Beware the Bear- It’s Shadenfreude Season

The 2011 fall TV season is upon us, and as a purveyor of ratings, particularly as they relate to Chuck, I found myself back in the guilty position of rooting for Chuck (as we wait for the season premiere) and predicting the demise of other shows.  As they say over on TV By The Numbers, the cancellation bear has woken from his summer slumber and is ready to pounce.  More after the break.

Schadenfreude is a concept brought to my attention by my fellow bloggers here on Chuck This.  For those unfamiliar with the word, the definition is “delight in another’s misfortune, from the German: from Schaden=harm + Freude=joy.”  I feel guilty because, if you read about Faith’s and my great Warner Brothers tour adventure, there are tons of great people to work in the entertainment industry and I don’t want anyone to lose their jobs, particularly in this current economic climate.

At the same time, I find I have a minor chip on my shoulder with NBC.  I am thankful that Chuck gets to go out on its own terms.  I am thankful that we get 5 (almost full) seasons of Chuck.  However, I haven’t liked the way we have been treated as fans and the will they/won’t they renewal dance each year.  Maybe NBC has stock in the companies that make antacids and are padding their profits by making fans, show runners, actors, foley artists, makeup artists, hair stylists, wardrobe personnel, location scouts, (ok, you get the idea) sweat it out each year.

I have read about Chuck being one of the most buzz generating shows of this fall season.  I love the S5 preview clip Faith posted.  My not so secret (since I’m blogging about it) wish is that Chuck gets picked up for a back 9-13 episodes.  The new crop of shows out there do not appeal to me (they may appeal to you).  The challenge is that even if the new NBC shows tank, they likely have replacements in the wings.  Also, how far along in shooting the season will they be before Chuck even debuts this season?    What is the so called “cut off” line before sets are struck and the team moves on to other opportunities?  Here is one article  already predicting what shows are going to be canceled.

I’m curious about what you are watching this season. Friday nights will be interesting.  I know a lot of our readers are also Fringe fans, so at least they won’t be going head to head in the same time slot.

On the following survey is a list of NBC shows that will be on this fall.  I’m sticking with that list to see what of their fare you are going to try out.  Feel free to share in comments what you watch.  I hope you have an enjoyable viewing season and am counting down the days until the S5 premier of Chuck!

To take the survey, click on the red button on the bottom of your screen when it pops up. Or click this link.

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Edit by Faith: Here are the updated 24 hours later numbers:

 

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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.
This entry was posted in Off Topic, Ratings, Season 5. Bookmark the permalink.

208 Responses to Beware the Bear- It’s Shadenfreude Season

  1. atcDave says:

    Looks like I’m not such a good NBC viewer! I watched the premier of Prime Suspect and liked it, but that is the ONLY other NBC show I’ll be watching; actually I’d say jury’s out on it, one episode is too early to say. Chuck is my only sure thing on NBC.

    You brought up some good questions about the timing of things. I think there’s a very short window of opportunity in October/November if there’s going to be a back order. I know we’re not all unified on if we even want it to happen, but I sure am hoping!

    • atcDave says:

      I guess I should add my other viewing; I shoot for about an hour of TV a night, except for football that will run all day Sunday….and Monday night.
      So I watch Castle, NCIS, NCIS:LA, Simpsons, The Middle, Mythbusters, Burn Notice, White Collar, and Covert Affairs.
      I’m trying Prime Suspect and Terra Nova this season.
      That actually means we often have nothing on the DVR to watch many nights, so my wife and I have been working through the full series’ of Get Smart and Wild Wild West. We’re almost done with both, so next up may be Rockford Files or Hart to Hart.

    • joe says:

      Dave, I could have written the same thing about Prime Suspect. Liked it; the jury’s still out. It’s too early to tell.

      I’m still working my way through Castle after that marathon on TNT (I think). My reactions to it are sort of weird. I find the show to be light weight (light weight for a cop show, light weight for a comedy, light weight for a romance and light weight for a drama!). But I keep coming back to it, and understand why people do. It works well, and I like the cast. I compare it more to The Mentalist than to Chuck, but Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic have chemistry.

      • atcDave says:

        I’d agree about Castle. I enjoy it, but it will never get the same devotion Chuck does. It is completely light entertainment. I’m not sure if you’ve seen any of the episodes yet about Beckett’s mom; those are a little darker, and I think they don’t work quite as well. They’re maybe too serious in tone for a show that is mostly fluff. But I don’t know, maybe the occasional weight is a good thing, it makes the laughter and fun that much more appreciated.

      • thinkling says:

        I do like the two leads, Joe. They’re very good and good together. I love Castle’s mom, also like his daughter. The other secondary cast is a little thin in my opinion. I do watch and enjoy, though.

        Dave, I like the mom story. The show needs a little weight and continuity. It also creates a gravitational pull between Castle and Beckett.

      • joe says:

        Haven’t seen that arc yet, but I did get the background on Kate’s mother. I think you have it right; the occasional dark stretch leads to more appreciation for the fun moments.

        I have the same reaction to Chuck‘s dark moments. They’re very dark, just like the comedic interludes are very broad and very funny. It’s almost like the balance has to be maintained by law, or somethin’.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I recently re-started Castle (I gave up after a few episodes initially because it cut into my Chuck obsession). I’d agree, since it was my initial impression and allowed me to drop it, that it is mostly escapist fluff. But my impression now that I’m about half way through season 2 is that it’s really good escapist fluff. I’m kind of past TBBT and Community, though they still give me a laugh. My problem is that with both Netflix and Amazon Prime streaming I have too many choices, so I don’t try out new shows as much. That and most of the new shows and new episodes aren’t as enjoyable to me as an old episode of Chuck or Firefly or Wonderfalls or Veronica Mars.

      • atcDave says:

        I think “really good escapist fluff” sums it up nicely Ernie.

        And Joe the mom episodes are not a traditional arc; they’re sort of scattered, a couple a season.

      • joe says:

        Heh! Ernie, you just made me realize that I like TBBT like potato chips. Great snack, can’t stop with just one, and full of empty, tempting calories. 😉

      • thinkling says:

        TBBT??

      • joe says:

        The Big Bang Theory, Thinkling. And for HTML grins, put your curser over the dot-underlined abbreviation above.

        Cute, huh? 😉

      • ArmySFC says:

        thinkling, The Big Bang Theory

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Thinkling, it’s a show about incredibly nerdy and incredibly intelligent physicists and the incredibly hot girlfriends they have. So you know, just another reality show. 😉

      • thinkling says:

        Cool, Joe. Thanks for the abbr tool.

        Thanks Army.

      • jason says:

        The best thing about Castle is Fillion, he steals every scene, with his mom / daughter, with Beckett’s mates at the office, at the crime scene, and with Beckett. His wit and charm grow a little thin when the drama ratchets up too high, so the show has to stay on the light side.

        But, so far, I have not watched one ep, not one, where as a fan, I felt Beckett or Castle were not true to who they have been established as regarding each other …. and secondly they go on missions together each week regardless of what else is going on, all episode long – the two things that TPTB forgot in S3 of Chuck.

        STana (don’t know her last name, the actress playing Beckett) is a huge shipper, Fillion is a huge Moonlighting Curse guy, in a recent interview Stana said Castle ought to just grab Beckett, make out with her, and start making babies. Can you imagine if Yvonne had said that sometime during season 3?

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Jason, Stana Katic is funny, she made the comment way back after Castle S2 that she thought the wt/wt was wearing thin and hoped they’d go with more “Thin Man” style comedy. And like you said about Nathan Fillion, he thinks the couple getting together is only for the end of the show. So the actors are about as different as their characters!

  2. amyabn says:

    I’m not a good NBC viewer either. I may try Grimm and Maria Bello’s new show, but nothing else grabs me. The comedies seem to try too hard.
    As of right now, I only watch Chuck, Hawaii 5-0, Burn Notice, Covert Affairs, White Collar, NCIS, and CSI. Note that 3 of them are USA Network shows, 2 are CBS, and one ABC. Chuck is my only NBC show. The USA shows are on that funny time schedule, so it keeps things interesting as they are a bit off cycle of the other networks.
    The timing is a concern. I fear they will be done and wrapped before they get word. Plus, are the writers giving themselves a branch plan if they get more episodes? I want more episodes, but how fair is it for the creative team to jerk them around from their plan? I guess it beats being unemployed :-).

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah Prime Suspect is Maria Bello’s show; the Pilot was good, a little more “gritty” than I usually watch, but well written and acted. We’ll see….

      I suspect Schwedak have given at least a little thought to a back order since Fedak was the first person I heard say “never say never.” I know Fedak has said before he considers the perfect ending to be one that suggests the adventure continues, which pretty much guaranties additional episodes are possible.

  3. Faith says:

    So I just realized we don’t get to know the results after taking the survey. Please let us know when it’s all said and done what’s what.

    I watch a fair amount of NBC actually. I’ve always watched The Office live, 30 rock, Parks and Recreation, DVR’d, some other shows here and there. Obviously Chuck is my #1. But this season I decided to try for more and was able to actually see some pilots. I saw Playboy Club, pass. Whitney, epic pass (FYI, there are ads EVERYWHERE for Whitney in downtown LA. I mean everywhere in increasingly glaring sizes and this show will tank, so money, NOT well spent.) Free agents, meh—you should read the reviews, it’s beyond scathing. And The Office has gone from live to DVR, the new Office is just awful. So between these four it’s definitely not good for NBC. On the other hand I think I’ll enjoy Up All Night (still haven’t had time to see it though I was able to download it for free at iTunes so I’m going to watch it), Grimm and I am in love with Parks and Recreation. So it’s not all bad, for my viewing perspective. Still I am not a Nielsen viewer and those numbers are anemic for premiere week.

    Having said all that, I stick by my POV about extending Chuck‘s season. I won’t repeat it, and I totally respect Amy’s view above, as well as others but for myself, nothing’s changed.

    Edit: I forgot to add that I also saw Prime Suspect. I would count it as “good” for NBC. I’m just not a fan of the same ‘ol, same ‘ol. For once I’d like the female detective to not have to be subjected to sexism. Don’t get me wrong it’s realistic, and does probably happen all the time. But still…be different, distinctive. It’s probably why I like an otherwise ho-hum show in Rizzoli & Isles. Anyway, I’ll DVR it, maybe.

    • herder says:

      I guess that our viewing patterns are somewhat similar, at a loss for what to watch on Monday I saw How I Met your Mother although it is a bit tired, also I watched Two and a half Men to see what would happen, Two Broke Girls seemed good though I doubt if any of the others will become regulars.

      Tuesday was the NCIS shows, more from a lack of anything better on the other channels. Wednesday was part of Survivor and Modern Family although Cougar Town will be on the list when it returns. Thursday was Big Bang Theory, Parks and Recreation (my favorite non Chuck show) and the Office, washed dishes rather than see more than 5 minutes of Whitney (hopefully soon to be replaced by 30 Rock) and the big suprise Prime Suspect (much better than I had expected). Gave Friday a rest and watched Fake Name, Beard and Tic Tac ( season three rewatch going very, very slowly).

      NBC has some real problems, all of Monday, Biggest Loser and L&O: SVU are ageing, Free Agents and Whitney are foul, Harry’s Law is doing predictably bad, sadly Community, Parks and Prime Suspect are depressingly low rated. That is 10 hours of problems out of 12 hours of programming, 2 1/2 or 3 hours of which likely will not survive to Christmas. I don’t know how that will affect the spring schedule which is where any extra episodes of Chuck -if there are any- will air.

      • Faith says:

        Yup, pretty similar. I was also at a loss for what to do on Monday. I tuned in to HIMYM after years of giving it up out of frustration. On a positive note, enjoyed 2 Broke Girls, I will definitely watch that again. The irony is the same woman that created 2 Broke Girls, is Whitney creator, Whitney Cummings. Very weird.

    • luckygirl says:

      Parks & Recs ratings hurt my heart. The show is so, just, everything I look for in a show. Humor, heart, an amazing cast of characters. And Leslie Knope is probably my second favorite female character of all-time, second only to Miss C.J. Cregg of ” West Wing”. The show is Chuck’s successor as my favorite show on television

      • herder says:

        Any show that can come up with “Ron Swanson’s Pyramid of Greatness” is doing something right. Interestingly the first season fell flat, it seemed that everyone was trying to be Dwight from the Office, then in season two it hit it’s stride. Also there’s the youtube video of “Jabba the Hutt” done to the show’s music, you’ll never think of the intro the same again.

