Open Reactions Thread, Part Deux

And For Those Who Like Statistics…

Sunday’s two hour premier pulled in ratings that were somewhere between great and awesome. The first hour was watched by 7.7 million viewers and got a 3.0 rating in the coveted 18-49 year old bracket (all numbers are preliminary). The second got 7.2 million and a 2.9. The network PTB stated publicly that they would be satisfied with 6 million and 2.4 (which are approximately last years average numbers), but the cognoscenti seem to think that Chuck must perform a bit better overall to earn a fourth season.

To say the least, those numbers fill the bill nicely. The proof, of course, is in the season-long pudding. Tonight’s numbers will be far more indicative of the kind of ratings Chuck can expect for the rest of the season.

I’ve put this up early, but please consider this an “open thread” for your impressions, insights, comments and qualms about tonight’s episode, Chuck vs. The Angel of Death.

– joe & the gang!

Oh – And there’s a very touching memorial, a place to pay your respects to the departed Emmett Milbarge over on the NBC Chuck Boards. “It would be unprofessional not to do so.”

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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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42 Responses to Open Reactions Thread, Part Deux

  1. NoWayOut says:

    I hate for my first post to be a negative one, but the numbers are not particularly good. They are only on the par of Santa Claus and Sensei and about a million lower than 3-D. Worse, the numbers DECLINED for each 30-minute segment. In other words, the best ratings were at 9pm, dropped in the second half of Pink Slip, dropped further for the first half hour of Three Words, then declined ever further in the last half hour. In other words, viewers were increasingly disenchanted by what they were watching and tuned out. And that’s especially worrisome when you consider Chuck was last (fourth) in the first hour and last (third) in the second hour. In the second hour, a repeat on CBS beat it. This all augers poorly for tonight’s episode, I fear.

    • weaselone says:

      One quick point. The ratings met, or exceeded most people’s expectations. The decline in ratings is to be expected as the show approached the end of its second hour and 11 PM. It really isn’t that significant of a decline.

      Plus, Chuck’s new numbers have to be assessed in the context of NBC’s existing shows. These numbers are better than anything NBC has seen this season outside of football, biggest loser and the office.

    • lou federico says:

      I agree the numbers sucked as they were not up against anything. The greatest playoff football in history ended a good 45 minutes before. I predict the numbers are really going to suck tonight. 1.9-2.1. Plus do you really want to be the king of the getto? Best show on a NBC is the worst show on Fox. So much for taking House down this year.

      • joe says:

        “Greatest playoff football in history”??? Naw. I saw that on Christmas, 1971 – Miami Dolphins beat K.C. Chiefs in overtime. It was a kicker’s dual, with Garo “I ‘keeek a touchdown!’ Yepremian vs. Jan Stenarude. ;>

        The getto thing does work both ways, Lou. Verses expectations (the expectations of those who count!), Chuck did very well, indeed!

        House is the one looking over it’s shoulder when it views the ratings wars.

      • weaselone says:

        Well there was that episode of the Simpson’s that pulled in decent numbers, but I guess that just doesn’t reach the bar.

        I predict a drop, but still a relatively strong 2.6-2.7 demo. House is getting stale and starting to jump the Shark.

  2. ChuckNewbie8 says:

    This is my new signature on the boards but it bears repeating here for those that feel the shards of angsty pain:

    Chuck: “You’re probably hurt I didn’t run away with you in Prague. You have to know you are everything I’ve ever wanted…
    I chose to be a spy for my friends, for my family and you. I chose to be a spy because I love you”

    That alone made hour 1 bearable for me. Well technically that line was said in hour 2 but it made me not want to regret the hour of my life I spent in episode 1 haha…a bit exaggerated but some truth nonetheless.

  3. Rick Holy says:

    It’d be great for the numbers to hold steady or move up from last year. I’ll watch the numbers, but truthfully, I’m just going to enjoy this season (as much as the writing allows me to) and if it’s the last, so be it.

    The other thing we need to remember – and I’m not a “TV expert” by any means. What was the lead in to CHUCK? Dateline NBC? A show about car thieves in Las Vegas with the guy who usually does the “Catch a Pervert” Datlines? Not exactly a great show as a lead in. And that DOES make a difference.

    But, what it is is what it is – and there are 17 more episodes to look forward to!

  4. atcdave says:

    We do need to remember; winning the time slot would be nice, but it isn’t necessary. Chuck only needs to do well by NBC standards. So far, so good.

    • Lucian says:

      There is another way Chuck could succeed, even with marginal ratings. It would be interesting to calculate the net revenue impact of the Chuck sponsorship to Subway (assuming that sponsorship is key to the show). If they are seeing a financial impact that is close to the cost of the sponsorship, they will be overjoyed, and will have no problem renewing. This is a different business model than typically used – ie., the goal is viewers. This would involve a direct impact to the sponsors balance sheet. Two numbers needed – average margin on a sub; cost of sponsorship. This gets back to Chuck truly being a “soap opera” as that term orignally implied.

