Chuck vs. iTunes

My mission (can I call it a “mish?”) is to try and encourage TPTB (all of them) to work out whatever issue is stopping the release of a Season Pass for Chuck Season 4.

I have been poking around the old internet looking for a means to contact Fake Empire Productions, the company run by Josh Schwartz and one of the parties responsible for producing Chuck.  No dice.  Anyone have any info?

I went to Warner Brother’s site, and went to Customer Service.   I sent them a nice email asking them to work out whatever issue was stopping the release of Season 4 on iTunes.

I am doing the same thing over at here:   I’m using the drop down menu to pick Chuck and am leaving basically the same message.

Faith provided this link for iTunes:

I missed the first 4 episodes of Chuck last season (Jan 2010) because I was deployed.  I don’t want that to happen again for me or for any other service member out there who loves Chuck.  Oh, and you civilians deserve it too! 🙂    If anyone else has any ideas, please share them!


About amyabn

My name is Amy and I'm in the active Army as my profession. I love the show Chuck and want to see it succeed for many seasons to come. My twitter handle is amyabn.
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34 Responses to Chuck vs. iTunes

  1. MichaelCarmichael says:

    Is it possible that it’s more a Hulu issue? I’m in Canada and have a season pass for season 4 through the Canadian iTunes store (I think UK users can get one too). As far as I know there’s no legal way to watch Chuck online in Canada now that the City network has dropped it – we watch it live either on the NBC feed or a handful of independent TV stations. Of course, now I’m waiting to see if “all future episodes” means 24 episodes, since they hadn’t announced the back 11.

    • amyabn says:

      I don’t know MC. I know that while deployed, the feed is so slow, we can’t watch streaming video. I can let my iTunes download over time (it times out a LOT due to slow download speed) and then can watch an episode in one shot because it is complete on my computer, iPod, or iPad. There are a ton of military fans out there and I spread the good word about the show. I just want to keep the good times coming!

    • joe says:

      It *is* possible. I heard months ago that NBC’s status in the Hulu consortium was a bit up in the air because of the Comcast merger. I have no idea if that was true, *is* true, or if it’s been worked out.

  2. MichaelCarmichael says:

    I feel your pain – I first discovered Chuck via Itunes, and watched the entirety of season 1 and 2 that way. We still watch it live on Mondays, but always get it on iTunes – it just flows much better without commercials. The other thing I keep noticing is a sync problem between video and audio and just generally inferior audio from our satellite feed, so I just couldn’t deal without having an iTunes version.

  3. Xenaclone says:

    It’d be nice to have it available for legal download in the UK as well. Charge a modest amount per episode and TPTB make a profit 🙂

  4. MichaelCarmichael says:

    It actually is available in the UK iTunes store,

  5. Ernie Davis says:

    It may be even more complicated. All the NBC shows are available on OnDemand, which I thought was a Comcast thing, but I also get it with my Verizon Fios. However both OnDemand and Hulu follow a similar policy that the shows are only available for 3-4 weeks after air time. Outside the US, at least in the UK and Canada, Chuck has been available for several weeks on iTunes, and as mentioned Amazon has it available. It must be some weird interaction between Apple and someone’s idea of the deal they want for Chuck keeping it unavailable in the US. So we’re left with Amazon where you either use a Windows PC (which I refuse to do) or watch it online through your browser.

    • amyabn says:

      Yeah, Ernie, I’ve gone Mac and I’m not going back! I was on at Amazon a few minutes ago, but their download isn’t compatible, as you said.

      The Event, Chase, Undercovers, and a host of other shows are all available. If Chuck is available for Canada and the UK, why not the U.S.? I can’t see any smart business person turning down $ to have folks like me buy their product.

      • Faith says:

        woo hoo! Mac rules! lol.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Agreed, but we’re about to start a religious war if we aren’t careful. 😉

        The funny part is that even though I never use Windows (I have a Dell PC with Linux in addition to my many Macs) it doesn’t stop everyone in my family and all my friends from asking me to fix their problem with their windows PC.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Well I have bought Anniversary and Suitcase at Amazon just to have them available on my computer till iTunes comes out. I’ll probably have to buy Cubic Z too. As long as your connection is fast and stable enough it isn’t too bad.