      • luckygirl says:

        Yeah, they did the smartest things they could have done when they went into season two. They stopped trying to be “The Office” in fact they seemed to go in the opposite direction. They made Leslie competent as well as passionate at her job. Plus, they gave the characters and their relationships with each other a warmth, that was lacking. Not to mention they’ve made Ron Swanson into Ron “Effing” Swanson. They’ve done such an amazing job righting the ship after such a lackluster 1st season.

      • Faith says:

        I think in season 2, the reason why it’s so great is that they toned down Leslie and instead just allowed Amy Poehler to be Leslie (if that makes sense). She wasn’t so out there, but instead lovable, smart, dedicated and yes a little weird but enjoyable in that weirdness. Plus I really love Ben. Love him. I enjoyed season 1 but am absolutely enamored by 2 and am very excited for this third season.

        All the supporting characters are great (The Office prides itself on a dynamic cast of characters, but they’ve got nothing on Parks and Rec.) but Poehler really carries the show. Should have won that Emmy! Argh.

    • joe says:

      I watched Pan Am last night after Desperate Housewives. I wasn’t too impressed.

      Are they simply trying to cash in on the ’60s vibe started by Mad Men?

  4. Ernie Davis says:

    Even though I think it’s jumped the shark and become meta for meta sake I still get a laugh out of Community. It and it’s competition, TBBT both get DVR’d I tried one episode of Playboy Club. Meh. I think if you go that way, put it on Showtime or HBO, otherwise it’s a diet candybar. I’ll DVR Grimm at least for a while.

    So far the results are not happy ones for NBC:
    Watch DVR Skip
    The Sing Off 0 0 12
    The Playboy Club 0 2 10
    The Biggest Loser 0 0 12
    Parenthood 1 3 8
    Up All Night 2 1 9
    Free Agents 0 0 12
    Harry’s Law 1 0 11
    Law & Order: SVU 1 0 11
    Community 3 4 5
    Parks and Recreation 3 0 9
    The Office 1 3 8
    Whitney 0 0 11
    Prime Suspect 1 5 6
    Chuck 12 0 0
    Grimm 2 6 4
    Dateline NBC 0 1 11

  5. Leigh says:

    I do still love Community, but I don’t consistently watch anything else on NBC. Being Glee and Supernatural fan, most of my shows are all on other networks. I did watch the Sing Off, because I love A Capella and Ben Folds, but heard it didn’t do well in ratings.

    I’m crossing my fingers for more Chuck eps. I hope they get them.

  6. jason says:

    I watch Leverage, Castle, Eureka, Warehouse 13, Covert Affairs, Harry’s Law, Fringe, Chuck & Burn Notice. Of the new shows, I am not too enthused about much of anything, although I might try the one NBC show some of you talked about – Prime Suspect & out of thanks to Schwartz, will try at least an episode or two of his ‘Heart of Dixie’, in spite of my doubts.

    Fringe managed a 1.5M on Friday according to TVBTN, reruns managed .8 / .9 in Chuck’s slot. I would think that might ‘frame’ the Chuck target viewership range. I put a little cut and paste up of the Chuck slot and the Fringe / Grimm slot for those interested. I was surprised by how low Supernatural and Nikita were, I don’t follow it that close, but premiere’s at .6 / .8 seemed low to me.

    http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2011/09/24/tv-ratings-friday-fringe-premieres-down-modest-start-for-a-gifted-man-a-slow-start-for-nikita-blue-bloods-more/104790/

    8:00 FOX Kitchen Nightmares (Season Premiere) 1.6/6 3.84
    CBS A Gifted Man (Series Premiere) 1.4/5 9.31
    ABC Modern Family (R) 1.0/4 3.90
    NBC Up All Night (R) 0.8/3 3.16
    CW Nikita (Season Premiere) 0.6/2 1.88

    8:30 NBC Whitney (R) 0.9/3 3.10

    9:00 CBS CSI: NY (Season Premiere) 1.8/6 10.67
    NBC Dateline 1.7/5 6.39
    FOX Fringe (Season Premiere) 1.5/5 3.53
    ABC Revenge (R) 1.0/3 4.13
    CW Supernatural (Season Premiere) 0.8/2 1.95

    • amyabn says:

      Last season’s finale drew a 1.5/4 and 4.47 Million viewers. Now that it seems that NBC is actually promoting it, I’ll be interested in how they do.

      • atcDave says:

        I wasn’t aware we’d had much promotion yet, what have you seen? (I’m only aware of the 60 second spot that was on Hulu).

    • Faith says:

      What awful numbers for CW. They used to at least be able to get a 0.9. It’s different without Smallville *tears* I guess.

  7. thinkling says:

    Of the NBC shows, Chuck is the only one I watch (in any format). If we were in the US, I would watch the night of, but overseas I have to find another alternative.

    The shows I’ve kept up with recently (besides Chuck) are/were Smallville, Bones, White Collar, Castle, and The Closer.

    Our TV habits were so sporadic from living overseas that we never saw shows as they aired. When we were back in the US we would find syndicated shows and watch nightly (old paradigm) or (new paradigm) we find stuff online. So the stuff we watch is almost always old. This year I’ve watched from Netflix/Hulu Body of Proof, Life, Commander in Chief, Doc Martin, and The Pretender. I’ve been spoiled being able to watch stuff more or less straight through, so I’m less fond of the once a week traditional method. In fact, I found Chuck through Hulu at the end of S3, so most of Chuck I watched straight through. Now I have to wait out the week.

    There’s not that much on that grabs me, so I’m glad for the Hulu/Netflix options.

    • Faith says:

      *loud wailing tears* SMALLVILLE!!!! (I feel sort of like yelling Stella—but instead of Stella, Clois LOL).

      Thinkling, you watch Commander in Chief?! Loved that show. Do they have the complete season now? I missed several episodes and that bummed me out majorly.

      • thinkling says:

        Well they did, but I just checked. Netflix has changed. They don’t have it at all anymore. 😦

        I really enjoyed it too.

        I don’t know about DVD’s. They split their two services into two companies. Netflix is streaming. I forgot what they named their DVD company.

    • jason says:

      think – I watched several eps The Pretender this week. Odd sort of format, with the good guy seemingly always three steps ahead rather than one step behind everyone else. Great use of A and B plots. The lead male character is good (he sort of is like Chuck in a way), but Mrs Parker and Sydney are super, I don’t think I have ever watched anything quite like them and their dynamic.

      Anyhow, since the current new programming has been a total strike out for me, The Pretender will get queued up during the evening exercycle viewings off and on this Fall and Winter, thanks for the tip.

      • thinkling says:

        Yeah, my husband and I are loving it. The B plot just keeps getting better and better. Cool show. Definitely a drama, but we laugh a lot!

      • thinkling says:

        Sorry, I’ll say a bit more. The lead is a darker Chuck … more damaged, but a good guy who wants to help people. They do their mythology well, add interesting characters, and the main characters grow. A little later Miss Parker and Sydney get a third person to round out their … unusual dynamic. I get as caught up in those three as I do the main character’s a plot.

        Let me know if you continue to like it.

      • Faith says:

        I love Pretender. Never got to see it end though so that’s a bummer.

  8. Sarge_87 says:

    I can’t believe how much similar our tastes are in television viewing. Chuck will always be #1 followed by Castle, Burn Notice, NCIS, NCIS LA, White Collar, Royal Pains, Eureka, Warehouse 13, Covert Affairs, Suits, and Restaraunt Impossible.

    RIP Smallville – You are missed.

    Of the pilots I’ve seen so far….

    Charlie’s Angels *Dry heave – Must be drinking when watching or sitting in your favorite chaste lounge with a loaded semi automatic to shoot the television or off yourself…your choice.*

    Whitney *That’s the sucking sound you hear – Just think Perfect Couples without the charm…oh wait.*

    Playboy Club *Trying to convince you, the viewer, that pasting a cotton ball on your hiney and wearing lame @ss rabbit ears is somehow empowerment for women – Bill Maher’s perfect world…FAIL.*

    Prime Suspect *It’s Law & Order without Law or Order and workplace chauvinistic pigs thrown for good measure, just in case you don’t like the main character – then you must be the chauvinist. I hate when writers resort to this ploy forcing the viewer to like an abrasive character.*

    Free Agents *Who thinks up this crap? I can do this. Where’s my check?*

    Sing Off *Like we don’t have enough singing retreads on television already? Let’s have a show called Write Off, where prospective wannabe television writers write scripts for series pilots and the public votes for their choice. Maybe we could get spared from the Lone Star’s of the world.*

    New Girl *One bright spot in a barren wasteland. One of my faves so far.*

    2 Broke Girls *Has potential to be a weekly hit.*

    • amyabn says:

      For whatever it’s worth, I’ve read that they are toning down the chauvinism in Prime Suspect in upcoming eps. I think they took some heat for it and unlike some showrunners, have listened.

      • Damn, that makes me sad. I really liked “Prime Suspect.” Perhaps it’s just me, but I do think a lot of women have to deal with that sort of thing in male-driven workforces, so to see her tackle that sort of thing was compelling, and to see the doubts it stirred up was amazing. I found Bello’s character a little abrasive, but honestly, I liked her a lot for it.

        Unfortunately, I don’t think the show will last, given that it’s on NBC and not a L&O, absurd comedy, or with a crazy fanbase a la Chuck.

        Still sorting out the dreck, but I’m following 2 Broke Girls, Unforgettable (not because I like it; my mom’s watching it, so I follow along so she can have somebody to debate with). New Girl will probably lose its charm quickly, Fringe appears to be firing on all cylinders, and I’m glad we’ve tabled Johanna Beckett’s murder for at least a little while so that my fun Castle and Beckett can come back out to play. As far as Chuck getting more episodes…it’s not Schadenfreude to say that I just want them to not have to rewrite the ending 3 more times, is it? Because I just want the show to end coherently, in a good meant-to-end place, as much as I’ll miss the actors and all of the people that work on the show.

      • atcDave says:

        My thought was I don’t think it’s even realistic. Granted, I’m not a woman and the world likely looks a little different to me; but public sector employers are typically VERY concerned about any accusation of sexism or racism. It may be that those attitudes are just a bit dated, I know Prime Suspect is based on a British TV show (Helen Mirren starred, first made in 1991) and those attitudes may have been more accurate of Britain 20 years ago than they are for the US now.
        At any rate, I’ll be glad if they dial it back a notch.

      • I don’t know, Dave. I think sexism like the kind they portrayed–not the cliched, “hey, baby girl, wanna have a quickie in the locker room because you’re a female cop and I’m a stereotype?” that you usually see–is still very much prevalent in some areas of the “rank and file” workforce, particularly for firefighters and cops. This is sexism that undermines your confidence, that gets to you deeper than propositions might. I think perhaps the thing I like most about it is that it IS so uncomfortable. It’s not her bosses that are making her life hell, it’s the other coworkers on the team. And the show did a really good job at showing both the camaraderie that’s there because they’re cops and facing life and death, but at the same time, how hard it can be in certain environments for a woman in an un-traditional job (for a woman) to get ahead, especially if she has a (seemingly) black mark on her record like Timoney does. I think the chauvinism would tone down in its own way because of the nature of the storyline (these cops are dealing with the death of their alpha male leader), but it makes me sad to hear the showrunners are buckling to go beyond that, too.

        Shows like Castle are well and great and all because they’re written as comedies and not realistic in the slightest. Kate Beckett can wear her hair Hollywood-style and the four-inch heels all she likes, but that sort of thing wouldn’t fly in the real world (I’m actually hoping Kate and her new Captain go toe-to-toe about some of those issues).

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Just to clarify, I don’t want the Chuck team to have to re-write the ending three more times, but it’s likely that a backorder is up to NBC, not the Chuck team. Given that, unlikely as I think it is, I think the team should be prepared for any backorder NBC might toss at them so that when NBC messes with Chuck fans and crew AGAIN, TPTB can be ready with something suitable to close out the show.

        While I think the new NBC team has a bit more sympathy and respect for both fans and crew than the former, they are still dealing with the last batch of pilots ordered by the former team, who had a less than stellar success rate at finding new shows that could draw viewers and last more than a season. It is possible that if Chuck can hold an audience on a new night they might be called on to deliver a few more episodes.

        In past seasons a lot of their problems, with various parts of the fanbase on board or not to various degrees, have been with re-cycling the original 13’s spy plot for another go around. So I say if it comes to a backorder again, don’t even try. Go with your strengths, short arcs concentrating on the characters and a minor villain of the week/arc. The likely alternative would be to try to layer another conspiracy onto the one they’ll defeat in the front 13. If there is to be a backorder I’d rather see them end with a few Honeymooners/Seduction Impossible type episodes than try to tack on another big arc and major villain. I do like the longer spy plots, don’t get me wrong, but they aren’t what this team does best. Especially when they need to draw it out for extra episodes.

