This is not a true spoiler, but it is interesting. Ausiello teases us and 3 other shows.
“A wildly popular show is plotting a killer twist before it takes its final bow this spring.
According to multiple sources, the series in question — which, barring an 11th hour stay of execution, is in its last season — is moving forward with plans to whack one of its original characters just prior to the series finale.
And I’m told the exit will be a dramatic one, impacting multiple characters and storylines.
It’s an hour-long series that bears the title The Closer. Or Desperate Housewives. Or One Tree Hill. Or Chuck.”
Season 5 Teaser:
Advanced reviews of the first 3:
5.01 – Chuck vs. The Zoom
Writers: Chris Fedak & Nicholas Wootton
Director: Robert Duncan McNeil
Guest Stars: Mark Hamill, Craig Kilborn
Short synopsis: From Spoiler TV (with thanks to Bundy):
Carmichael Industries takes on a thief and a conniving investor; Morgan helps Chuck put together a surprise for Sarah; Jeff and Lester work on their latest scheme.
“CHUCK VERSUS THE ZOOM”
10/21/2011 (08:00PM – 09:00PM) (Friday) : AS CHUCK BEGINS LIFE AS A SPY-FOR-HIRE, HE MUST ADJUST TO HIS NEW BUSINESS, NEW THREATS, AND A NEW INTERSECT — HIS BEST FRIEND MORGAN GRIMES – MARK HAMILL AND CRAIG KILBORN GUEST STAR—Without the Intersect in his head or the support of the CIA, the world of espionage is a much more dangerous place for Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi) and his team of freelance spies. To start, Carmichael Industries takes on a slick, rich thief named Jean Claude (guest star Mark Hamill), and a conniving investor, Roger Bale (guest star Craig Kilborn), who has stolen money from some of the world’s most dangerous people. Meanwhile, Morgan (Joshua Gomez) helps Chuck with a special surprise for Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski). Back in the Buy More, Jeff (Scot Krinsky) and Lester (Vik Sahay) have taken things to another level with their latest scheme. Sarah Lancaster and Adam Baldwin also star.
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Chuck | What do we know thus far about the return of NBC’s spy comedy?
For one, Season 5 is also its final season. Also, we know that there will be 13 (and only 13) episodes, to air Fridays at 8. Oh, and now there’s this: TVLine has learned that the season premiere is titled “Chuck vs. the Zoom.” The zoom, hmm? As in zoom lens? As in those TV kids in the striped shirts from P.O. Box 354, Boston, Mass.? No, and nope. All series co-creator Chris Fedak will say for now is, “The zoom is a very dangerous secret.” It’s also a helluva fitness workout. What?
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“The beloved spy comedy kicked off its San Diego Comic-Con panel by announcing that Hamill will play a big baddie in the fifth and final season premiere, airing Friday, Oct. 21, at 8/7c.”
7-2011 And another link to TVLine:
Talking to Ausiello, Zac recounts a profound moment he had on the set, and does give out a small, but clear, spoiler for episode 5.01.
(snip) ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What was your reaction when you learned about the final season order?
Chris Fedak: We were very excited to be able to do one more season of the show. It’s really amazing to be able to plan a great finish for your story and it doesn’t always happen in TV. We look at it as an amazing opportunity to close the Chuck story in one epic final chapter. We have a big story pitched and we have a final moment for the series that we’ll have been working up to for five seasons.
Some fans worried about too much of a focus on Morgan next season. How are your going to balance Morgan’s new super-powered story and still keep it a show about Chuck?
Fedak: It’s still very much the Chuck show. He’s the star and Zachary Levi is fantastic. Watching Chuck without the Intersect is just as fantastic as watching him with it. We thought that would be a new fun way to start to season — watching him get used to not having it, and starting the spy team and working outside the government while best friend now has a super computer in his head. We have a lot of exciting twists and turns planned.
Will Chuck ever get the Intersect back? People liked badass Chuck.
For me, the most badass version of Chuck has been when he uses his brain. I always feel like was the hero who figures out the unconventional solution — in the writers room, we call it “The Chuck solution.” He’s still surround by two season spies and Morgan — the half-assed spy.
The first episode is “Chuck vs. The Zoom.” What is the Zoom?
