Chuck Gets An Up-tic In The Ratings

Were You Concerned About The Ratings?

Sept. 20 Through Nov. 29 - Click to Enlarge

I am by no means a “ratings guru”, so I really can’t say I understand the effect these numbers might have in corporate boardrooms. Chuck, and all the shows we’ve been paying attention to in fact, have been showing more than a little improvement over the past few weeks, but it’s hard to know what this means when it comes time to renew because a bigger game is afoot.


NPR had this report earlier this week regarding the NBC-U/Comcast merger:

JOEL ROSE: Online video is a growing industry that includes Netflix and Hulu, among other players. And it’s one of the key issues federal regulators are considering as they decide what conditions to place on the $28 billion mega-merger of Comcast and NBC Universal. Here’s outgoing NBC CEO Jeff Zucker at a public event earlier this month.

Mr. JEFF ZUCKER (CEO, NBC): I think we’re in the end game of the regulatory process here. I think the big issue is the future of online video, and what are going to be the conditions on the deal, really, around that.

We’re in a new era. When Mr. Jeff Zucker talks about “online video”, he means more than movies. He means shows like Chuck too. Ratings are still important, obviously, but it’s clearly not the only consideration for a networks bottom line.

The sale of NBC to Comcast also brings in the federal government, which makes some of the decision making process political.

Dec 01, 2010 (Congressional Documents and Publications/ContentWorks via COMTEX) — November 30, 2010 Contact: Ed Shelleby Ed@franken.senate.gov 202.224.1868 Sen. Franken Asks FCC, DOJ to Stop Comcast-NBC Merger, Investigate Comcast’s Apparent Violation of Net Neutrality, Antitrust Laws Franken’s Letter in Response to Comcast’s Decision to Place Recurring Fee on Potential Competitor WASHINGTON, D.C. [11/30/10]–Today, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) asking them either to stop the Comcast-NBC merger or to impose tough restrictions on the resulting company in light of recent Comcast actions that may violate both net neutrality and antitrust laws.

Yes, it’s complex and involves more than NBC and even HULU. It’s going to influence what we’ll see on TV and be able to see online and how much it’s going to cost.

On the face of it, it’s nice to see Chuck regain a 2.0 rating in the desirable 18-49 demographic. I suspect that it’s a result of the very positive reaction to the previous episode, Chuck vs. Phase 3, and doesn’t hurt Chuck’s chances for a fifth season. Not at all!

But other than persuading Nielson families to watch the show, the best we can do in this environment, I believe, is continue to talk about Chuck on-line and continue to let advertisers know we are the most engaged viewers that they are ever likely to find.

– joe

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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.
This entry was posted in Found On-Line, Ratings, Season 4. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Chuck Gets An Up-tic In The Ratings

  1. beti says:

    oops.. what is comcast – NBC.. and netflix and hulu?

    • Faith says:

      Comcast is the company that just bought NBC. They’re now in full control of NBC and all of its subsidiaries.

      NBC is the network that shows Chuck in the US.

      Netflix is a DVD rental/online streaming company that is the leading company for these sort of things. They don’t have Chuck on their instant streaming site but their Chuck DVDs are one of its most popular.

      Hulu is a company that is made up of 3 networks (NBC, CBS, ABC). These networks combine to show their shows for free online through the streaming site: Hulu.com. They get paid through advertising dollars.

      • First Timer says:

        @faith:
        Comcast has not yet bought NBC nor is it in “full” or any kind of control of NBC or any of its subsidiaries. The purchase/merger has not yet been cleared by federal regulators and the dust-up concerning the battle between Comcast and Level 3 (essentially representing the interests of Netflix) may have actually pushed the regulatory decision back further.

        A year into the regulatory process, I actually think there is more objection to the deal NOW than at the beginning.

      • joe says:

        I do believe you’re correct, FT. My understanding is that the deal is finished, but has to be okayed by the FCC (That’s the Federal Communications Commission, Beti. They have a very big say over broadcast networks corporate dealings, and their influence is evolving in the Internet era).

        DC politics is a strange beast. Sen. Franken (D-SNL) simply doesn’t have the clout he had even as recently as Nov. 1. But who can say what they’ll do in the halls of Congress? This year in particular the agenda and direction is unclear.

      • bdaddydl says:

        this has a lot to do with politics so I will leave my opinion on that alone

      • Faith says:

        It seems I’m having to say this a lot tonight:

        I stand corrected. Although the NBC management shuffle is already being planned as we speak.

      • First Timer says:

        @faith:
        Oh, yes, you ARE right that the new Comcast management personnel have already been tapped in anticipation of the deal being improved.