        All in all it is probably better for them to end at 13, much as I’ll miss it. But there is a part of me that wants to see what they could do with an epilogue that is more episodic, the serialized portion of the journey to get the characters to a more or less stable life having reached it’s natural conclusion.

        As far as Prime Suspect, I’ve never been one to jump on the US retreads of BBC series. To me it speaks to the larger problems of Hollywood that nobody seems to have any ideas other than remakes anymore. Dave’s point about having been more relevant twenty years ago is also a valid one. Often the remakes fall flat because their relevance or place in the cultural landscape doesn’t connect with viewers as strongly anymore. The other potential problem is that a lot of people probably saw the original and have no interest in the remake. But I like Maria Bello, so maybe I’ll give a few DVR tries.

      • atcDave says:

        I admit my impression of reality is likely skewed by my own experience; I’ve never lived in New York or been a cop. But I grew up in Chicago and started my career there (25 years ago), and I know personality profile studies indicate ATC specialists are very similar to police (I’m odd and don’t match most of the profile, like you all hadn’t guessed….). I know breaking into the clique can be rough for newcomers. But I’ve still never seen anything as overtly sexist as the start of Prime Suspect. I have however seen people scolded and given formal reprimands for much milder behavior. And I’ve also seen women in our workforce grow from less that 10% to almost 50%.
        And I’m not really trying to prove anything by all of that except to say, I still think any sexism or harassment that overt is unlikely in a modern workplace.
        However, Prime Suspect was an interesting, well written, and well acted show. I think it’s a good call if some of the workplace hostility is reduced as the character proves herself. THAT does strike me as realistic, even if the initial scenario was a bit over the top.

        Frea I would completely agree about Castle, I would love to see some tension of that sort between Beckett and new boss. But mainly because I want to see the boss frustrated and humiliated at every turn (she really rubs me wrong…)

        And Ernie I do agree they would be wise to not mess with planned finale even if a back order shows up. The idea of interconnected epilogue arcs is very appealing to me.

      • Faith says:

        In any tight knit group, much less one that risks their lives for one another there’s always a period of adjustment. I think that’s to be expected. But the very idea that any woman that gets any position anywhere had to have been because she slept her way through it is frankly offensive and sadly a commonly used trope in television. Does it happen? Yes to this day it does, unfortunately but I think they could have done better. And I’m sure she’ll do something and they’ll all like her better for it. You can almost write that script.

      • joe says:

        Frea, you caught my eye with this:

        And the show did a really good job at showing both the camaraderie that’s there because they’re cops and facing life and death, but at the same time, how hard it can be in certain environments for a woman in an un-traditional job (for a woman) to get ahead, especially if she has a (seemingly) black mark on her record like Timoney does.

        Hasn’t this theme been done to death already, though? Honestly, it sometimes seems the every show on TV that isn’t a “reality show” features this message. I’m sensitized already! 😉

      • Sarge_87 says:

        It is a little cliche and something you would expect out of Lifetime or WE instead of NBC.

      • I honestly don’t find it cliche. *shrugs* What *would* be cliche is if the problems magically vanish as all of the good old boy cops accept Timoney as she is, which is what I worry about with them reeling back the chauvinism. And everything in television is a retread of some type or other. Chuck is a retread of Get Smart. Law & Order is a retread of Law & Order. What brings things up above the weary cliche status is usually some indefinable quality (with Chuck, her name is Yvonne, though Zac ain’t half bad) that allows the show to sparkle. Whatever you do, somebody’s already done it before. You just have to hope you have the skill to pull it off. There are only six plots, after all.

        I don’t mind them trying to translate the British shows over to American television because I like the British shows and I also like the convenience of turning on NBC and there it is. I’ll still prefer the British originals most of the time, granted, but they’ve had some good luck in the past.

        As far as the new boss on Castle goes, Dave, I’m on the opposite side of the fence. Beckett was understandably coming across like a spoiled child in that scene where she returns to the precinct, and I was on the new boss’s side the whole time. I’m still mad about what they did to Montgomery because I really liked him, but I don’t hate the new boss. I think she might be a good shake-up and might provide more balance to Beckett’s rather starkly black and white world in a different way than Castle and his theories do.

      • atcDave says:

        Frea I’ve seen so many cases of the newbie who meets some initial resistance being fully (or mostly) accepted by their peers once they’ve proven themselves. One of the ways air traffic is much like police work is the dominance of confident personalities who are very careful of who they put their trust in (yes there have been studies about this). My personal introduction to the control room was being told that another trainee (who was a couple of years ahead of me in the program) was a piece of sh**; and until I proved myself a little I wasn’t worth a piece of sh**; but maybe in a couple years I would be…
        And that’s pretty much exactly how it works, once you’ve learned the job and proven that you won’t get anyone killed you start gaining some measure of respect. It’s usually not quite as severe transferring between facilities, unless you come in with too much seniority, then its a whole other sort of problem.
        But in most cases the hostility does fade and camaraderie does develop, unless the individual causes some sort of professional or personal problem. I would say, and I’m sure many readers simply won’t believe me but whatever, every single time I’ve seen sexism or racism claimed there was actually something else at play; like the inability of the newbie to actually learn the job. Even the oddest duck will usually be accepted if they show professional competence.

        I also liked Montgomery on Castle. So I’m partly not liking the new boss just because she is new. I’ll be happy to find admirable qualities as her character develops. But for now I need to see her prove herself to her crew, not the other way around. Part of that may involve her being taken down a peg. I really dislike a new boss who thinks they know better than the people who actually do the work…

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Frea, a fair point about retreads and in general terms very few stories. And I don’t mind them re-doing the BBC shows, I’m just unlikely to watch. But to highlight a point you make, the best “re-treads” like Chuck add something new and fresh to the concept. And while I agree Zac and Yvonne’s chemistry was a big part of that I think the cross genre formula had a lot to do with it too. In lesser hands than the stellar Chuck cast it might not have worked, but the characters and their interactions could be taken seriously, i.e. the “heart” of the show, even if a lot of it was silly. It made otherwise somewhat superficial spy plots mean a lot more because of the people involved in them and the consequences. It was a wonderfully fresh take on a previously tried concept. In addition Schwedak’s way of presenting the show, appealing directly to emotion through the characters and allowing plot to take a backseat in a show with a ton of action was pretty risky and unique. And I must again point out their repeted and epic use of the musical montage as a feature that adds a lot to the show. It makes Chuck come across like something you experienced and remember rather than something you watched. That’s some of what I think is missing especially on network TV.

      • Sarge_87 says:

        I think the jury just ruled on Prime Suspect with a 1.5 (18-34) rating for last night’s episode.

        I guess insulting your potential male audience in your pilot episode is the not such a good idea after all.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Maybe they need to add a musical montage.

        Then again that didn’t help The Playboy Club.

  9. jason says:

    If I were writing the ending of Chuck for 5×13, I would write a happy ending, but for some time out in the future, pretty far, somewhere in the 5 to 25 year range. That way, any extensions, be they a 3 ep mini arc like ernie suggested or full blown seasons, they could tell the story in between the end of 5×13, and the state of the show 5 minutes prior to the end, without having to worry about retelling a satisfying ending better than the last one with each extension.

  10. Faith says:

    FYI the 2nd tide of results are in. These aren’t final numbers I’m assuming but close to it.

    They’re also up there within the post.

  11. TomM says:

    I am the kind of guy that TV advertisers probably hate. I don’t watch much of anything. I watch Chuck and I watch Castle… and that is about it. I have tried getting into Burn Notice among others but nothing seems to grab me. Maybe that is because my weekday evenings are dominated by my 10 year old son–you know, soccer practice, cub scouts, golf and karate–and then of course, homework. DVR the shows, you say? Well, my DVR seems choked up with Pokemon episodes–and some Chuck episodes, of course. I don’t know what I will do when Chuck is gone–I just hope that its place in my life isn’t taken by Sponge Bob.

    • thinkling says:

      Go to Hulu. Goto the Chuck and Castle pages. At the bottom will be suggestions for other similar shows. That’s how I find a lot of stuff.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I found Chuck based on a Netflix “you might like” recomendation, so Thinkling has a point. One sad thing about the end of Chuck is that even now this board gets one or two people a season who “just now” discovered Chuck and can’t get enough. Filter that through the fact that for everyone who posts we estimate about 7-10 who just plain read, and it looks like there are still a lot of potential Chuck fans and viewers out there the show never reached. That is one reason I’m interested in how Chuck will fare on a new night. For one thing people who DVR Chuck to watch HIMYM or DWTS or American Idol might now tune into Chuck live. It would be both heartening and a little sad to see Chuck’s numbers jump on Friday.

      • thinkling says:

        So, Ernie, what range of numbers would be appealing to NBC for Chuck on Friday nights?

      • armysfc says:

        Thinkling, i’m not ernie but looking at the friday numbers, NBC’s best show was dateline at 2.0. the best rated show from 8-9 was fox’s kitchen night mares at 1.6. NBC pulled .8. my guess is 1.0-1.5 would cause them joy, 1.5 or greater they may need a cold shower to recover. a 1.8 or better would make chuck second most watched show on friday night.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        It’s tough to say an exact number, but as Army alludes being the top show would help. The Friday audience is different, and smaller, so Chuck’s lowest numbers, the 4 million-ish that would give them a 1.3 on a Monday could be close to a 2.0 on a Friday. My hope is that some Neilson family Chuck fans who DVR’d Chuck start to watch it live this season. In addition Friday is now Nerdvana TV night with both Chuck and Fringe, so those shows could help each other. I would LIKE to see Chuck get better numbers if for nothing else to act as an object lesson to NBC. But as usual I think a backorder depends more on how quickly new NBC shows fail. If they need to start bringing mid-season replacements this fall for shows like Playboy Club and Prime Suspect they may be inclined to give Chuck a backorder based on a steady audience even if the mumbers are about the same. Then again Chuck is in a timeslot NBC fills with Dateline on a regular basis so even a 3.0 in demo may not be enough to get a Chuck backorder.

        In the end I mostly fear that NBC will treat Chuck as schedule spackle again, and the tight arct they write in the front 13 will again be re-visited in a backorder. In season 3 it cost us a compelling villain in most of the front 13 since Shaw didn’t turn evil till the last episode (something I’m guessing was modified with the backorder) and in season 4 they didn’t have nearly as compelling a villain as Volkoff. So I’m on the fence about this. If they get a backorder I don’t want it to dilute the story or the ending they’re writing for. But I’d love more Chuck episodes like Seduction Impossible and Muuurder.

      • DKD says:

        Ernie said: “The Friday audience is different, and smaller, so Chuck’s lowest numbers, the 4 million-ish that would give them a 1.3 on a Monday could be close to a 2.0 on a Friday.”

        I don’t know what you mean by that. 4 million viewers = the same rating no matter what day of the week it is. It might be a different share, but the same rating. Rating=viewers / universe. Share=viewers/people watching TV at the time.

      • armysfc says:

        Ernie for once we agree, lol. if chuck somehow pulled a 2.0 or better, NBC would have a hard time not ordering more episodes i would think. NBC has about 6 shows that pull over a 2.0 on the other nights. to have a show pull a 2.0 or better on night that is acknowledged as the slowest night on TV, i think it would be hard for the network to not seriously consider it. it may not happen, but as more shows tank, and they appear to be doing that at an alarming rate, they may once again go to the pen and bring in the long reliever, chuck.

      • thinkling says:

        Thanks guys … too funny Army.

        Let’s hope for your epilogue-ish trilogies, Ernie.

      • armysfc says:

        DKD, this is what i take from what ernie said. it’s a numbers game. on monday 8-9 last week 40.4 million watched the big 4 networks so 4 million would be about 10%. on friday the same time only 20.3 million watched the big 4 networks so the same 4 million would be 20%. it’s roughly twice the market share on friday as monday. NOTE: these are live +3 numbers as i could not find just the live, but i feel it illustrates the point.

        based on what little i know about how they figure ratings, the 1.8 or 2.3 is related to the market share, i think.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        DKD Sorry I was both confused and unclear, and was mixing things up in my head. The share is based on the total number of housholds watching TV at the time, the ratings points on the number with TV’s. The desireable “in demo” is 18-49. That can change drastically with the same number of viewers for either ratings or share. And I was mixing up ratings and share. What I was looking at was some ratings where Chuck’s 5 share on a Monday was a 1.9 and another show’s 1.4 on a Friday was a 6 share. I’ll try to re-state things properly, my point being that if Chuck could transport it’s Monday audience to Friday it would look considerably better in comparrison to it’s competition. For instance a recent show on CBS on a Friday night had 9 million viewers, but only made a 1.4 (6 share) in demo. Chuck can deliver a 1.3 (5 share) with considerably fewer viewers against much tougher competition. Chuck’s demographics are relatively stable since their “in demo” tracks pretty close to their total # of viewers. What I probably should have said is that the Friday audience is both older and smaller (the available in demo is smaller) and if Chuck maintains it’s number of viewers and demographics it’s in demo share would be higher on a Friday than a Monday. It’s ratings would be the same, but would be against shows with lower ratings. In other words Chuck is likely to attract a larger SHARE of the available in demo, thus beating the other shows, but I started confusing rating and share. But here is where I really got lost in my syntax and the fact that I’d confused my apples for oranges. What I meant to say was getting a 1.3, Chuck’s worst Monday numbers, on a Friday would be comperable to when it was getting a 2.0 on a Monday. In the 8PM hour on a Friday a a rating of 1.3 has often been the second place show, so that would be the equivilent to last fall when Chuck was pulling a 2.0 and occasionally beating House (if it was a repeat) We all were pretty happy with the 2.0 when it held steady. Sorry for the confusing comparison. I was still fixated on my dream of Chuck regularly pulling a 2.0 on a Friday, which would likely win the night. That was the point I was trying to make. Unless I’ve confused myself again.