The Zoom is a secret I will not be giving it up to you. But it’s a rather dangerous and powerful secret. (snip. Read more in link)
7-2011 Assignment X:
“The show is different,” says Fedak. “It still is the CHUCK show filled with comedy action-adventure, but a lot of things have changed. Chuck is not part of the CIA nd has his own spy team called Carmichael Industries. Then there’s the Verbanksi Vorp which is competition. We have a lot of fun with the idea they have to pay the bills. Some times they are going to work with people on the nefarious side of things. Morgan also has the Intersect in his head. He has to be like Sarah was – being Morgan’s handler. It’s a really kind of twisted season and it allows us to tell different stories.”
“I think there is a whole new dyanmic to explore in terms of being married,” says Strahovski. “Morgan is very much involved in the spy world. For me, it’s more ‘my god Morgan has the Intersect, what is he doing’ and also ‘oh my god Chuck doesn’t have the Intersect, what is he doing?’”
7-2011 AOL TV/Mo Ryan:
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“Still, all in all, Season 5 is a season of change for the show. Chuck is running Carmichael Industries, a private spy firm based in the Buy More (which Chuck now owns), and they’ve got big competition in the form of a company run by Gertrude Verbanski — who will emerge as a possible love interest for John Casey. Also, Awesome and Ellie will be a “big factor” in Chuck’s adventures, given that there are no secrets between Chuck and Ellie anymore.”
Panel videos courtesy of @thetechguychris:
“There’s that whole growing process for Morgan as the intersect, and like what happened with Chuck, we don’t know exactly what effect it’s going to have,” Gomez told EW during the Television Critics Association press tour. “It, obviously, doesn’t run and work in everyone’s brain the same way. The potential is there for it to go a little haywire. And I’m sure — if I know these writers — I’m in trouble.”
Regardless of what transpires, Gomez says Morgan (at least starts off) loving his new abilities. “I think that in true Morgan fashion — and this is a scary thing — I don’t think he knows how scary it can be,” he says. “He’s completely gung-ho. It’s something he thinks is the coolest thing ever. It’s every nerd’s dream, ‘I can be a superhero! Chuck, I can do it!’ Chuck, meanwhile, is, like, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa. Slow down.’”
“As Gomez put it, ‘Mark Hamill is a baddie! As the Intersect, I fight the baddie. That means I’m fighting Luke Skywalker! Are we putting these numbers together? I go, ‘Wait a minute… I get to punch Luke Skywalker tomorrow?!’ There’s some magic tomorrow.’ ” (interesting anecdote about JG and ZL nerdgasming on the article, click on link to read full story).
8-2011 Tweets from Cast/Crew
Got any scoop on the final season of Chuck? — Matt
NATALIE: The Buy More is going through a few more changes this season. Now that Chuck’s private spy agency, Carmichael Industries, owns Nerd Herd central, Captain Awesome will become the face of the company, says portrayer Ryan McPartlin. (Can I please have a copy of the first Buy More magazine with his pretty mug on it?) “He’s going to be like the Tony Robbins of the Buy More,” McPartlin says, adding that Awesome won’t be quitting his day job as a doctor. “The fact that Ellie and Awesome know about the spy world, it’ll be like the A-Team and we’ll help out, but only when we’re absolutely needed because of the baby.”
Fedak says he and co-creator Josh Schwartz pitched an outline for Season 5 to NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt (who, by the way, isn’t wavering on his statements that this is the last season) earlier this year to help secure a pickup.
“So we have a big arc and shape of where we want to go, and we kind of know our ending,” Fedak says. “But right now we’re making it real and [working on] those week-to-week adventures.”
“Chuck” has aired, by our count, five episodes that could have served as series finales: the second-, third- and fourth-season enders, plus the 13th episodes in Seasons 3 and 4, which would have been the endpoint without the extensions. That’s a lot of practice, but also maybe a challenge for the show’s writers.
“This one better be better than all of them,” Fedak says with a smile. “But it’s great for us.”
Knowing this will be the final season, he says, “is freeing from a storytelling perspective. You really do know that you’re writing an endpoint, you know you’re getting 13 episodes, you know you’re getting a finale, and that’s great. However, we’ve always built seasons that way.”
Fedak of course wouldn’t say where “Chuck” will end, but he does say he has an ending in mind, and it’s different than what he’s conceived in the past. “It’s different in tone,” he says. “It’s just very different
8-2011 TVLine/Ask Ausiello:
Question: I just started watching Chuck this summer and love it and am really sad that will be the final season. Speaking of which, it really sucks that there will only be 13 episodes. Any chance TPTB will give them at least a few more episodes? —Sarah
Ausiello: Let me just put this out there: A back-nine pickup would bring the show’s total episode haul to a clean 100, the traditional threshold for syndication. Let me also put this out there: NBC president Robert Greenblatt told me on Monday that it’s probably not going to happen. “[The 13-episode order] is pretty much set in stone,” he maintained. “They’re designing the season to [build toward] a series finale.”