      • joe says:

        Subway? I’m ready to go out and by a Honda after those great commercials with The Awesomes and Morgan! ;>

      • atcdave says:

        Yeah, I think the merchandising angle has always worked in Chuck’s favor. There’s always product placement at the Buy More too. I’ve also read (sorry, no citations, you’ll have to trust me) that Chuck’s audience scores high for income and education levels. That should translate into lower overall numbers being acceptable.

  5. ChuckNewbie8 says:

    If you consider the amount of promotion they put into Chuck the ratings were encouraging but nowhere near impressive.

    But really the true test is tonight. So let’s all cross our fingers.

  6. ChuckNewbie8 says:

    Here’s something to add to the product stuff.

    It’s great that the stars of Chuck are getting their faces out there, visibility is good for the show.

    I saw that in a San Francisco bus stop.

  7. OldDarth says:

    NBC was hoping for a 2.8 last night. So getting a 3.0 surpassed their expectations.

    Tonight is the real test. Anything in the 2.5 – 3.0 range will be golden.

  8. Ernie Davis says:

    I’ve now seen 3 episodes of season 3, this was the best. More to come.

  9. Lucian says:

    I really enjoyed episode 3 – great to see Chuck gaining confidence and coaching Devon.

    I think we have another week or two of smooth sailing. Then buckle up – angst of epic proportions!

  10. joe says:

    I was so happy to see Chuck act that way with Devon. This was not a bumbling, neurotic or whiny Chuck – not in any way. Very pleasant to see him act with confidence for the entire episode, and to do it in front of Sarah.

    – who had her best kick-butt performance since Best Friends, in her fight scene with the guards. Excellent!

    And the episode was hilarious throughout, and that, without one Buy Moron in sight. Unexpected.

    No angst, no melodrama. I realized that I enjoyed the episode very much the same way I enjoyed Tango in S1 or even Tom Sawyer is S2. I also realized that I’ve become absolutely addicted to the relationship tension that was absolutely gone from this one. I couldn’t believe…

    —– spoiler line!!! ——–

    … that they actually did the “let’s just be friends” bit. NOOOOOOO!!!! Too close to home!!! Noooooooo!!!!

    Ah, but all it took was that ending. And the only thing that ending said was “They still care, just the way they always have.” And then the promo for next week. It looks awesome!

    • lou federico says:

      I agree Joe I really think the bitter taste is gone after the first episode. Joe watch the scene again and look at the handshake it lasted way too long to be a “friend” handshake. I tried to email you but it kept getting bounced back. My email is lfeder1@earthlink.net.

  11. herder says:

    Of the first three episodes, I wasn’t thrilled with the first, I liked the second and I liked this one too but for different reasons. I’m not sure which I liked the best, Three words for it’s emotion or this one for it’s light fun.

    The dance sequence was great, the Ellie/Sarah and Devon/Chuck talks were both wonderful, outsiders can see how these two feel about each other and it is just a matter of time before they get up the courage to see for themselves too. Nurse Sarah (the stuff of fantasies) kicking butt and Casey’s porn star mustache disguise are worth seeing again. Nice change not to have superspy Chuck kicking butt, instead flashing on dancing and medicine.

    Sarah sort of fishing for a date “so what do friends do?” and Chuck having the sense, under the circumstances to let things go slow. Funny seeing Beckman dressed up, and I like the extra screen time for Ellie brought about by having either the Awesomes or the Nerd Herd but not both allowing her to do something other than worry about Chuck or play crazy doctor sister onscreen. Oh yeah and a big episode for Devon, not only does he get to play Chuck’s old role as enthusiastic screw up on mission but he gets to verbalize the warnings and downside of the spy life that Chuck has embarked on, the ones that Chuck himself will have to deal with this season.

    Despite the cliffhanger and the ring a much lighter and more typical Chuck episode than the other two. I liked it a lot.

  12. atcdave says:

    Wow, I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. Fast, light, and very funny. Especially, very funny. It was so satisfying to see Devon looking up to Chuck, and even envying a part of Chuck’s life. Right from the helicopter scene, very good stuff. I loved that Ellie wasn’t really much of a dancer. I loved Devon switching easily to Spanish and impressing Sarah. Oh man, did I love Chuck’s calm confidence about how Sarah was going to handle the guards, and then Devon’s reaction when she did.
    The friends line I didn’t like. That’s a reset to season 1 stuff. Huge step backwards for character growth. I was glad we did see the next scene, Sarah still knows what is going to tear Chuck up. But the relationship situation right now just reminds of so many movie sequels; you know when they decide the “happily ever after” of the original just needs to be done over, like “National Treasure 2” or “Jewel of the Nile” to start with a break-up so they can just repeat the first love story over again. Heaven forbid if they actually write a story about an adult couple trying to live a life together in extraordinary circumstances. Sorry, I’m still a little cranky because its becoming obvious they will repeat the worst part of season 2 before they get to a good end.