        Thanks for catching that.

      • Verkan_Vall says:

        @Ernie:

        “it looks like there are still a lot of potential Chuck fans and viewers out there the show never reached”

        Agreed. Of the ten households I got to watch Chuck from 5/10 to 5/11, seven had basically never heard of the show. Once they’ve started watching, those seven stayed hooked.

        That implies a lot of missed opportunities.

  12. joe says:

    Faith, forgive me for pointing people away from this great post, but there’s a major spoiler coming out.

    If you’re at all into being spoiled, it’s at the bottom of the S5 spoiler page in my latest comment.

  13. herder says:

    Under the heading of Schadenfreud (I always thought that it meant a guilty pleasure in the misfortune of others) for those who said that NBC couldn’t do worse by dropping Chuck from Mondays apparantly they can. Preliminary numbers from last night show a further drop of about 20% from last weeks poor results, let the guilty pleasure continue.

    • atcDave says:

      I think that’s a perfect example of Schadenfreud. And I do feel both guilty and pleased.

      • Sarge_87 says:

        I guess it’s just me, but I don’t feel guilty at all about NBC programs circling the proverbial toilet bowl on Monday nights. It’s a vindication of sorts for Chuck and other like-genre programming being treated as if they were the red-headed stepchild on the schedule.

      • atcDave says:

        It is true I have a lot of hostility towards “reality” programming, and really am eager to see most of it fail. It’s cheap to produce and has greatly decreased the amount of scripted programming on the air. Of course a lot of scripted programming is pretty dreadful too, but the reality programming is like a plague. I guess I don’t feel TOO guilty for rooting against it.

      • thinkling says:

        Yeah. Reality Entertainment is neither reality nor entertainment, but may be that’s just me. Yawn. And so much (not all, but a lot) comedy is just not funny. I call them sit-drags.

        They should have put more into promoting Chuck. Currently Chuck has its best person on the job. Yvonne’s interviews, IMO, are the best. (Zac’s are good. Zac and Josh together, not so much; and Fedak’s are terrible.) So maybe between all of her recent attention and the lost Smallville crowd we’ll get decent numbers on Friday night.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Thinkling, ditto all!

    • joe says:

      Hum… what was Sarah’s line? “It’s official. There’s nothing good on Monday nights.”

      Even Charley Sheen’s show (without Charley) was disappointing. It’s really, really weird when the best thing on TV is the WWE.

      • thinkling says:

        Sigh. I’m a pop culture idiot … WWE?

      • ArmySFC says:

        Joe, i respectfully disagree on the new 2.5 men. i liked it better than with sheen. it’s the first time i watched a TV show that made me laugh as hard as i did the first two episodes. Charlie was getting tiring much the same was as barney on HIMYM. i welcomed the breath of fresh air to the show.

      • atcDave says:

        WWE Joe!? I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you’re kidding….

        Monday is football night! And at least I won’t be missing the first quarter all season like I have the last few years!

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave, Joe’s not kidding, she got her start on WWE.

      • Sarge_87 says:

        Actually, she got her start in television in the old WCW promotion. Before that, she worked part time as a NFL cheerleader for the Baltimore Ravens while persuing a career in sports medicine. She scored near perfect marks getting a degree in Mass Communications from Towson University.

      • atcDave says:

        I know about Stacy Kiebler, I was remarking on the possibility of Joe watching that stuff…

      • joe says:

        Dave, WWE’s got the best acting on television! Well, at least it does until some of the NFL punters show their stuff and take a dive… 😉

        As for 2.5 men, I thought the premier with Kutcher was great a week ago. Yesterday left me flat. Oddly, it was Jon Cryer who let me down. I found his character increasingly relying on one joke and just plain boring. I say “oddly” because I think he’s usually great in the part.

      • Sarge_87 says:

        LOL! That might be under the definition of guilty pleasure, Dave. We all have them. Mine is the Food Network.

      • atcDave says:

        So interesting thought Joe, should more NFL punters get their off season training in the WWE?

        I get it Sarge, I guess my guilty pleasure is when my wife “forces” me to watch something on the Hallmark channel.

      • Sarge_87 says:

        LOL! I know what you mean Dave. My ex-girlfriend always wanted me to watch the Lifetime Channel with her. I started getting suspicious of her motives when it seemed she wanted to only watch that network when, The Burning Bed, starring Farrah Fawcett was on…

      • atcDave says:

        Oww! is that related to why she’s an “ex”?

      • Sarge_87 says:

        Yeah. Pretty much a psycho magnet. Funny, they never tell you that out front as a conversation breaker or have “nutjob” painted in lipstick on their foreheads. Just sayin… 😄

      • Faith says:

        Food network isn’t a guilty pleasure! It’s a way of life!

    • jason says:

      The numbers are out. For those who care can look at the link, the abbreviated version as follows:

      http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com

      “NBC’s The Sing-Off fell 11% to a series low 1.7 adults 18-49 rating, and The Playboy Club making a move to be the first show canceled of the new season tumbled 19% to a 1.3 adults 18-49 rating.

      In the second week of the broadcast season, NBC was beaten by Univision for adults 18-49. I expect the cries of “You should have kept Chuck on Monday!” to begin presently.”

      • Sarge_87 says:

        Setting the Over/Under on how long before NBC pulls the plug on Playboy Club at 8 episodes…

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Since this is Chuck’s last season I told myself I wouldn’t obsess over ratings, but the Schadenfreud is just too tasty here. I say the week of October 17th, after 5 episodes.

        I think NBC has 4 half hour comedies, 3 hourlong dramas and 3 reality shows in production, so they might be allowed to finish out their run of episodes anyway. Or Chuck gets a backorder if 2 or 3 more dominoes fall.

      • joe says:

        One that surprises me is Christina Applegate’s latest vehicle, Up All Night. It’s ratings are way off this week from the premier, and I suspect they’re going nowhere but down.

        I know I’m just not interested in Parenthood meets 30 Rock as a theme, so I’m giving it a pass. But what surprises me is that everyone else seems to be thinking the same.

      • Sarge_87 says:

        Seems people to a look-see and said, nuh uh!

  14. Ernie Davis says:

    On the schaedenfreude front Alan Sepinwal is predicting the first NBC domino will fall soon.

    • atcDave says:

      NBC certainly seems to have “the Lead Touch”; unbelievable how long a network can be down and out. Especially since Sunday Night Football has great ratings and should be a great launch vehicle if they could just come up with shows that appealed to the football crowd!

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave, i think the last few years of horrible programming (save a few good ones) had people move away from NBC to other networks. similar to people that by a lemon by XXX car company vehicle and will never by another XXX car no matter how good they get. once a consumer has it in their mind that a company has bad products it takes a long long time to get them back. Even pushing it on football can’t help them at this time because the viewers they have lost have filled the hours spent on NBC with other shows.

      • atcDave says:

        Do you really think people pay any attention to what network a show is on? I know I don’t, its just purely a matter of what catches my eye with good previews and reviews. Of course the catch is I have to actually SEE the promotional material to have any clue of what’s on. Which leads me back to the football comment, its the only thing NBC has that pulls consistently good numbers. But if the shows they’re advertising aren’t going to appeal to football viewers its a wasted effort. I think that’s the crux of NBC’s problems. Chuck has been the only NBC show I’ve seen promoted during football that became a big hit with me. Prime Suspect has potential but its too early to say. In the history of Sunday Night Football on NBC (I think 5 years since it moved from ESPN?) the only other show I can think of that caught my interest at all was Heroes, but every review threw around that “dark” word which will scare me away from anything so I never even started with that.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I don’t think it’s so much the fact that people associate NBC with an inferior product, it’s that they often produce an inferior product, and when they don’t they somehow manage to make sure nobody ever watches the quality shows they have. This is the network that produced, aired, and then proceeded to ruin (or at least try to ruin) Heroes, Chuck, Friday Night Lights and Southland. The list of failures is too long. When NBC does manage to produce a decent product the past MO has been to abandon it and put their efforts into making the next Lost (i.e. The Event) or re-inventing network TV by replacing the 10pm prime time hour with Leno. Now nothing against Leno, but there’s a reason why the late night talk shows air late night and not in prime time.

        With the hole Leno blew in their schedule they’ve been playing catch-up for a while now. I don’t mind so much because it got Chuck a lot more episodes and two more seasons than the backhanded cancellation of slashing it’s budget and moving it to mid season would have given us. But when you have to replace half your primetime schedule season after season, there just aren’t enough quality shows available at network prices to fill the schedule. Some of it is the problems with the broadcast network model in the cable and DVR age, and some is self-inflicted according to Mo Ryan here and here.

        .

      • jason says:

        Dave: In regards to your ?

        “Do you really think people pay any attention to what network a show is on?”

        No, but I must admit, I often will turn on early or leave a channel on, so if Chuck is on 7pm Mondays, the Event has a shot with me, simply because I might leave it on. Conversely, if a show were on Monday’s that caught my eye, say like Castle at 9PM, the fact I am watching Chuck helps Castle.

        A couple of examples. First, I thought Harry’s Law on Monday’s was brilliant, as the Dancing with the Stars group might be more inclined to watch Kathy Bates than Nathon Fillion. So of course NBC moves Harry’s Law after a modest success last season.

        Second, I was shocked (and happy) to see Grimm set up against Fringe and Supernatural, while Chuck was given the 7pm slot vacated by Smallville. No matter what Chuck does on Fridays, I don’t see any opportunity for Grimm to draw more than Chuck, seems practically destined to fail, they won’t beat Fringe and won’t dent Supernatural much at least?

        Third, I thought the Event was a great show to come after Chuck on Mondays. But, given the Sunday night football male dominated crowd to draw from, why put those man oriented shows opposite MNF? If men targeted Chuck and the Event had been given Wednesday’s, when men have off from football, and Sunday night to advertise, I think they might have been can’t fails.

        For example, Dancing with the Stars is a perfect monday show to compete with MNF. Seems the NBC model is to fight the impossible battle rather than take the easy wins which might lead to a hit program.

      • atcDave says:

        Very good point Jason about things scheduled on Monday, or just generally what things are scheduled against. Did they really slot Grimm against Fringe and Supernatural? If “survival of the fittest” actually works NBC execs should be lion food…

      • atcDave says:

        I guess I should add my usual DVR comment here though, I honestly don’t even know when most of what I watch is on. Its on whan my DVR shows it on the play list. News, football and Chuck are the only things I watch live.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave, yes i do think people pay attention to what network they are watching to an extent. i’m saying some harbor ill feelings towards a network. don’t get me wrong i’m not saying everyone lets those feelings get in the way.

        the same arguments i made about chuck getting it’s lost viewers back is the same as a network doing it. It’s not just getting the word out to viewers that a new show is on, its putting it someplace that viewers will watch it. They can advertise all they want during football but if the show is on against a show the viewer already watches odds are they are not going to switch to a new show. if viewers left NBC because they didn’t like the shows they were watching tanked and began watching a show on another network to take that ones place.

        take last year, if ABC or CBS put a new show on against Chuck would you tune in to see it? keep in mind that only 40% of homes have DVR’s. i would bet against it. same as why i didn’t tune in to 50 because it was on against Castle. you and i both have said we only watch a certain number of shows each week. would you skip one or all of them to try a new show? my bet is most people won’t miss a show they watch on a weekly basis to try a new one. that’s what a network has to contend with.

        i’m not saying this applies to every single viewer, but i will guess it applies to a large majority of them.

