining in ratings because it is going the way of Lost which lost me as a viewer when it became like a job trying to keep up, just a thought. SAVE CHUCK!!!! Please.

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Merg April 27, 2009 at 8:48 pm

As usual, if shows like Chuck get canceled it just goes to show that the execs pull shows that are far more popular than the highly inaccurate ratings system shows. Chuck is a wonderfully funny show with many angles of how life really is for some but at the same time shows the fancy of the average Chuck of the world.

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DVR watcher April 27, 2009 at 3:41 pm

I suspect that the way shows are measured is suspect, and is highly skewed to sponsors’ interests, not the public’s.

There are so many ways to watch shows now, and many pairs of eyes watching per TV. In my house we have two in the 49+ and two in the 13-18 range. We are selective about what we watch and many shows are watched together.

As an example, we watch both House and Chuck (same time slot) – how is that captured? Which show is counted in the stats?

A lot of people I have talked about this with agree: the writing and series concepts much sharper and clever than I can recall, possibly forever (unless you go back to B&W TV with Rod Serling, Yul Brynner, Paddy Chayevsky, Steve Allen, Jack Paar, Johnny Carson, even), but the series are seeing stars of high talent (Glenn Close, Hugh Laurie, Forrest Whitaker, Kyra Sedgwick, Holly Hunter, Michael Imperioli, Harvey Keitel, etc). Before the past 2 or 3 seasons, the last great (direction, story, cleverness, acting) TV show I can recall: Twin Peaks.

Back to my original point: figure out better ways to count viewership. Here’s a wacky idea that would kill: Treat the season’s shows like contestants on Idol. Ask viewers to vote for their favorites, rather than using old-school Nielsen methods. Follow with a low-cost reality TV results show.

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Joe B April 27, 2009 at 1:19 pm

Just a great show. I don’t know how they measure. It is one of the few shows we DVR because even if it is up against something else we like, we don’t want to miss an episode of Chuck. If NBC drops the show, they will just loose me a little more of our veiwing to cable.

Let’s see, on NBC we watch:

Biggest Loser,
Earl
Chuck

we don’t really watch anything else on NBC. Against these three shows, NBC means No Better Choices.

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Juanma April 27, 2009 at 12:49 pm

Please, NBC, save Chuck, it’s a fresh show, it’s funny, romantic, well-telled, smart…It’s so complete…you can’t cancel it. Hold on Chuck, but…stay in the car!

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Barbara Gardner April 27, 2009 at 3:33 am

This show is fun to watch and its really entertaining. Chuck’s character is complex in some ways but it is very easy to relate to.

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Andrea April 26, 2009 at 2:42 pm

I was laughing so hard through most of this episode. I love the antics that have gone with the spying. Chuck is one of the only shows that I can watch and get a laugh as well as an omg what are they doing. Sometimes at the same time.

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Rene Myers April 25, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Chuck is one of my top 5 shows that I watch. I love the show.

For Chuck to tell his secret to his future brother-in-law. Well I was cheering him on. Devons reaction was well…AWESOME. To finally tell someone his secret it was almost to me feeling a weight was lifted off of my shoulders.

Bravo on the show writers, actors and crew members.

I even got a call from my friends and family asking if I had watched the episode. They loved it too.

Even though the numbers aren’t high for the networks. This show is quite an unusual and unique show. Just what the networks need. Keep us on our toes and entertained.

So keep Chuck on for a very long time.

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Christian April 24, 2009 at 7:55 am

I am one of the few that liked My Worst Enemy and that show got cancel and now Kyle Xy is cancel and Reaper is in danger. Isent people tivo everything now? isent that way some shows get low ratings because they tivo it :P

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mary c April 23, 2009 at 6:19 pm

please do not cancel chuck i look forward to it every week. the story line is going great. if we don’t see it live we tape it. everyone has a tivo or dvr now.

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Mike April 23, 2009 at 5:17 pm

I am so tired of the networks canceling some good shows. Started with the strike last year and Journeyman & Jericho went. Now my favorites are on the bubble and a couple are gone. Save Chuck, Life, & Sarah Connor. I know this is an NBC Blog but Sarah Connor is worth mentioning, maybe NBC should pick it up if it goes. Life on Mars was a good show that they ended in a ridiculous way. TV networks are wondering why nobody really watches anymore. Really 5 nights of Leno, let him go. If they really wanted to keep him keep him, let him stay on the Tonight Show and let Conan stay where he was.

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Steve April 23, 2009 at 7:07 am

Jasper I was just getting ready to send an apology about the name, I realized it right after I hit submit. Admin, thanks for making the correction and sorry for sounding (ok maybe a little arrogant) I could have phrased my statement a little better in disagreeing with you about your post, this is one show that I watch that is on the bubble that I am really hoping it comes back, I never said the show was a hit but for NBC it is doing better than what the post suggested.

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Jasper April 23, 2009 at 6:54 am

Pointing out the numbers wasn’t the arrogant part, it was the rest of it Steve. Chuck’s average in the demo may be higher than the network average but that’s not saying much considering the state of NBC. And my name is Jasper, not Jason. (just saying)

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