(Quick reminder: the rewatch begins at 9ET. You can talk about it here, or on twitter–trend #Chuck.)
Wow 6 years, and always near and dear to our hearts. It’s been 19 months and 4 weeks since Chuck’s series finale and 6 years to the day of Chuck’s series premiere. So much has happened during that span and if you’re willing, I’d like to reminisce a bit. After the jump…
Chuck premiered with a bit of a fanfare. It was one of the first few shows to have its pilot widely disseminated even before its network premiere. Chuck (vs. The Intersect) was released via iTunes, Amazon Prime and was available On Demand the night before its premiere. Some lucky few, got to watch Chuck’s pilot on a United Airlines Flight before the premiere…needless to say NBC (long before it became permanent residents of the cellar) had faith on the show and worked to make it a hit. Some even luckier few got to watch the pilot and interact with the cast at Comic-Con 2007 where a very affable Zac Levi and Joshua Gomez play acted the infamous ninja scene.
Then the writer’s strike occured and Chuck begun to stumble. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that though Chuck had a 22 episode order (from NBC on November 2007) they were only able to air (and film) 13 episodes. Some might say that was the beginning of the end but Chuck, “Chuck is like a duck” and somehow it kept on chugging along with its tiny but able legs.
Fans helped. You, me and the vast majority of the web did our part. From ChuckTV to Wendy (of Subway and a finale) to WeHeartChuck (donated money to American Heart Association), fans refused to let Chuck go gently into the good night. The camaraderie and the passion could be felt from the (now defunct) NBC boards, to ChuckGasmic to IMDB. Even the critics got into the campaign with both Alan Sepinwall and Mo Ryan penning with their golden pens a plea for Chuck. In the end, I truly believe that what turned the tide was sponsorship. In the height of the recession, Chuck, like many shows were looking to drastically cut budgets and a show like Chuck (with its special effects, stunts, crew and others) just couldn’t be made from pennies. Somehow in a compromise with Subway, NBC, WB and TPTB, Chuck returned. Sure there were less lighting, sure there were more comical special effects and sure Yvonne Strahovski had to wear less (just kidding, I assume Robin had to cut corners too but maybe for YS, it was by design) but we got our 3rd season and what a season it was.
The funny thing about getting what you want is that it doesn’t always come the way you want it. To this day, season 3 is the most debated, analyzed and divisive of all the seasons of Chuck. And while we can focus (and have on this blog) on this negative aspect, really I think we can all agree that life after death for Chuck was welcomed, in any form.
Today, for Chuck’s Anniversary, we will be watching Chuck vs. the Honeymooners–a gift of an episode we would not have gotten had we failed in our campaign. Let’s take a moment and realize that we had to campaign for Chuck after Time Magazine called it one of the 10 Best TV Shows after season 2 (sigh).
Still, things did not get any easier for Chuck after we won (and got our season 3). Season 3.5 was on the bubble, as was Season 4, Season 4.5 and Season 5 (you get the picture). Thankfully we had the (then already) abysmal state of NBC to thank for a renewal–a state in which Chuck was virtually a lock as it was one of the few shows that had fans but to our credit, we didn’t just sit on our bums and let fate dictate Chuck‘s future. WeGiveAChuck and our very own Chuckthisblog came into Chuck‘s defense. #NotANielsenFamily was a huge success, as was our sponsor outreach. Combined, we extended Chuck’s life for another day.
Which brings us to today, Chuck’s 6th year anniversary. Looking back, it is AMAZING to me (with capital letters), that Chuck was on the air as long as it was. Amazing to me to have met lifelong friends through Chuck. I am amazed every day by all of you. You guys, Chuck fans, are the cream of the crop and I am thankful to have been on this journey with you.
Now let’s get to rewatching Chuck vs. the Honeymooners and embrace the feels. As an aside, it is unheard of for shows to put their leads together. Some like Bones prolong it as long as possible in deference to the “Moonlighting Curse,” but Chuck, Chuck has always been a show that takes risk and we’re thankful for it. Onto the rewatch (9ET!)…