      • atcDave says:

        Actually scheduling matters very little to me Army. Like the vast majority of those 40% with DVRs, I have a multi-event unit that will record more than one thing at a time. I just doubt most people really feel the networks have enough personality to make them worthy of a grudge. If any network airs a show that looks interesting AND is able to promote it to the right audience people will watch. Those of us commenting here are far more media savvy than casual viewers, and may be aware of things like ABC trying to be more family friendly, NBC pointedly NOT making family entertainment, or CBS going for the older market; but I believe a substantial number of casual viewers only know what channels “their” shows are on, and often don’t even remember which network is which.

  15. DKD says:

    Just a little ratings food for thought about Sunday Night Football:

    32% of the Football audience is women. So many people watch Sunday Night Football that it is NBC’s top-rated show for Women 18-49 and not just Men 18-49.

    Last week Monday Night Football’s rating for Women 18-49 was a 5.3, which was higher than any other network program on Sunday night, including Desperate Housewives.

  16. Faith says:

    Here’s an article from Deadline that addresses schadenfreude a bit:

    NBC’s Bob Greenblatt Not Rushing To Cancel Low-Rated ‘Playboy Club’ Or ‘Free Agents’

    “But I’m told NBC won’t be pulling any new series this week since NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt wants to give all freshmen more time to send a message to the creative community that he will give their shows on NBC every possible chance to succeed. (And those are not even shows he had developed.). That is a departure from traditional network MO in the case of fall shows with such underwhelming launches. “

  17. Ernie Davis says:

    I guess I wasn’t agressive enough on the schaedenfreude over/under. As Alan Sepinwall predicted, The Playboy Club has been canceled. In other news Two NBC comedies have been given full season pickups.

    Next up for bear bait, filling The Playboy Club’s Monday night slot as repeats, Prime Suspect.

    • atcDave says:

      So much for giving the new shows a chance…

      I’ve seen some previews for Grimm, hopefully they’ll start actually promoting Chuck soon. Although our internet buzz seems to be better than ever.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      To be fair, if you read the article, Playboy Club had low expectations, and apparently didn’t meet them. It is also early for full season pickups, so they are giving some new shows a chance to build an audience. It sounds like a lot of this is to try and repair NBC’s possibly strained relations with a lot of the creative community.

      NBC’s problem, which has often become Chuck’s blessing and curse, is what to fill the schedule with. At this point both Monday and Friday are being used to re-run new shows to try and build an audience. That can only last so long until they have to start bringing in the mid-season replacements and picking up more episodes of any show that holds an audience.

  18. jason says:

    TVBTN reported Free Agents is cancelled after last nights 1.0M. Harry’s Law held steady last night at 1.2M. I’d hate to see Greenblatt when he is acting impatient????

    http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2011/10/06/nbc-cancels-free-agents/106350/

    • atcDave says:

      In a way it’s hard to blame him, those numbers a really dismal. I just hope Chuck does better when it returns! Oh, and I’m really glad the front 13 will be complete before any decisions can be made. That way, if worse comes to worse and the ratings are awful, at least the planned story will be completed! (even if we have to wait to see it all on DVD)

    • herder says:

      So for the next few weeks NBC will be running repeats of new shows on Monday at 10, Wednesday at 8:30, Friday at 8:00 and all Saturday Night, at the same time reducing the number of first run shows. At this rate Chuck will be airing twice a week by the end of November.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I’m actually a little worried that Chuck will get a backorder too early the way things are going. With three weeks still to go before the premier and NBC having already lost 1.5 hours of programming with another 1 – 2 (Harry’s Law and Prime Suspect) looking shaky at best, well you can only fill so much primetime with newsmagazines and repeats of shows struggling on other nights before you are making things even worse. Now granted, NBC has held back some of it’s most anticipated stuff for midseason, and Harry’s law will almost certainly finish it’s run of episodes and not be renewed rather than being canceled if it continues to disapoint NBC, so the question is how many holes are there in NBC’s schedule that Chuck has the potential to fill? At this point Chuck still has what has been to NBC the thing that has made keeping it preferable to other shows, a fanatical following, low cost, a studio with an interest in syndication and a fast production schedule. If NBC is smart they’ve based their advertising rates on Chuck getting somewhere around a 1.3-1.5 in demo. Exceeding that, on a Friday night, could be enough to spur NBC to decide to use Chuck as schedule spackle again. I just want it to be late enough that the original 13 are pretty much set in stone.

      Zac tweeted that December 8 is the (scheduled) last day of production on Chuck. There will be time to air 6 episodes before Chuck wraps, but it’s likely the decision to make more episodes will need to be made sooner to keep people under contract (or working on more episodes to produce). So, how quickly does NBC move? Might they feel it necessary to put in a backorder within a week or two of the premier? They’ll be shooting 5.10 when the show premiers, which sadly gives them time to re-write the ending if NBC moves quickly, say after an episode or two. Also note that by the time Chuck premiers they’ll have probably between 6 and 8 episodes in their final form, giving NBC something to look at to help them decide.

      As a fan I’m pretty conflicted.

      • atcDave says:

        I’m mostly excited Ernie, I think they’ll be far enough into production they won’t tamper with the front 13, except maybe to delete an epilogue if they’d planned one. And I really doubt NBC will decide anything until a couple episodes have run. After all, if ratings continue to tank like they did late last season, Chuck is no better off than shows they’ve already cancelled.
        My bet is NBC will want to see if Chuck can get any traction before they commit to more production. Now I do realize that is not a sure thing with ratings in free fall; anything that might even just fall more slowly than other shows will have some appeal! But I’m cautiously optimistic that Chuck is in a good place right now.

      • ArmySFC says:

        i think the first week is the most important. if the fan base is as loyal as people claim, a 1.3 could happen, if normal friday viewership holds to form look for a .7 to .9. i think they need numbers consistent to what they got on monday to warrant any thought of more.

      • atcDave says:

        I think you’re right about that army. And it really could go either way; Chuck has a vocal and activist fan base that could translate into decent ratings on a Friday night. But on the other hand, almost everything has suffered ratings loses this season, and Fridays are considered the suicide slot.

        All I can do is hope for the best and prepare for the worst…

      • DKD says:

        It’s really hard to predict what kind of ratings Chuck will get when it returns. HUT(Households Using TV) levels are much lower on a Friday than Monday. The show was losing viewers steadily last season. Men 18-34 started dropping when the show started focusing on engagements and such. With Chuck and Sarah married now, I doubt they will ever come back. Chuck forums were the deadest I’ve seen them this past summer.

        The highest A18-49 rating in the time period was a 1.7 last week. On the one hand, that shows you how much less competition there is. On the other, it is indicative of how low Friday viewing levels are.

      • atcDave says:

        It seems to me numbers actually stayed pretty good last season until the back episodes. I don’t believe the romance was any more of a factor after that point than before. I think the most notable change late in the season was Vivian as the baddie instead of her dad; there’s no doubt Alexei was a more compelling character. I don’t believe most guys care either way what the status of the relationship is, only how much screen time it gets. So while I would concede the show likely focused too much on relationship issues for most guys’ taste in S4, I expect that to actually be less of an issue in S5 with things being more stable. The problem of winning dissaffected viewers back is always there whatever the circumstance; given what we have heard about the coming season, we would likely be better off reaching new viewers interested in comedy instead of worrying about those looking for a spy thriller.

      • ArmySFC says:

        dave the numbers stayed the same between eps 1 and 11. mostly 1.8 and 1.9. eps 7-9 dropped from 2.0 to 1.7. there was an uptick to a high of 2.1 in ep 11. which was the engagement episode that never happened.

        12-13 saw a drop to 1.7 where it held till 17. 18 to 21 saw it drop to 1.3 while the last 3 saw an up tick to 1.5 in the finale. the fall started at 11 where the engagement stuff really began. which was exactly what DKD said.

      • atcDave says:

        Right army, it was the conclusion I was challenging not the data. I think the first part of the season was just as overtly focused on the romance as the latter. So I don’t buy it as an issue.

      • jason says:

        It is just as likely that a season’s worth of no promotion finally started to chip away at the numbers. If not, why ever promote, that money is spent for a reason!

        Honestly, we don’t know, but to relate factually that ratings are due to a Chuck and Sarah as a couple, especially one that is just as likely to be the reason that 1.7M fans did tune in, well, it was not substantiatable as fact based on the evidence we have been given.

        So, in my opinion, coupling up Chuck and Sarah saved a show that might not have even made it thru the 13 s4 episodes had they done anything other than what they did. As it was, the show got extended twice more, in spite of no effort to promote. Simply an amazing job, all because Chuck and Sarah were coupled up! Great thing about numbers, numbers never lie, but ……. MWWWAAAAHHHHHH

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave, sorry if this comes out wrong, not my intent. i use data to come to a conclusion. if the data is good then the conclusion must hold some truth or be good. i can sympathize with you. you like the romance, engagement and wedding so to you it can’t be part of the reason why people left the show. my point of view however is different. it was one of the reasons i left the show. i had hoped that once they got engaged it would take a back seat. it didn’t so it helped push me away. because of how i feel i can buy that as a reason why folks left. i prefer to not throw away any reasons for it. there are to many reasons to list as the possible causes.

        just like you are not the only one to have those feelings, i don’t think i am the only one that shares mine. i don’t think it’s the only reason, just one of many, not all related to the show itself.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Army, I think the problem is that while you cite data, i.e. the drop in ratings, you conclude the drop is causally connected to certain aspects of the show, i.e. the romance, while you ignore other variables. If you read some of our posts on ratings, NBC ratings were dropping across the board. Was that because Chuck and Sarah were engaged? In addition ratings on other networks regularly drop from fall to after the winter break. Is that due to Chuck and Sarah getting engaged? You are reaching conclusions and claiming causality based on nothing more than coincidence. The drop happened after the engagement, therefore the drop was caused by the engagement. It is a classic logical fallacy, post hoc ergo propter hoc.

      • ArmySFC says:

        jason, i agree numbers don’t lie. i also agree that getting them together did have an impact on getting them more episodes and seasons. they slowed a hemorrhaging wound to a slow blood loss one. it didn’t increase ratings one bit, didn’t draw in new viewers or anything else. it simply allowed them to hang on to life on a network that is on life support itself.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Ernie, you really should read and reference the entire post when replying to me. this line at the end pretty much negates everything you said about my post,…”i don’t think it’s the only reason, just one of many, not all related to the show itself.”

        that line covers everything you just listed and more. in fact i don’t see how i could have been any clearer than that. while i like to debate i also understand never to paint myself into a corner. Dave made the comment to dismiss the engagement as a reason because he didn’t buy it. i offered a different opinion, that’s it.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Army, I was responding to this:

        “Dave, sorry if this comes out wrong, not my intent. i use data to come to a conclusion. if the data is good then the conclusion must hold some truth or be good.”

        That is not true. Data is simple facts, drops in ratings. Your conclusions are not in any way connected to those facts. The data is good, your conclusions are pure speculation.

        Sorry if that comes out wrong.

        Chuck’s ratings suffered a similar drop in season 2. Was that because Chuck and Sarah got engaged?

      • ArmySFC says:

        Ernie no problem. you still should have read to the end where the clarification came in. some truth is also there, there are people that i know that felt the romance was to heavy and they left. if you have one person that fits that description its true, even if its just me, it then becomes a reason why someone left. you seem to think i was talking in absolutes, which if you read the entire thing i was not.

        we will never agree on this and that’s ok.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Army, just so there is no misunderstanding, I have no problem with your speculation, your opinion, your experience or your views. But you very specifically stated that your views were supported by data. They are not. You very specifically used them to argue against Dave’s very reasonable reply that you were entering the realm of speculation and that he was somehow less “objective” than your speculation.

        The data and your conclusions are in no way connected statistically or scientifically. Dave pointed that out. You seemed to claim otherwise. Your hedge notwithstanding, you claimed a link between fact and your conclusions. There are facts, therefore your conclusions based on those facts must hold some validity. That is a fallacy. Saying there are other factors does not negate that claim.

        Saying the facts support your conclusions was wrong whatever other mitigating factors might be involved in the drop in ratings.

        It’s not about convincing or disagreement or opinion, you implied a logical process and a supported argument where none existed.

        I just wanted to clarify that.

  19. Sam Carter says:

    Personally, I stopped watching most eps live after Seduction Impossible. And I only watched that one live because of the return of Larroquette. By Globber and Push Mix I began to realize that the season was not going to improve. I’m an adult woman, but I was bored by the story, the villains and the little pay off to the storylines introduced. Vivian didn’t work at all. Volkoff was tolerable only because Dalton was fun to watch, but I never liked him as a villain either. Mama B. didn’t work either for me and it seems for many people. But she wasn’t in betweeen Chuck & Sarah so I guess people weren’t so bothered. I can totally understand that young guys would get bored by S4.

