We’re just over a week away from the start of Season 4. So far Chuck only has a 13 episode order. Chuck finished last season with very weak ratings that would have spelled the end on any other network. So we really need improved ratings in the first few weeks to get a back six or nine order. The network isn’t helping any with very little advertising at this point. I don’t believe NBC ever wants a show to fail, but they clearly aren’t willing to invest much in a long term marginally performing show. That puts a lot of pressure on us to recruit new viewers.
So is everyone fired up now? We should be. After a rough start to S3 Chuck finished on a very strong note, with a return to the formula of fun, comedy, adventure, and romance that worked so well for most of us in the first two seasons. I know not everyone’s experience is similar, but of the four viewers (households) I know who stopped watching last season, I’ve got three back on board. The most satisfying for me came last night. My in-laws took my wife and I out for dinner to celebrate my birthday (um, I’m kind of at that age where I’d rather not think about it!). They used to watch Chuck but stopped after 3.01; they did watch the whole episode but not 3.02. The line I heard was “the show was no fun and Chuck lost his girl so we decided to watch Dancing…” I tried once, when the season was getting better, to get them to watch again but they weren’t interested. Well last night was an opportunity. After dinner we came home for cake and ice cream. They know I’m a movie/TV junkie and have a nice set-up, so when I asked if they wanted to watch something they thought it sounded like fun. I suggested Chuck’s two-part season finale with the promise “it got a lot better towards the end of the season.” They were very pleased and surprised by what they saw. My mother-in-law asked if they’d changed all the writers and my father-in-law said “that’s not even like the same show we saw in January!” I told them about recent comments that the new season promised to be more fun and Chuck and Sarah were together for the season; and they are now enthusiastic about the coming season.
I think many viewers can be brought back to a show that feels more like it did at the start. Chuck seems to be a fun show again and an easy sell to almost anyone who will sit still long enough to watch a single episode. Its all on us Chucksters!
Okay, now I’ve told my story and rallied the troops. The main point of this thread is to share speculation about the season premier. We have quite a few spoilers. We know MEB will make an appearance, but apparently none of the main cast will meet with her. We know Chuck/Morgan and Sarah/Casey will initially be on separate missions that will intersect (get it?) at some point. And I think we will know an Awesome baby is on the way in 4.01. How will these things play out and what will be the effect on episodes ahead? This is your turn to weigh in. Of course we’ll be keeping score on how good everyone’s guesses are, but only for bragging rights! No wagering please.