  6. MichaelCarmichael says:

    Perhaps it could also be tied to Apple trying to move to a rental model – last I heard that wasn’t necessarily going smoothly.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I don’t know why this is so difficult for supposedly smart business people to understand. We want to buy and own a product and be able to use it when and where we want. Everyone who has tried the subscription or rental model has found the same thing, we want a download we can keep and use offline.

  7. MichaelCarmichael says:

    I don’t know either – I’ve never understood why Apple thinks that someone will pay .99 cents to rent a TV episode for 24 hours where previously you paid $1.99 or $2.99 to own it

    • atcdave says:

      I understand that. While traveling we have occasionally bought shows we only wanted to watch once. But of course Chuck I want to keep on my AppleTV and iPod.

  8. Paul says:

    Is S4 up on Amazon yet?

    • Ernie Davis says:


      • Paul says:

        Good. I will not use iTunes again if I can avoid it. Their customer service sucks. My account got hacked and they insist I have to pay for the unauthorized downloads before they allow me to do any more authorized downloads.

  9. Faith says:

    Re: Fake Empire. According to Variety it’s still under the Warner Brothers umbrella.

  10. Ernie Davis says:

    I think the most frustrating thing about this is that nobody seems to be willing or able to say what the holdup is. Other WB shows are available on iTunes as they air, and other NBC shows are available as they air. Chuck is available in both Canada and the UK on iTunes, but is as far as I can tell some sort of unique case that despite both NBC and WB making their shows available on iTunes just cannot be allowed in to the grubby mitts of the actual fans who want to buy it. But then it IS available on Amazon. It makes virtually no sense unless someone thinks Chuck needs or merits a special deal that no other TV show has with Apple. Because frankly I can’t find any other example that fits Chuck’s pattern.

    • michael says:

      There’s always something odd about Chuck. Last year, when S3 appeared in the Canadian Itunes store (I think around the week of First Class or Nacho Sampler), you could buy episode by episode, but not a season’s pass. Over the course of a Tuesday, you’d find the episode in standard definition, but not in HD until hours later.

      And then there was the season finale – CityTv pre-empted it, sat on it for 3 or 4 weeks before showing it, and so it wasn’t available on iTunes until after it aired.

      • atcdave says:

        Wow Michael that’s really lousy treatment!

        Chuck always seems to show up on the iTunes best seller list too. It is all very strange.

      • MichaelCarmichael says:

        Last laugh, though – I think CityTV dumped Chuck in their haste to pick up Undercovers!

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I think it’s pretty standard that iTunes will not release an episode until after it airs, and that it is the networks who want it that way, so in that one case it’s CityTV you need to be mad at. In other cases, much as I love Apple products they do have a very “my way or the highway” attitude when it comes to their online stores.

      • atcdave says:

        I think Apple has that attitude about everything Ernie. I mean, don’t get me wrong, their products are beautiful and exude quality in a way few do (I say as i’m typing on my iPad and listening to my iPod); but they are insufferably smug about it. It makes me angry when Chuck has had one glitch or another every season. It shouldn’t be that hard, I want to spend money people!

      • MichaelCarmichael says:

        I probably should have been clearer – while I have some issues with iTunes, I think Chuck – at least in the US – is caught up in some grander web where someone wants to get revenue for every view of it – knowing that many of us watch the episodes over and over. That would mean either “rental” or streaming with commercials, and it seems to me that I read that either NBC or WB had balked at Apple’s Itunes rental pricing scheme.

      • atcdave says:

        That may be, but I have a hard time believing they get more advertising money when I stream it than they do when I buy it. Especially since I don’t really stream much, I’d rather watch off my DVR and zip through commercials until I can buy it on iTunes or disc! The sad thing is, in seasons past I’ve bought it both ways, now I may be waiting for the Blu-Rays.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Dave I agree about Apple’s attitude. They are determined to define and protect their brand name at all costs. The difference is I forgive them because the flip-side is that they put so much effort into making the user experience a positive one. There was another large computer monopoly once that felt they could define how users used their product, but didn’t bother to make the experience a pleasant one, because they felt there was no alternative.