    On its own merits, this was an outstanding and fun episode.

    • lou federico says:

      I agree Dave. It made my top 5. It was funny action filled and great acting for AA. Vince was good last episode by AA was outstanding!! I just cant see how they are going to work in the new love interest with destroying all their shippers work up to this point.

      • Lucian says:

        Lou F – the point of all the shippers work (IMO) is to make it really hurt when they pursue PLIs. They had to have the “friends” conversation to minimize flakiness. They are way too consistent in how this will play out. The big payoff is that Chuck will learn to control his emotions and be a better spy because of it. Since this season is “darker”, they don’t have to pull any punches. I’ve decided to think of Shaw as a larger, buff version of Yoda. We have to empathize with Chuck, given he has been living the life of a monk for probably eight years (with one short exception). The only action Sarah gets, it would seem, is as a part of work. I hope when it is over, Chuck kicks Shaw’s ass. Looks like he will probably save his life instead. He’s an idiot. Hope I’m wrong, but I would put my confidence at about 94%.

  13. weaselone says:

    Episode three is probably my favorite of the season so far. It had a well balanced combination of action and humor, plus a glimpse into Casey’s past. Sarah and Chuck seem to have established some sort of comfortable working relationship by the end of the episode and Chuck’s seemed to have established himself as more of an equal in his squabble with Sarah in the Castle.

    The long handshake was awkward enough to show that feelings were still there, but I was more interested in the exchange about the activities of friends. Are the writers actually going to give us Chuck and Sarah enjoying each other’s company outside of missions and cover maintenance, or was it just a tease never to reemerge? Personally, I think it might take a little sting out of the love polygons if Sarah and Chuck were spending time together doing activities outside of work.

  14. herder says:

    Last night’s ratings, 2.6 demo and 7.3 million viewers. I beleive that next week will be better.

  15. herder says:

    A few small points: so far after 3 episodes, no one has confirmed that Bryce is dead, neither has anyone mentioned the dissapearance of Papa B, are the writers keeping their options open?

    When Carina sees the bracelet she says “this looks like something a sap in love would wear”. Want to bet that before too long Sarah wears it confirming that she is a sap in love.

    Did I miss it or has no one commented on Anna’s dissapearance either?

    When Casey says “he still loves you” it shows that he knew what was going on and was OK with it. And in letting Chuck into the dance hall/bar shows he is sort of rooting for Chuck to make it either as a spy or with Sarah (maybe he knows her or can read her just as easily as Carina and Ellie) or both.

    The General seems more attatched to the team than we might have otherwise thought, perhaps this will come to the fore in later episodes.

    Maybe it’s early but Morgan doesn’t seem as annoying as in the past.

    Things that will likely show up in later episodes, the Ring communicator, the gold briefcase and Chuck’s bag of tricks under the bed.

    • weaselone says:

      Actually, I think Chuck mentioned Bryce’s death when the Casey mentioned the Ring in one of the episodes.

      Morgan told Chuck in the first episode that Anna dumped him for the prep chef.

      Haven’t heard anything about papa B one way or the other.

    • joe says:

      Herder, I’m sure those episodes were finished long before the news came out this week that Scott Bakula will indeed be back as Papa B. sometime in the final 6. Definitely looking forward to that!

      One of the things that I think has gone unmentioned in the boards was the nature of the weapon in The Three Words. Gen. Beckman forbade Chuck from opening that case, and they jumped to the brief scene with Shaw to distract us. I think that weapon will return soon. You’re right about Beckman. She seems much more concerned with Team B’s welfare, even Casey’s.

      Sarah clearly knows the significance of the bracelet. In the real world, that means TPTB know what it means to the fans. Isn’t that cool?

  16. Lucian says:

    Watching the third episode a second time was even more enjoyable than the first. It really works on a bunch of levels – all the family dynamics, Team Bartowski starting to figure out how to work together, funny, action-packed, and a positive dynamic between Chuck and Sarah. TV at its best.

  17. Gord says:

    What I really liked about 3.03 was that we got to see Sarah smile again. That was missing in the first few episodes.
    So far I am quite happy with what the writers have done. I am glad that they put the first 2 episodes together though. I’m not sure what the ratings would have been like if they had left 3.01 on its own.

