All The Snooz You Can Use
Several comments have been made about the rating numbers for Chuck. Admittedly, I don’t pay too much attention because there seems to be a kind of black art involved in understanding how these numbers translate into “success” for any given show (or network). I think it’s got to do with the fluid definition of “success”.
I should not interpret. I’m not good at it. But it looks like Chuck has consistently pulled in numbers somewhere between okay and great-for-NBC this year. Of course my opinion counts for precisely 0 in these matters. Angela Bromstad’s opinion counts for a bit more, however.
NBC prime-time president Angela Bromstad didn’t quite come out and say the show would be back but said encouraging things in that regard in this interview with the Hollywood Reporter. First, she called the show’s numbers this season a “pleasant surprise,” and then she said, “Well, it’s got to maintain, and it depends on development.” Now, if there’s one thing “Chuck” has done this season, it’s maintain. The show has been remarkably consistent in its numbers.
Todd VanDerWerff is supposed to be a pro at understanding these things. His opinion is that the news is good.
Well, “Chuck” fans, it’s been a long road with this series so far, and it’s nowhere near the end, but after the ratings news of this week, it sure seems as though we’ll be seeing this show coming back for a fourth season. Now, it’s not a done deal, and if you’ve got any spare $5 bills lying around, you might want to run down to Subway, but it sure seems as though “Chuck” is going to be the least of NBC’s worries. And given that NBC has many, many worries, what with the whole “Jay Leno Show” implosion, it sure seems as though “Chuck” being a consistent performer with a dedicated audience is going to be enough to keep it around for a little while. And because Season 4 usually equals Season 5 (the better to get to 100 episodes and big syndication dollars), I’d say we “Chuck” fans are in good shape.
It would be nice to not have to worry about another Save Chuck! campaign this year. And yes, there’s still plenty of time to slip up. I’m guilty of optimism, though.
I understand some of our regulars are already thinking “Sure. But will I even care to watch?” Oh, I don’t know. But the immediate benefit of renewal confidence is that the shows creative talent faces less network pressure to tell a stock story. Many worried at the end of season 2 if they would forever be saddled with an incomplete story with no satisfactory ending. That becomes less likely, and the show could easily become more watch-able to the kind of viewer who had that concern. For viewers like me, the time spent in character development now has much less chance of being wasted, and much more opportunity to add richness to the final body of work.
All in all, pretty good news.