        It’s funny, but when I was getting FIOS installed I was having a nice chat with the install guy about nerdy tech stuff. Then we got on the subject of Verizon, and he was telling me that a few years ago he wouldn’t have been allowed to do an install because I was using existing cable in the house instead of running new fiber and I was running the backup battery off an extension cord. He said that when they first started Verizon was so insistent that customers re-wire and run the battery directly to a dedicated outlet that it was costing them business at the expense of trying to be sure the customer got the full FIOS upgrade. He said he probably had two or three calls a month where the customer would stare dumbfounded when he would tell them that Verizon refused to sell them service. It is never a good idea to alienate customers who want to give you money for a product.

        But then Amazon is being just as dumb. If they put in the minimal effort to sell a Mac compatible downloadable file for episodes of Chuck, I’d have bought seven of them by now, and if the quality were comparable I would not be replacing them with iTunes versions when they became available.

      • MichaelCarmichael says:

        They’ve having cake and eating it too, perhaps? I have everything to date on Itunes, and season 1 and 2 on DVD. Plus at the beginning of the season, I bought a DVD-R to record episodes because I was pretty sure there would be an iTunes hold up. If I could have streamed them I would have and from what I’m read here, I might be unique only in that I’m too cheap to buy multiple copies of the season DVDs.

        I’d still stream them if I could.

        I think I need help.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Michael, I think yours is a plausible scenario, but again, is pure idiocy on the part of TPTB. You don’t alienate people who want your product, and refusing to sell but demanding they subscribe has alienated customers every time it’s been tried with the exception of Netflix, who merely include their unlimited subscription streaming along with established rental subscriptions. The big difference is I feel the subscription is worth it for the DVDs I rent and the streaming is a nice bonus. If I had to be online for every movie I wanted to rent, that’d be a different matter.

        Now of course Netflix is doing something very interesting. As cable and internet merge Netflix is making themselves their own movie channel through their streaming service, now available on your TV with the proper equipment. With the increased reliability and speed available on networks it might not be too long until there is a viable new model for distribution with a subscription as the preferred way of paying. Blockbuster, who stuck to retail stores and a fee for each rental is now bankrupt.

  11. Chuckaddict says:

    I’m not sure where I read this, but I think the hang-up with iTunes us over royalties. It might have something to do with WB cutting their licensing fee to NBC to keep the show alive. I’m guessing WB wants/needs to make up some profit with the iTunes sales, so they don’t opt for the standard agreement. WB knows the fan base will “patiently” wait and dutifully purchase when finally available, and they’re right. I don’t think Amazon has anywhere near the market share that iTunes has, making that revenue stream more or less insignificant. There are about a billion iPods/iPads out there and Amazon apparently doesn’t want to be compatible, or possibly Apple negotiated a non-compete with the studios regarding file format. I digress. Assuming any of this is the true, and it’s helping prolong “our” show, I’m willing to wait. Instead of re-watching on my iPod, I just keep the eps stored on my TiVo until I either download or get the DVD’s.

    • amyabn says:

      Chuckaddict, thanks for the info. The thing that rings hollow for me, though, is that it IS available on iTunes in Canada and the UK. I’m still scratching my head. I would assume that the U.S. is their largest market to date, so why exclude us?

      I would love for TPTB to come out with an answer. I have S1-3 on iTunes, most episodes on my DVR, and the DVDs. If they dont’ hurry up and fix the iTunes deal, I wont’ be able to watch Chuck.

      • Chuckaddict says:

        Yeah, the Canadian and UK iTunes offering is confusing. Maybe their market share is just too small to make a difference.

        An agreement will eventually be reached. How many weeks did it take last year? Was it this long?

        I hope that an agreement is reached soon so that you and everyone else serving can watch. I’m so embedded in the show now that I can’t imagine having it taken away. FWIW I would allow everyone who is deployed to at least rent any TV show for free. Maybe not the best business decision, but it seems like an easy thank you.

        Amy, thank you for your service to the country and to my Chuck addiction.

      • amyabn says:

        Thanks Chuckaddict! I really appreciate it.

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