    • atcdave says:

      I’m sure that was on purpose. 3.01 was very dark, and not representative of what Chuck is normally like. But 3.02 was a good Chuck episode, and started the mending process. So I think putting them together was an excellent move.

      • Lucian says:

        I can accept some dark; my issue with 3.1 is there are a whole bunch of inconsistencies which make it, for me, feel forced. A few that come to mind
        – the CIA not putting a more dangerous Chuck in a cell when the training fails;
        – Chuck saying nothing at the train station
        – Chuck not going to the Orange Orange to see where Sara is
        – the cardinal rule. I would suspect that many CIA officers have committed, loving relationships. If we accept the cardinal rule, then there is no hope for Chuck and Sarah as spies who work together and love each other.

        As a footnote, a CIA agent is typically a foreign national who is providing information covertly. Team B are CIA officers (not agents). The bottom line, I am glad to suspend disbelief when it is fun; don’t expect me to do it when it is dark. Dark has to be credible.

        I know they wanted to take multiple steps back, but they could have pulled it off a lot more credibly.

        I am done venting.

      • atcdave says:

        Good vent. I agree on the dark. Given the theme of the show, some is needed. My first gripe about 3.01 is that it was unrelenting. Dark theme, pathetic Chuck, Icy Sarah; just not a fun episode.

        The inconsistencies are troubling too. To me, the most troubling one, is just that Sarah gave up on Chuck so easy. I can see why she was upset after the train station scene (you’re right though, it strains credibility right there that there was no further conversation); but after a two year relationship, she knew Chuck better than that; I really have problems with her totally breaking off contact.

        We spent much of the last eight months making statements like “it would be really sloppy writing if….” We saw a lot of sloppy writing in 3.01.

      • weaselone says:

        I actually find it rather incredible that so many of the things which fans listed as being examples of poor writing months before the first episode aired, somehow made it into the first episode. It’s almost as if the writers came around, read the boards, selected those ideas which individuals most strongly and accurately dissected as crap, and wove them into 3.1 as some sort of loyalty test for the hardcore fans.

      • atcdave says:

        So does that make us the loyal opposition?

        ……love your show, but you gotta do better than that!…..

  18. herder says:

    I’ve been thinking about something that I read last week in one of Yvonne’s interviews. She was being asked how Shaw compares to Bryce, she said that he was a professional and for that reason it was easier for Sarah to talk to him than to Chuck about certain things. She went on to say that as things progress we would see other similarities to Bryce.

    I’m thinking these other similarities are a willingness to devastate Chuck for the purpose of serving what he sees as Chuck’s best interest. Bryce got him kicked out of Stanford to prevent the CIA from getting to him, I think Shaw will go after Sarah to break the emotional bond between them which he sees as a weakness. The “you had your chance and you blew it comment” is Shaw’s version of Bryce’s “you brought this on yourself” from Alma Matre. Only this time Chuck isn’t going to take it, and what Shaw wants to accomplish isn’t in Chuck’s best interest anyways, it is in Shaw’s interest.

    The question is how long does it take Chuck and Sarah to see through this. TPTB know this will not be a popular storyline until it is resolved, that is the reason you suddenly have JS saying that Chuck and Sarah will be resolved this season, that is why Yvonne is saying that 6-10 are better than the first part and they have stuff that everybody wants to see. The synopsises for 3.06 & 3.07 are likely coming out this week and next and are probably very angsty, this good news campaign is a pre-emptive strike to quell the crowd with pitchforks and torches.

    • atcdave says:

      Good take on the PR campaign. Keeping fans enthused and tuned in through an ugly arc (or is it only an ugly sounding arc?) is a big challenge.

      Which, of course, begs the question, Why do it?

    • weaselone says:

      I’ve posted that I have a similar opinion Shaw’s role. Casey will probably smell something before either Chuck or Sarah, and Chuck will be made painfully aware of Shaw’s nature when Shaw double crosses him and moves in on Sarah. When Sarah realizes Shaw isn’t what he seems is debatable. Will she suspect Shaw even before he tries to screw over Chuck, or will it take her longer to come around than any one else on team Bartowski?

  19. herder says:

    I had an idea that maybe the General and the rest are making a mistake trying to turn Chuck into Bryce in order to properly operate the intersect 2.0. Sort of like Casey was in the Sensei, he was tring to find his inner calm when really what he needed was to find his inner angry or his angry centre. Rather than trying to find his emotionless centre to use the intersect properly maybe what Chuck needs is to find his emotional centre, and we all know what that is. If the intersect had gone into Bryce, then perhaps he would need to be emotionless, but Bryce is Bryce and Chuck is Chuck and I think that Chuck will use the intersect differently than Bryce would have and will have different requirements to use it properly.

  20. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs Angel de la Muerte (3.03) | Chuck This

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