        But the market is different now than it was even a week ago. This Comcast-Level 3 fight over Comcast’s new fee for transmitting Netflix has raised the very valid issue of Net Neutrality. How COULD the FCC now allow Comcast to make the NBC Universal buy without a stone-cold guarantee that Comcast wouldn’t favor its own streaming content over any other on the Comcast Internet pipes.

        I wouldn’t say the deal is back at Square 1, but there are more boxes that have to be checked now. It would not surprise me AT ALL if NBC has to go into the up fronts next year still under GE’s control. That would mean the 2011-2012 season scheduled by the existing management.

      • First Timer says:

        stupid typo. I meant in the first sentence “approved<' not "improved."

    • Waverly says:

      To continue the answer: Comcast is the largest cable TV operator in the US. It also might be the largest internet services provider in the US. It has been providing telephone services too.

      Comcast also produces some TV content, mostly news and sports.

      Comcast has agreed to purchase a controlling share of NBC Universal. That means not just NBC the TV network, but also Universal Studios (films) and various cable TV channels. I don’t know if the deal includes the “Universal” branded parks and resorts.

      The minority owner of NBC Universal would be its current majority owner, General Electric.

  2. Rick Holy says:

    Bottom line – for now, KEEP “RE-WATCHING” episodes of CHUCK on nbc.com and hulu.com. “Re-watch” as many times as you want – every little bit helps.

    We’re never going to be a ratings “hit.” We’ll always be on the bubble of being cancelled until that fateful day when we will be cancelled. We’ve got to show our support in as many other ways as we can. Do the things Joe has mentioned numerous times. And did I say RE-WATCH episodes of CHUCK on nbc.com and hulu.com?? And of course, don’t forget to frequent Subway on Monday nights especially. They by far and away are a key player in CHUCK as far as advertisers go.

    And don’t forget either BUY THE DVDS!! Since most people we know probably have never watched CHUCK, get them Season 1 for a gift. (2,3,4 and hopefully 5 you can get later!).

    Another thing I’ve taken to doing recently is posting Chuck episode links to NBC.COM on my Facebook page – “Daring” my Facebook friends – 500 or however many there are (I find it hard to say “NO” to someone who wants to be a friend!!) to “try it” and see if they’ll like it. Of course, it’s best to pick the better episodes (like Phase 3).

    This is a show that we love – and as those of you who know of these things, love requires dedication, committment, sacrifice and WORK. So let’s keep it up!

  3. atcdave says:

    Really awesome to see those ratings heading the right direction. There’s a lot of factors involved; like a really strong episode the week before and weak competition. But up is good. Hopefully those who dropped in this week liked what they saw, and we can build some real momentum in January!

    • Crumby says:

      I’m a little disappointed that Chuck didn’t do more considering there wasn’t any new HIMYM or House. But it’s good it did at least 2.0 and beat House’s rerun.

      • Paul says:

        Chuck is a niche show. The types of folks who enjoy DWTS and such may not necessarily be the folks who enjoy Chuck. I’m thinking the lack of competition on the air only had a small influence on the uptick vs. less competition of stuff to do in the real world.

    • armySFC says:

      i hope for the avid viewers on this blog the ratings continue to rise. in my opinion what they need to do is market it more during the break. but the critical thing is to keep the first episodes neutral or start a new arc. new viewers are less likely to stay if they don’t have an idea about what is going on. i have read posts that say that 4.09 should have ended the run not 4.10.

      but think about 4.10 as a viewer that may just be tuning in to the show. would the episode make sense to you? you wouldn’t know the mama b back story. you wouldn’t know volkoff. the dinner part wouldn’t make sense nor would chuck getting the intersect back. i think they did it right ending with 4.10. they can start the episodes after the break with a clean slate so to speak. c/s is strong and people will like that. people will also get to see an arc from the start, another good thing. i think if they play their cards right it could increase viewers over the second half. just some random thoughts.

      • atcdave says:

        I think you’re right army. Our morale is pretty high right now which will help too. It’s easier to promote the show to friends and family when you’re really excited about it. The logic in running 4.09 last week would have been “go into the break with your strongest episode and strongest ratings.” But of course it would have meant picking up in weird place in January. They way they’re doing it makes a fairly fresh start possible. I hope they use a couple stand alone episodes next, that would make it easier to get new/casual viewers into things. I also really hope to see the engagement come quickly; they could tease they big moment during the break, and then promote the engaged couple during February sweeps; leading to a big wedding promotion for May sweeps. I think that is the best option for getting free publicity and wooing back some of the disaffected S3 viewers. I would also bet they won’t quite do it that way because of course professionals and industry insiders know so much better what viewers want than us actual lowly viewers do.

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