  20. armysfc says:

    i found this while putting around the net. check out the predictions for NBC.

    http://ryanschwartz.posterous.com/cancellations-galore-whats-been-axed-and-what

  21. jason says:

    Sing Rip Off might be the first show to have negative ratings at the rate things are dropping, 1.4M. A Prime Suspect repeat managed .7M in the Harry’s Law / Playboy Club late time slot. Both Schwartz’s CW shows dropped to .6M for CW. For comparison sake DWTS registered 3.1M and Castle 2.4M, might it be alot fewer folks watch TV these days?

    http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2011/10/11/tv-ratings-monday-cbs-tops-night-as-most-shows-fall-season-lows-are-widespread/106718/

    • atcDave says:

      Diminished total viewers seems to be a fact of life these days. On those Castle numbers, at least in the Detroit market the episode was pre-empted by baseball, and won’t run until the wee hours Wednesday morning! I can wait…. but if that was Chuck, oh boy!

      • thinkling says:

        Diminished total viewers spread over increased options. So, it seems less and less viable for tracking viewers.

        How much of the subscription fees are distributed to the cable networks, and how are they distributed?

      • jason says:

        dave – have you been OK with the wt/wt on Castle? I asked you earlier, will it be like s3 of Chuck? It seems for now to me more like s2 of Chuck, overtly writing of the mutual love with very weak reasons to be apart.

        Then again, it could be said Castle this season is like you always wanted s3 of Chuck to be, apart as a couple, yet together as partners, while working out their issues. I don’t read real many Castle reviews, but I think the avoidance of coupling them up is being received with a certain amount of indifference. The only thing that fans aren’t enjoying is the new captain from what I can tell.

      • atcDave says:

        Thinkling I don’t know the actual details of how cable fees are distributed, except that the broadcast networks still consider advertising to be their primary source of income. Premium cable channels are entirely user fee supported, while basic cable channels sort of split the difference. But as we were saying a couple weeks ago, some sort of new revenue stream is needed. Personally, I’d be fine with my cable (well, satellite) fees going up a little more for more quality scripted programming (although I don’t like the unrated nature of existing “premium” channels); but I realize paying more in this economy isn’t viable for everyone.

        Jason I’d agree with most of what you said about Castle. Although to start, I don’t quite agree with your take on S2 and S3 Chuck, at least to say I was mostly willing to by the issues between Chuck and Sarah until the end of S2. But it’s not really even the Barstow moment that changed everything, I think after “take off your watch” there was no going back the the “won’t they” part of wt/wt. My patience with it was officially and completely over.
        But yes, S3 would have been vastly better; still not what I actually wanted to see, but vastly better, if they had taken the Castle approach of still having Chuck and Sarah physically together all the time even while their relationship issues were unsettled.
        But as we’ve mentioned many times, Castle does have a different vibe and a different chemistry. I also think the time for wt/wt has expired on Castle, they’re now at the point where keeping them apart feels manipulative and artificial. I believe it was mxpw called it a couple months back (referring to Chuck S3) “the puppet strings are showing”. It just feels like for two rational adults (switching back to Castle now) the time for the relationship roulette has passed. Now it isn’t nearly as big a deal on Castle as it was for me on Chuck. Probably the biggest single reason being that Castle and Beckett still spend most of their screen time together (even though the show is called Castle, its pretty equally about both characters, what a concept!), AND the show is still more about the mystery of the week than it is about the central relationship. Add to that, while I like Castle and Beckett, I’ve never been as invested in them as I am in Chuck and Sarah.
        I would also agree about still not liking the new captain much. She’s too much of a fearsome presence and kind of a fun sink. I still think it would be fun if she were utterly humiliated and drummed out of the job, but my suspicion is it will play more like Castle (and Beckett) prove themselves to her and she will gradually warm to her new team.
        But in spite of those gripes, I still think Castle is an entertaining show, and it hasn’t given me the wild ups and downs of “now I love it, now I hate it” that Chuck did.

      • thinkling says:

        Jason, Dave, another thing about Castle is that 1) the OLI’s have been pretty absent from the screen and story line, and 2) Beckett and Castle haven’t ever lost their relationship, like CS did in S3.

        As for subscription fees, I would only be willing to pay more if the plan let me choose what I was paying for. I’ve always resented “paying for” 79 channels that I don’t watch or care to watch. Oh well. It’s mute at my house now, because I’ve canceled our subscribed TV. My sources are now free OTA and internet (Hulu and Netflix).

      • atcDave says:

        Wow Thinkling, I’m not ready for that extreme solution! (must have my Bears, which means Sunday Ticket since I’m out of the Chicago market. And half the remaining television we watch is USA, although Hulu might work for that).

        You’re right about the OLIs not being much of a presence on Castle, that helps too. When Beckett’s boyfriend helped save her life in the season premier, I actually didn’t recognize him at first.

      • jason says:

        Dave – I think the opposite with the captain, rather than she becoming convinced of the team’s worth, I think she will gradually prove herself to the team and consequently to us. Funny about the ‘won’t they’ part of the wt/wt, I have never been bothered by it on Castle, but this season, that component is starting to cross over into missions, once that happens, it gets too contrived, too sappy. I think for a wt/wt to really work, one of the two characters has to have both a great reason for not being together as well as be sort of clueless to the other’s feelings***. Once those lines are crossed or blurred, the wt/wt stops working. Castle is there.

        ***In Chuck, Sarah always knew how Chuck felt, but Chuck by and large never knew how Sarah felt. Secondly, Sarah couldn’t be with Chuck because once she was she would be taken off his case and more than likely he would die. As you said, Barstow sort of killed #1, and #2 at some point just wore out its welcome, again, maybe when they ran away.

    • ArmySFC says:

      heres some food for thought. according to TVBTN harrys law just got the order for 6 new scripts. also on the question of less folks watching TV, CBS is up 3% over last year, FOX is up 11% NBC down 7% ABC down 4%. i think that dispels the notion that viewership is down across the board network wise. total viewership on all venues may be down, but 2 of the 4 major networks are better off than last year at this time.

  22. amyabn says:

    Well friends, Charlies Angels (the reboot) has just been cancelled on ABC. Another show bites the proverbial dust. Ruminations are that Pan Am may not be far behind. You can read about that here: http://tinyurl.com/3sjgm2t

    • atcDave says:

      Interesting that this seasons retro phase seems to be going down in flames.

      • armysfc says:

        Dave not really a surprise to me. most of the people that remember those shows are near the far end of the spectrum if not past it. the movie though newer didn’t do all that well if i remember correctly. add to that i think people are just tired of the same old stuff just in a different wrapper. plus i feel the emotional turmoil stuff has also ran its course. body of proof is an example of that i think. last years ratings were steady, this year they introduced it early and they started loosing viewers, of course it could be other stuff as well.

      • atcDave says:

        Actually I believe the first Charlie’s Angels movie did very well. And of course more recently reboots of Battlestar Galactica and Hawaii 5-0 have both been successful. Add to that the retro appeal of Mad Men, and we were hit by a wave of 60s/70s nostalgia this season (Playboy Club, Charlie’s Angels, Pan Am). But these late-comers have not fared well. I haven’t watched any of them, so I really can’t comment on quality except to say I was never even tempted by any of these offerings. So I’m just wondering if they were all poorly done, or if the retro phase is already dying out.

      • armysfc says:

        Dave sorry was talking major channels not cable ones. take mad men granted its on a small network but 2.5 mil is low for a major network. would it do better on a major network who knows right? same with BSG. 50 is about the only one that does well but you have to admit the lead in was one of the best when it aired. i never saw it so i can’t say if its good or not. NBC is getting into the minor network area where so many show have poor numbers they give harrys law six new episodes. from what i have been reading several NBC shows would be off the air if they were on another network. so i suppose you need to take in what network its on to see if the numbers are good.

      • joe says:

        Yeah, Army. That numbers game is being played by everyone. They’re all asking themselves “How bad is bad?” With the total number of stations up and the total number of viewers down, it’s unclear to me where the bottom is.

        Quality, however, is another story.

        How come it is that I know there’s so much talent out there – I see it even locally – and the quality of what gets on air is so awful? I mean, really. The “retro” shows we were told to swallow this year didn’t have to be bad in and of themselves. But they were. AND they were copies of an idea besides. Not an ounce of originality.

        I know it’s ever thus; “cop” shows, seem to be an immortal formula. Evergreens. At least the traditional TV western seems to have died.

        I despair at the voyeurism inherent in most of the so-called reality shows, especially the ones that center around dating. Even the weight-loss reality shows are all about that. At least the American Idol clones (itself a clone of the British original) replace the good-ol’ Ed Sullivan type variety shows. I gotta say that the competition aspect really turns me off, though.

        I guess Fringe and Lost sort of replace the old Outer Limits and Twilight Zone idea, but honestly, they seem pale by comparison. I’ll grant that’s probably just me, though.

      • armysfc says:

        Joe quality to me is subjective. i know that sounds funny but i’ll try to explain. i didn’t like season 4 of chuck because things bothered me that didn’t bother others so i felt the quality wasn’t there. others that liked it called the season genius so they think its a quality show because those things they find unimportant.

        many shows get critical acclaim from reviewers yet the subject matter doesn’t appeal to many so it dies on the vine. i would bet if you asked those that didn’t like it they would say it was not quality TV because…reasons.

    • amyabn says:

      Actually, the re-boots of Bionic Woman and Knight Rider (both attempted by NBC I believe) both crashed and burned fast as well. There really isn’t much in the way of creativity these days. A lot of these shows seem niche shows to me; the show that had Summer Glau on it (that bombed in the time slot after Chuck last year) was a very niche show. Grimm seems like it will be as well. And our beloved Chuck, which really does a little of everything, doesn’t get the “love” it deserves by viewers. Sad. I’m off to watch football. GO GREEN!!!!!

  23. jason says:

    http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/

    Sing Off down to 1.5M, all time low. Heart of Dixie, Schwartz’s new show, up 33% to .8M. I have not watched last night’s ep, but so far, I like the characters & the plot hasn’t made me quit – yet. So far the show seems to be more Everwood or Friday Night Lights like than OC or Gossip Girl, which keeps me trying it out at least.

    Castle is losing a little ground each week, 2.5M this week. I suspect one could debate all day if the wt/wt theme has cried wolf once too often there. I did read where Castle and Beckett are going to be paired up romantically, mid next season, not sure where I read it, but I do think it came from the show runner, Marlowe I think his name is.

    I am guessing now, that Chuck will be in the .9 to 1.0M range on Fridays, and if it somehow rates a steady 1.5 or 1.6M, then things will get very, very interesting right around Thanksgiving, plus or minus a week or two? Whatever Chuck gets, it seems the level of promotion has been decent at least, although that is strictly a gut reaction, no numbers to back that up.

    • ArmySFC says:

      thanks! i’ll hold off judgement on the wt/wt on castle or any monday shows till after the world series. unlike last year there are baseball playoff games on monday nights. combine that with football and many 18-49 males would be split between 2 sports and the shows they watch.

    • thinkling says:

      Thanks, Jason. Interesting.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      With their production schedule Chuck should be just about done with episode 12 when they break for Thanksgiving. Zac mentioned they wrap December 8th, which is about right with some time off for Thanksgiving.

      Given that, the last episode is probably pretty much written by now to allow for some lead time, location scouting, director input, etc.

      The show schedule, and I can’t remember where I saw it or heard it, has episode 7 (the Christmas one) showing December 23, and then a break till mid-ish January. So to continue production of Chuck, they’d probably need to know before they wrap December 8th, and it’s probably already too late to just continue production past then without a break, since scripts aren’t written, people may have other jobs/obligations lined up, and it’s the holidays.

      My guess is that if there were going to be more episodes made the decision has to come within about 2 or 3, maybe 4 episodes. By the 11th or 18th of November. The opening arc, apparently a strong one, will be the final deciding factor. I say if Chuck manages another Chuck miracle and takes it’s core audience from last fall to Friday and can pull near a 2.0, NBC pretty much has to go with it the way their schedule is crashing and burning. As Jason said, a 1.5, and things get interesting.

      NBC’s highest rated show, The Office is fairly steady around 3.2 in demo. The rest of their more or less “stable” shows are all hovering around 2.0. Harry’s Law almost has a full season pick-up with a steady 1.2 on Wednesday. (TVBTN was clear that NBC had ordered 6 more “scripts” but has not yet ordered episodes.)

      NBC does have 4 half hour comedies and 3 hour long dramas waiting for the second half of the season, but they’ve already canceled The Playboy Club, and will almost certainly cancel Prime Suspect, and they are already having to fill primetime slots with repeats of shows from other nights. At some point they have to stick with anything that can hold an audience, or simply run infomercials in prime time.