Question: How does the Buy More fit into this season’s Chuck? —Gabe
Ausiello: Chuck’s now the owner, which means “when his spy agency isn’t doing well, the Buy More might be the only profit center for his company,” explains exec producer Chris Fedak. “It’s important that the Buy More does well, so Chuck’s trying to figure out a way to make it into a successful store.” His first priority: Creating an awesome promotional campaign. “There’s a new commercial with the face of the Buy More, Captain Awesome,” says Fedak. “He’s the most successful salesman Chuck knows.” He’s certainly better than the store’s previous spokesmodel, as viewers will discover firsthand. Reveals Fedak: “We see the original Buy More commercial that Big Mike starred in back in 1981.”
8-2011 E! WWC Spoiler Chat:
Lianne from Forest Hills, NY: I just read that the powers that be are considering splitting up Chuck and Sarah on Chuck. PLEASE, please tell me this isn’t true?
What?! Split up one of the cutest couples on TV? The couple that just got married? And heading into their final season? That would just be cruel! Never fear, because when we chatted with Yvonne Strahovski at Comic-Con, she had much different plans for Sarah and Chuck (Zachary Levi)…and it involved procreating. That’s right, Strahovski is hoping for spy babies! “If they put [the pregnancy] in, it’ll be near the end. I can’t imagine the spy thing being pregnant, right?” Yeah, you might need to bubble-wrap that bump before getting into fistfights.
Well there are no secrets at Comic-Con …
“I know — I was shocked! I didn’t say anything, but when they announced it at the panel, Twitter and all the different new media went on alert. I was surprised … I’m only in one scene. It’s a dream come true because not only is it a really delightful show, but the scene I’m in is like a James Bond scene. I’ve seen these spy things before, but I never thought I’d be a part of one. I’m playing this arch-villain holding these two young people hostage, forcing them to jump off a cliff. It’s wonderful. I had a great time.” – Mark Hamill
9-2011 From TV Guide (credit to ChuckandSarahMedia, click on pic to make it bigger):
10-2011: DanielleTBD‘s interview with Joshua Gomez.
5.02 – Chuck vs. the Bearded Bandit
Writers: Lauren LeFranc & Rafe Judkins
Director: Patrick Norris
Guest Stars: Jeff Fahey (Karl Sneijder), Justin Hartley (Wesley Sneijder)
“CHUCK VERSUS THE BEARDED BANDIT”
11/04/2011 (08:00PM – 09:00PM) (Friday) : CHUCK ASSUMES THE ROLE OF MORGAN’S HANDLER, AS CARMICHAEL INDUSTRIES FACES NEW BUSINESS COMPETITION—CARRIE-ANNE MOSS (“THE MATRIX”) GUEST STARS AS ‘GERTRUDE VERBANSKI’—JEFF FAHEY AND JUSTIN HARTLEY ALSO GUEST STAR—As the team takes on a missing persons case, Chuck (Zachary Levi) and company struggle to establish themselves as Carmichael Industries in the face of a rival security firm led by the tough and efficient Gertrude Verbanski (guest star Carrie-Anne Moss). Meanwhile, Morgan (Joshua Gomez) continues to adjust to the Intersect while Chuck adjusts to being his handler. Also, the Buy More finds an unlikely spokesperson to help drum up business. Yvonne Strahovski, Adam Baldwin, Ryan McPartlin, Vik Sahay, Scott Krinsky and Mark Christopher Lawrence also star.
8-2011 Zap2it: (thanks to JC for the find)
“…Fahey plays Karl Sneijder, who, as the boss of a diamond company with mines in South Africa, has been investigated by the CIA in the past for alleged criminal activity. They’ve never been able to pin anything on him.
Hartley will star as Wesley Sneijder, Karl’s handsome younger brother. A Dartmouth and Oxford-educated anthropologist, Wesley has always done his best to stay out of his brother’s business, wanting nothing to do with the ‘world of espionage and spies.’
Of course… he isn’t given much choice when Karl’s enemies kidnap him. Karl will be forced to seek out Carmichael Industries for help.”
5.03 – Chuck vs. Frosted Tips
^thanks to Bundy for the find!
