For Your Viewing Pleasure

Less than three days from the season premier, and NBC continues to do a fine job of promoting ChuckThis spot on NBC’s Today Show is great introduction to a broader audience than the male “geeks” that tuned in starting two seasons ago.  What NBC failed to do to promote Chuck amounts to very little.  Well, I would have loved to see any or all of the stars on Saturday Night Live, but I suspect that audience already watches.

And in related news, rumors were started in the NYT that Jay Leno may move back to his late-night time slot (also see here). I start to like this Gaspin guy.

Finally, you may have seen this before, but I hadn’t. Here Zac talks about his debut as director in an upcoming episode. I’m really looking forward to seeing that.

– joe

Update: It looks very much like the rumor about Leno is fact (even if details are yet to be worked out) and that it is the entertainment news of the day. The question is immediate: What does this mean for scripted shows, like Chuck?

This conversation is already happening. Writers, producers, fans of scripted content (and ok, Leno haters) are fist-bumping. If and when the rumors become reality it will be hailed as a great victory for scripted content.

But is it?

Time will tell. Certainly for the remainder of this season it wouldn’t be a great victory. It’s not like NBC has five NEW hours of scripted content a week outside of the scripted shows it had already penned into the schedule. I’m not sure there will be even one additional scripted show this season.

A victory for the affiliates this season perhaps if NBC reshuffles its deck to move more scripted content (plus an hour of the Biggest Loser) to 10pm, but that’s a reshuffle that adds no new scripted content.

As for next year, if NBC winds up with 5 more hours of scripted content than it had this year, or even three or four, it’s hard to see that as anything but a plus for people involved with scripted.

But what if it’s one extra hour, or no extra hours and they just move more of the scripted content that would’ve aired at 8pm or 9pm to 10pm, and back fill with unscripted?

Yeah – I’m of the opinion that this relieves some of the pressures on Chuck, because NBC-U will indeed have more slots to fill, whether or not they chose to fill them with scripted shows.  They now have the option.   NBC need to take gambles (plural) with new shows, but a show like Chuck was always a gamble for them. It was different from the beginning. It falls nicely umbrella that NBC wants to be – a place for quality shows that are unlike the fare offered by CBS and ABC. (I leave off Fox intentionally. I think they still have no idea how to compete with House directly. Fortunately, I also believe that House is past it’s prime, and is not a real threat to Chuck‘s ratings.)


About joe

In my life I've been a professor, martial artist, rock 'n roller, rocket scientist, lover, poet and brain surgeon. I'm lying about the brain surgery.
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10 Responses to For Your Viewing Pleasure

  1. Gord says:

    E! online has had a poll running called Girl on Top
    It just went into the final round between the girl from Smallville and our favourite spy.
    Yvonne needs our votes.

  2. Gord says:

    Now that I got the word out, I took the time to read your post. After watching that Letterman show the other night with Zach, I think Conan must be awful to be losing the ratings war to him. Say what you want about Leno, but I always found him to be a fairly good interviewer, and while his monologues are hit and miss, I always enjoyed his Jaywalking and Headlines and especially liked his quiz show with the jay walk all stars.
    So if NBC has an extra 5 hours to fill, they will probably put some of the shows that did well in the 10PM slot back where they were. Who knows, maybe some of their new shows like Mercy, and Trauma would actually do well in the 10 PM slot. I don’t care for medical shows myself, but ER did extremely well for them in a 10 PM slot.
    As for Chuck moving from Monday nights – I don’t see that happening now. What I do see happening is that Chuck is picked up for an S4 and is paired with the new JJ Abrams Spy show. It could be promoted something like this: “Who says Mondays have to be dull, let your Mondays be filled with action, adventure, comedy and romance for Monday night is spy night on NBC” (as clips from Chuck and the new JJ Abrams show play in the background).
    Let’s face it, anyone who enjoys Chuck will probably like this new show, and conversely anyone that tunes into the new show and likes it, will also like Chuck.

    I don’t know about the logistics because Chuck is a WB show, but they might even have a crossover episode where the spy couple from JJ Abrams guest on Chuck and Chuck, Sarah and Casey on their show for a 2 hour combined mission.
    I know we haven’t got renewal yet, and S3 hasn’t even started yet, but from what I have seen in the promos, S3 should do very well – at least in comparison to other NBC shows.

  3. Gord says:

    Ok one more piece of news I have to share. has stated that Scott Bakula has signed up to play Papa B in multiple episodes at the end of S3.

    I hate to use the word awesome too much, but when the word fits — AWESOME!!!!!!!!

    • OldDarth says:

      I saw that! Season 3 has just become my dream come true season! Swoooooooooooooonnnn!

    • joe says:

      Man, you just made my year. AND IT’S ONLY JANUARY 8!!!
      ;D <— Big grin.

    • atcdave says:

      That is terrific news. I really can’t think of any guest star I would more want to see return.

    • lou federico says:

      is it possible that Mama B may be involved in the last 6?

      • joe says:

        Anything’s possible, Lou. Probable??? I dunno.

        They did a pretty good job of keeping the spoilers to a minimum for the first 13, and I suspect that very little about the final 6 is cast in concrete yet. My gut says that they’re determined to bring back Anna, and the pleasant news of Bakula’s return is brand new. Wouldn’t it be great if the impetus for Stephen’s return was a mission to find Mrs. B?

        That could be the cliff hanger that leads us into season 4, you know. But now were into pure speculation.

  4. atcdave says:

    As of this morning (1/10/2009) Larry Gaspin has confirmed that the Leno prime-time experiment will end with the start of the winter Olympics (2/12/2009 I believe). This should make the competition for prime-time slots a little less cut throat, and give Chuck more of a safety margin for S4. Its also just generally good news for fans of scripted programming. While the network insists Leno was profitable for them (very low production costs, make for very low ratings seeming acceptable), the deal breaker was the affiliates screaming bloody murder. It was brutal on the local news programs to have a lousy lead in.

    One thing that hasn’t been mentioned, but I’m hoping will come up, is the possibility of some Chuck re-runs. I think it kills us not having any presence at all on the off season. Maybe, with a sudden shortage of new programming, NBC will start showing re-runs again.

    • joe says:

      I’ve been seeing on Twitter that the words about Chuck’s chances for renewal being “better” came from Gaspin himself. But I haven’t been able to verify that.

      All this time, I’ve really missed a big portion of the analysis, the part that proved to be the most important, in fact. That is, the part about the network affiliates.

      We’ve known that even with low ratings, Leno was profitable (and probably, very profitable). But apparently money isn’t the only thing. It just seems that way sometimes. I don’t recall ever seeing such a thing before, where the locals assert themselves like that.

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