      My wildly optomistic and oddly specific prediction? Chuck comes back far stronger than anyone thought it could, 1.8-ish, in the neighborhood of NBC’s other “stable” shows like Community and Parenthood, and gets one more pickup of 9 episodes (it would be 6, but WB makes 9 worthwhile for NBC so they can get to 100).

      The First epic and highly promoted season finale (episode 13) runs in the February sweeps and draws a 2.5 causing renewal talk, but by the second season finale they are back down to last year’s numbers and it is (sadly) the end of Chuck.

      Sure hope they have those epilogue arcs ready to go.

    • atcDave says:

      Man I hope this Friday goes well. Of course I’m itching for some new Chuck anyway; with so much hanging on these first few episodes I’m very excited!

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Agreed Dave. At this point I’m just glad to have it back with any new episodes, but the scheadenfreude has me hoping it’s a success on Fridays, dismissing at last the notion that Chuck couldn’t be a hit on another night if NBC’s old management would have moved, promoted, supported, and not treated it as schedule spackle.

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah Ernie, and it is worth noting that for a show starting its fifth season its getting a fair amount of promotion; including during Sunday Night Football.

    • DKD says:

      The number of people who watch TV live at 8PM on Friday is about 20% (give or take a few percentage points) lower than 8PM on Monday due most likely to people being out.

      So, if Chuck maintains the same share of audience that it had on Monday, a 20% drop is in order from last year.

      I may be optimistic, but I think it may at least debut better than a 1.0.

      The level of promotion is a happy result of its late debut. If it had debuted back in September, it definitely would have gotten lost in the shuffle of all the promotion for Whitney, Up All Night, Prime Suspect and the now departed Playboy Club.

      Maybe that’s why NBC held Chuck and Grimm back in the first place.

      • ArmySFC says:

        DKD, during the week of 28 sept. 40+- 1 mil watched the big 4 mon 8-9. fri 8-9 on the big 4 neted 20+-1 mil viewers. unless monday dropped by a lot or friday came up a lot its almost 50% less. if chuck holds the same viewers their share will be higher. i think.

      • atcDave says:

        So doesn’t that mean too that even if our viewership drops; as long as it drops less than Fridays normally do, our share would go up. Right?

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Our share could go up since it represents our share of the available audience. The ratings points are based on the number of households. I’m hoping that with no HIMYM, DWTS, BBT or 2.5 Men to compete against we can actually keep the viewership close to where it was on Monday, as Chuck fans who used to DVR Chuck and watch those shows now watch Chuck live. Remember Chuck’s DVR+7 often took Chuck from a 2.0 to a 2.5. If we can convert even a fraction of those DVR viewers to live ones it helps.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave i looked at some numbers and came away more confused than ever, lol. take fri 8-9 last week…
        ratings share viewers live+SD
        8:00PM FOX Kitchen Nightmares 1.4 5 3.460
        CBS A Gifted Man 1.2 5 8.670
        ABC Extreme Makeover) 1.2 4 5.050
        NBC The Office -R 0.6 2 2.040
        and monday

        8:00PM CBS How I Met Your Mother 4.3 12 9.790
        FOX World Series Game 5 4.2 11 14.320
        ABC Dancing with the Stars 3.2 8 17.170
        NBC The Sing Off 1.5 4 4.180
        while checking all the days i found that the 4 share starts in the low 3 mil range and ends in the mid 5 mil range, regardless of night or hour. so if chuck does draw 4 mil fans like it was at the end it would still be a 4 share.

      • DKD says:

        ArmySFC:

        I was referring to total People Using TV (PUT) for Adults 18-49. Not just watching the Big 4. I was relying on an old analysis (and memory) for that figure. I just got more recent ones.

        Last Monday (10/17) between 8 and 9PM, 37.1% of Adults 18-49 were watching Live TV. Last Friday (10/21) for the same hour, it was 27.5%. That’s a 26% difference.

        Friday night competition isn’t as strong as Mondays, which is a plus, but fewer viewers available is a minus.

        Granted, the ratings we receive are “Live + same day”. That is people who watch Live PLUS anyone who watches on their DVR by 3AM. Friday night shows tend to get more people waiting until the weekend to watch. A large number of Fringe viewers do that.

        In the end, what matters to the advertisers is the “C3” rating. That’s the rating the ads get within 3 days. Unless they are in the show, they don’t care what ratings the show gets.

      • DKD says:

        As an addendum to what I just wrote:

        For Persons 2+ (aka Total Viewers) the difference between Monday and Friday was 18%. The older the age group, the more likely they don’t go out on Friday.

        On the concept of “share”. It is share of the number of households OR people who are watching TV. Since different numbers of people watch TV on different nights, “3 share” on Monday is more viewers than a “3 share” on Friday.

      • DKD says:

        (Sorry for continuing to add things)

        In Army’s chart, the share is of Adults 18-49, but the viewers is total viewers. That’s apples and oranges in ratings calculations. One doesn’t necessarily equate to the other. Shows can have a huge number of viewers over 50 and under 18.

      • ArmySFC says:

        DKD thanks for the tip. i use the big 4 numbers because they are the important ones to advertising people, and the ones chuck has to deal with. also see the above chart, even messed up 4 mil got a 4 share on almost every night and every hour. so i put it the range i saw. one thing i didn’t put in was this.

        IF nielsen uses the total number of available households to determine the share, it makes sense. the total number will remain a constant. there are a finite number of boxes out there. those boxes are monitored everyday. so if a share is based on that finite number, 4 mil will be a 4 share no matter what day of the week it is.

      • armysfc says:

        here is the best explanation of ratings and share i could find, there may be others.

        ratings points and share, usually reported as: “ratings points/share”. As of September 1, 2010, there are an estimated 115.9 million television households in the United States. A single national ratings point represents one percent of the total number, or 1,159,000 households for the 2010–11 season. Nielsen re-estimates the number of TV-equipped households each August for the upcoming television season.

        Share is the percentage of television sets in use tuned to the program. For example, Nielsen may report a show as receiving a 9.2/15 during its broadcast, meaning that on average 9.2 percent of all television-equipped households were tuned in to that program at any given moment, while 15 percent of households watching TV were tuned into that program during this time slot. The difference between rating and share is that a rating reflects the percentage of the total population of televisions tuned to a particular program while share reflects the percentage of televisions actually in use.

        what that boils down to is this. for ratings if you use 10 homes as the total number of available TV’s and 3 are tuned in to channel 1 the rating would be 30. for share, if 3 were tuned in to channel 1, and 3 were tuned in to different channels and in 4 homes the TV was off, the share would be 50. 6 TV’s in use and 3 were tuned in to channel 1, 3 is 50% of 6. the turned off TV’s don’t count for shares. if another TV was turned on or one was turned off (not one set to channel 1) the share number would go up or down but the rating would stay constant at 30. if a TV set to channel 1 was turned off or one of the off TV’s turned on to channel 1 both the ratings and share would change.

        this cleared it up for me so i hope it helps others.

      • DKD says:

        That’s a good definition, Army.

        The only thing that they didn’t point out in the definition is that “share” can be computed for demographics such as Adults 18-49 in addition to households.

        (I work with Nielsen ratings at my job.)

      • ArmySFC says:

        DKD thanks. i saw that as well but left it out. i felt it was getting to long as it was. i bet they can break it down even further than that if they want. some shows use the female demo vs the male as well.

      • jason says:

        DKD / ARMY – I must admit, I am on information overload. I follow only one number, which I am pretty sure is the total Nielson viewers in the 18-49 demo for the night. Chuck on its best days was in the mid 2M range (2.5-2.8), and its worst slipped below 1.5M if I recall. Also, Friday night shows tend to be in the .8M to 1.5M range. I think last week 1.5 or 1.6 would have won Chuck’s timeslot. Is this over simplifying? it seems to be what TVBTN’s talks about, even though they track several numbers? One reason I bring all this up, I am guessing that much above 1.5M is going to be very difficult to achieve, and that 1.1 or 1.2M might not be considered a failure?

      • ArmySFC says:

        Jason, i’m guessing the 1.5M numbers you are referring to the ratings for the hour? if so yeah a 1.6 would be unexpected and welcomed i would think. except for the last episodes all were under 1.5. what i think the hope is from people here is that if the rating stays the same as least year, 1.3 on average for the last 5 episodes, the share will go up. the rating would stay the same because the same number of people were tuned in but because less TV’s are in use on friday, chucks numbers may give it a higher share.

        with the normal drop in viewership on a friday. using DKD’s numbers of roughly 18% drop (roughly 1 fifth) i would think an 18% drop could be seen in chucks ratings to about .9. so if i had to guess chuck will pull ratings in the range of .7 to 1.1. based on what i have seen it would take a decent size ratings jump to increase the share. unlike rartings that get the 1.3 or 2.5, shares are whole numbers like 2 or 3, so they must round up and down.

        if on monday chuck’s share number of TV”s tuned in to chuck compared to number of TV’s in use is 2.6% and they round up to 3% or a 3 share. the same number of viewers tune in to chuck the same time on friday and with less TV’s in use is 3.4% and they round down, chuck still has a three share. the hope is that the same numbers of viewers on friday gets them to 3.6% or higher, earning them a 4 share. NOTE: useing random number to illustrate the point.

        ***i did a rough guestimate on the numbers because i didn’t want to do the precise math***

      • ArmySFC says:

        Jason, sorry it the post button to soon. i think .9 to 1.1 would be considered ok, less than .9 a disappointment and anything above 1.2 would cause a happy dance by NBC.

      • DKD says:

        Latest news:

        The sixth game of the World Series has been postponed until Thursday. IF there is a 7th game–which usually get VERY good ratings–it would run against Chuck and Grimm on Friday.

        Guess who is now rooting for the Rangers.

      • atcDave says:

        Too funny! Yeah, go Rangers!

      • ArmySFC says:

        Well i’ve been rooting for Texas since it started so i’m on board. dave can you have a talk with the bears and tell them to whoop up on the eagles in a few weeks?

      • atcDave says:

        No problem army! Hey they’re just getting warmed up, the Eagles are toast, you heard it here!

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave thanks! while i was born and raised near philly, i hate the eagles, even more than morgan.

      • joe says:

        Go Texas.

        Army, I’m so sorry that my Bills let you down v. the Eagles two weekends ago. Bah! That was definitely the one that got away, and I’ve been apologizing to Redskins fans ever since.

        These are the same fans that I’m going to chide Sunday when the Bills beat them in Toronto.

        I’m guessing that even if the 7th game of the series is played opposite Chuck on Friday, the network and the advertisers will lower their expectations accordingly.

        Now if they had only kept the series played in September, where God, nature and Admiral Doubleday intended, we wouldn’t be having this concern.

        And we should note that our own Faith is going through her own special kinds of trauma with the NBA season entirely at risk.

      • Faith says:

        Yes, yes I am. I almost feel like going off like Shirley MacLaine in “Terms of Endearment.” “NBAAAAA!!!!”

        Though maybe Sally Fields in “Norma Rae” would be more appropriate lol.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Joe eh the Bills beat the eagles 31 – 24 so i liked that a lot. how could you not know they won! sheesh

      • joe says:

        Arg! Sorry ’bout that. I was mixing up the Philly game with the NY Giants game.

        Sigh. Ya seen one NFC East team, you seen them all… 😉

    • Faith says:

      I’m also still watching Jason, though I was 2 episodes behind before this week. I don’t know what it is but the southern accent of Lemon now grates on me. I can still live with it, but I really miss Mrs. H. Also I’ve now warmed up to Wade, before I just didn’t get him.

      • jason says:

        Schwartz might have a winner. I am all caught up now, the 5th ep (with the pancake breakfast) was the best yet IMO. Wade is sort of like Sarah, he is getting the full-Schwartz endearment special, and Schwartz can indeed make fans like a character. Poor Lemon on the other hand is getting Morgan’d, annoying as possible, but in their own way, sort of driving the story, in a anti-hero sort of way. In this past ep, George and Lemon finally talk in a manner that gives me a feel for why they are together, I am guessing they are both nice people, childhood sweethearts who grew up, don’t want to hurt each other, yet have changed, a classic tale. And hapless, helpless, hopeless Zoey who is struggling to find her place in the world, does she remind you of anyone?

      • Faith says:

        There are definite similarities, and props to Schwartz, he knows what works. That said, I still want an Ellie for Zoe. I was hoping for that scandalous waitress from the bar but I think it might just be Lavon and that’s it.

  24. atcDave says:

    For what its worth, Chuck’s +7 ratings for the premier are being reported as a 1.6. Perhaps that falls in the “too little, too late” category (per tv by the numbers; that gives Chuck the second largest increase of viewers for any show that week). It does verify what some of us have speculated, that Chuck’s audience is tech/DVR savvy and not only WILL watch Chuck, but will watch Chuck on their own schedule.
    I’m guessing this makes us even more secure in getting our final 13 aired. But I think its inadequate for any consideration of a back order (as we’d already guessed). Remember that +7 numbers are NOT considered to be very important by advertisers (same day and plus 3 matter far more)

  25. Zsjaer says:

    Its a little hard for me to watch Chuck now, the elements that made Chuck special in the first two seasons are completely gone..its still fun but I m glad this is hopefully the last season as things are right now..i don t think they have much more to tell or imagination to do it. I think the writers lost completely the perception of what made Chuck special and now the only element that it is still present is the comedy..the romance part its there…but its not the same thing ..I think you know what I want to say with this.
    Anyway i don t regret to have bought the DVD`s of the first two seasons but that was it..the rest we can t compare Chuck died as a special TV show in the last episode of S2
    I guess this Blog is way better than the show itself at the moment lol. Congrats for it

    • atcDave says:

      Zsjaer on behalf of ChuckThis blog we do appreciate the compliment. But you know we don’t particularly agree with your assessment of the show. I think the passion and enthusiasm we’ve maintained for the blog is direct reflection of a show we feel is still worthy of it. In spite of several of us disliking a big chunk of S3 or the occasional clunker of an episode, I think Chuck today is still one of the most clever shows on television. And the change we see in all the main characters is the result of growth that honors what those characters were at the start. The biggest change in the mood of the show I see is the spy world is not as dark and frightening as it was in the first two seasons; but I think that’s a reasonable shift given how opaque it was to Chuck at first. As Chuck’s status has changed the level of menace has changed too. But even so, I think Decker is as threatening and frightening a baddie as we’ve seen yet in this show.

      There are things from those first two seasons I miss, but I think they’re mostly the sort of things that had to change with time. Chuck being threatened in his Buy More job or sorting out the details of real vs cover couldn’t still work; those things HAD to change with time.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave, i understand you guys like this season but from reading other blogs this site is the anomaly for how fans view this season. this is the only blog that almost everyone agrees this season is great, most others are running about 50/50 about it. some really like it some really hate it and others are in the middle. i think Z is more reflective of the fans than this blog. this is just my take from reading other sites but many fans are still watching because it is the last season and they want to see how it ends and are pretty much accepting anything because it is the last season. i’m really glad you guys are enjoying the season, after all you guys deserve it!

      • atcDave says:

        Hey anyone is allowed to like or not like. But to the point of why we’ve kept our quality up; it’s mostly because we still love it.

      • Aerox says:

        Not everyone on here Army. For example, me and Gord we were both really put off by the Zoom. From then, I loved Bearded Bandit, thought Frosted Tips was meh and loved Business Trip. It’s been a 50/50 season for me so far, although I thought (and still think) that Business Trip ranks among one of the better Chuck episodes. Definitely better than most of season 3 and 4.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Aerox, point taken, but that’s why i said almost everyone. the numbers here are far fewer than else where who find the season lacking more than good.

        Dave just so there is no mistake, you guys have a quality blog.

      • atcDave says:

        Thanks for that army. And just to be clear, when I’m speaking for the blog, that’s five of us have completely loved the season; only Faith has had reservations, and I believe she’s liked two and not liked two. So overall that’s a pretty high level of enthusiasm.

      • thinkling says:

        Two things you said, Dave:

        And the change we see in all the main characters is the result of growth that honors what those characters were at the start. … and … There are things from those first two seasons I miss, but I think they’re mostly the sort of things that had to change with time.

        I came late to Chuck, but after watching all of S1, my son and I both remarked that to continue to enjoy the show, Chuck had to grow up some. … And he did. By the end of S2, that story line had played out, too. Getting Chuck and Sarah together (finally, better late than never.) So, for me, S3.5 up to the present is the pay off I’ve been waiting for. The growth is what has kept me interested. If Chuck had maintained the S1 or even the S2 template, I would have probably lost interest. It was great, but characters have to grow, and their stories have to progress (for me to stay interested). Chuck has done that well, and it’s what I love about the show.

        The other thing I love about Chuck is its agility and seamless blend of genres. What other show gives you drama and comedy, action and romance, family and spy world all in one episode.

        As for more story to tell … when you have characters as well developed as Chuck and Sarah and the other principle characters, there’s always more story to tell. (I would watch until Chuck gets dentures and Sarah gets orthopedic shoes.) This chapter is coming to a close, but I can’t help but feel sad and a little cheated that the rest of the book will remain unwritten.

        Thanks for the words about the blog. Like Dave said, we keep it up because we still love the show.

      • atcDave says:

        oooooh, I like the idea of “Geriatric Chuck!” I think that’s what’s called “high concept…”

      • jason says:

        Army – many of your comments seem to be some variation of ‘you guys like the show but nobody else does’. Your proof for that is based on your looks around the internet where you find negative about season 5. I look around the internet too. My overwhelming reaction is the lack of any comments, places like NBC which used to roll up a couple of dozen an hour, might not get that in a week now on some of its most popular topics.

        By nature, bloggers tend to be negative …. I am a huge Packer fan, very few Packer blogs have comments about Aaron Rodgers, but we have had dozens of blogs with thousands of posts about our defense. That is the passion that season 3 bloggers felt about the Chuck’s miserable portrayal of Chuck and Sarah, dozens of blogs and thousands of posts. Now, the show is mostly giving us Aaron Rodgers excellence each week of season 4 and season 5, so there just aren’t many posts about the important stuff (Chuck and Sarah just like Rodgers), so we get whining about Morgan or some delusional fan pining for the good old days of season 2 and ‘TPTB didn’t write a good enough spy story – wa wa wa’ (kind of like complaining about the Packer’s defense).

        Reason we don’t have many fans for season 5? We never really did, even in those ‘good old days’. But, for the few we had, the Mask ep started the show on a downward spiral, followed by a pulling of budget to produce the show, a lack of competitive promotion, and finally a move to Friday to give the show a final 13 episode goodbye.

      • joe says:

        ‘you guys like the show but nobody else does’.

        I was listening to a local ESPN outlet on the radio the other day, here in DC. I’m not particularly a ‘Skins fan (old loyalties die hard!) but you can imagine that there are (still) uncounted gazillions in the area who bleed maroon and gold.

        You wouldn’t know it from listening to the people who call in. Seems like about 99% of them gave up after the first snap this season, before the team won 4 of it’s first five games. Then things turned negative. 😉

        More surprising are the local sports-casters (the ones on the radio, at least), who are really negative. I know they’re not paid to cheer-lead, but it looks like they are paid to rile up the crowd. Helps ratings, I guess.

        The moral of the story is, of course, that they all really are fans of football and of the local team. It just so happens that they’re fans of voicing complaints too. Big fans. They’re allowed and it tends to feed on itself, mostly because complaining about their team tends to make people feel intelligent and prescient, especially when the complaint is legit. That’s just part of human nature, I guess.

      • atcDave says:

        Good comments Joe and Jason. I know the more casual viewers I know are mostly very happy with the show right now; I’ve only heard one of them comment that she felt the show lost something in S3 that it never quite got back. Oh and one other friend was irate that when his DVR missed an episode he couldn’t find it on-line!

      • armysfc says:

        Jason, i don’t have the attitude that “you guys like it and nobody else does,” sorry if you think that. i think my above post clearly shows that. many of my posts simply show that others do not hold the show in as high a standard as some people. i just offer an opposing view on certain issues.

        the point about lack of comments on blogs can be taken several ways depending on your point of view. people are not as interested as they used to be and just don’t post, people who did post no longer watch, and the list could go on. this also ties into your final thoughts. dave has said many times that one hope of his was that TPTB would read the blogs and take note of the fans reactions and make changes. fans know this is the last of the show and there is no hope for change so they don’t air their thoughts.

      • atcDave says:

        Army one other thought, although it is true we’ve lost a lot of viewers since S1; I think a majority of those still with us like what they’re seeing. So not only is their little point in complaining about a show that is essentially done, there is also little inclination to.

      • armysfc says:

        Dave, yep i agree. it falls back to those that don’t like it anymore have left and those that are still borderline no longer care to complain. that’s good news for those that still like the show.

    • Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

      I generally agree with Zsjaer. For various reasons the show hasn’t been the same since the end of S2. Since S2, I would say that the show had required a lot more effort by the fans than most shows on TV, and that’s not necessarily a good thing.

      We often talk about balance, but it’s more than that. I sometimes think that in TPTB’s attempts to tell so much story, large portions are left for the fans to “fill in the blanks”. S3 & S4 suffer from this. It’s too early to make the call on S5. 

      “…the romance part it’s there…but it’s not the same thing…”

      On this I completely agree. IMO this is a result of the very effective job TPTB did in resetting (read: destroying) the relationship in S3 and the very dismal job they did in fixing (rebuilding) it prior to DYLM. In general, because it feels false. 

      Eventhough S4 was superior to S3, the Mama B story of last season also suffers from feeling false because of the poor job done selling the 20 year absence. 

      As far as character growth, man that’s open to some interpretation as well. Yes, you can say the characters aren’t the same as they were in S1. The problem is very little of the growth was organic to the story. Instead the growth gets thrown in willy nilly as required by the story.

      As far as S5, it’s still early. Morgansect wasn’t a complete disaster. Unfortunately for 2.5 episodes the show was not about Chuck. (And in all honesty, if it’s not going to be about Chuck, it should be about Sarah 😉  ) That seems to have now turned around. I hope it continues. 

      • Zsjaer says:

        Exactly my feelings..thanks for explaining it in a much better and clear way than I did.
        I agree with it 100%.
        Let me emphasize this from your text because it really defines the show.
        “On this I completely agree. IMO this is a result of the very effective job TPTB did in resetting (read: destroying) the relationship in S3 and the very dismal job they did in fixing (rebuilding) it prior to DYLM. In general, because it feels false. “

      • atcDave says:

        Well I do agree with some of this. The main part of S3 is completely flushable. They assassinated the characters of Chuck and Sarah by having them act like a couple of flakey morons; and there was no real rebuilding for their depths of idiocy. What we got was more like a light switch being flipped and things just instantly got better. But I guess that worked for me because I never bought a second of the S3 idiot arc. Since 2.22 ended with Sarah ready to leave the spy life for Chuck; and 3.14 started with exactly that happening, I can pretty much just disregard those episodes I dislike. So by ignoring the detour, I see pretty steady and linear character growth from the beginning to the present.
        I would also agree the explanation of Mary’s 20 year absence doesn’t hold water. But her first two episodes (4.06 and 4.07) were outstanding. And I was pretty completely happy with every other detail of that season. Mary’s story really only undermined Mary, and I thought growth from Chuck, Sarah, and Casey was mostly well handled (except for the hiccup where Sarah’s story overlapped Mary’s).

        All this comes back to the assertion that Chuck’s audience is somehow working harder for these things than other fandoms. That I just don’t buy. I’ve watched a moderate to heavy amount of television for 40+ years, and I’ve always taken my viewing fairly seriously (that is I pay attention to what I’m watching and always have an opinion about what I like and why). Every show I’ve ever seen has episodes or story arcs that I just don’t like or strike me as poorly conceived. So while I do have to just ignore the complete misery arc; other than that, I think Chuck has been the most consistantly enjoyable show I’ve ever seen. I’ve never seen another show that can make me laugh and smile so easily; or put me on the edge of my seat with an imaginative action sequence; or even move me with a good bit of character drama.

        It does seem a number of viewers have never got over the misery arc. I believe that absolutely led to a loss of enthusiasm and affection that was never restored for a large number of fans. Of course there also are a number of fans who liked the dark and unhappy stories of S3; it doesn’t surprise me at all that those viewers would dislike the lighter more upbeat feel the show has had since. I guess I got over it, and “getting over it” may be exactly the difference for those of us who fully enjoy the show now versus those who don’t.

  26. Zsjaer says:

    I still like Chuck..don t misunderstand me..but I see it without passion, maybe with a smile and a laugh here and there but the passion and the emotions I felt in the past with the show in the first two Seasons are not there. I know characters have to grow naturally.. but they should do it keeping the “salt and the pepper” to keep the show at a high level and the audience interested..and that in my opinion its the job (and responsibility ) of the writers
    Its not only the romance even the action\spy story are not at same level.
    In my opinion they( the storytellers ) failed in maintaining the same quality with the so called growth of the characters .
    The “salt and pepper” are missing somehow 🙂
    But yeah Chuck is still fun obviously but I am not a hardcore fan anymore
    Regards

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