Guest Stars: Carrie Anne Moss (Gertrude Verbanski)
“CHUCK VERSUS THE FROSTED TIPS”
11/11/2011 (08:00PM – 09:00PM) (Friday) : WHEN LIFE AS THE INTERSECT INFLATES MORGAN’S EGO, CHUCK IS TESTED AS BOTH HIS HANDLER AND HIS FRIEND—CARRIE-ANNE MOSS GUEST STARS—As the team is tasked with finding one of the CIAs most wanted, Chuck (Zachary Levi) fears that the Intersect may be going to Morgan’s (Joshua Gomez) head. Meanwhile Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) helps Casey (Adam Baldwin) navigate his relationship with Gertrude (guest star Carrie-Anne Moss). Elsewhere, Captain Awesome (Ryan McPartlin) makes a startling revelation about Jeff (Scott Krinsky) and Lester (Vik Sahay). Sarah Lancaster also stars.
7-2011 TV Line:
The former Ms. Trinity will have a multi-episode arc as Gertrude Verbanski, “a former spy who now runs Verbanski Corp, the chief rival of Chuck’s new spy company. She’s ruthless and deadly, yet she also has a weak spot for one John Casey — her old rival.”
8-2011 Mo Ryan: (snippet):
There’s the casting of ‘Matrix’ star Carrie-Anne Moss in a multi-episode arc as Gertrude Verbanski, the head of a private espionage agency that competes with Chuck’s new firm. A woman as tough, competitive and weapons-obsessed as Gertrude naturally appeals to John Casey.
“What we wanted to do this season is really kind of open up [Casey] to a new romantic relationship, and we thought we needed someone as badass as him,” Fedak said. “Carrie-Anne seemed like the perfect fit.”
5.04 – Chuck vs. the Business Trip
Guest Stars: David Koechner, Catherine Dent
Chuck and Sarah track an assassin who is trying to eliminate the new intersect; Morgan tries to adjust to having the intersect; Jeff exposes a new side of himself.
“CHUCK VERSUS THE BUSINESS TRIP”
11/18/2011 (08:00PM – 09:00PM) (Friday) : CHUCK AND SARAH MUST UNCOVER AN ASSASSIN AMONG THE EMPLOYEES OF A BUY MORE SALES CONVENTION—DAVID KOECHNER AND CATHERINE DENT GUEST STAR—Chuck (Zachary Levi) and Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) go undercover at a Buy More convention to hunt down an assassin whose mission is to take down the new Intersect. Meanwhile, Morgan (Joshua Gomez) must deal with the consequences of having the Intersect. At the Buy More, Jeff (Scott Krinsky) begins to show a very different side of himself. Adam Baldwin, Sarah Lancaster, Ryan McPartlin, Vik Sahay and Mark Christopher Lawrence also star.
The actor-comedian [David Koechner] will guest star in the fourth episode of the show’s fifth and final season as “Crazy Bob,” a jolly Buy More manager with whom Chuck and Sarah encounter at the company’s Employee of the Year Convention.
The Shield‘s Catherine Dent also appears in the episode as Jane Robertson, another Buy More manager and a close friend of Bob’s.
Buy More’s new owners Chuck and Sarah spared no expense on the convention, as evidenced by their choice of venue: The beautiful Aloha Hawaiian Hotel and Resort located in (wait for it) Riverside, Calif.
5.05 – Chuck vs. the Hack Off
^thanks again to Bundy for the find!
Director: Zachary Levi
Guest Stars: Danny Pudi, Beau Garrett
“CHUCK VERSUS THE HACK OFF”
12/09/2011 (08:00PM – 09:00PM) (Friday) : AN UNDERCOVER MISSION AT A BIZARRE CULT RECONNECTS CHUCK WITH HIS HACKER PAST — CARRIE-ANNE MOSS, BEAU GARRETT AND DANNY PUDI GUEST STAR — DIRECTED BY ZACHARY LEVI — A mission to track down a computer super virus leads Chuck (Zachary Levi) to return to his roots as a hacker — and to call on his biggest competition, Gertrude Verbanksi (guest star Carrie-Anne Moss), for help. Elsewhere, a new Buy More employee (guest star Danny Pudi) complicates Jeff (Scott Krinsky) and Lester’s (Vik Sahay) friendship. Yvonne Strahovski, Adam Baldwin, and Joshua Gomez also star.
From Mo Ryan and AOL TV:
We can exclusively reveal that Danny Pudi, ‘Community’s’ Abed, will have a cameo role in the fifth episode of the upcoming season of ‘Chuck.’ The details of his role are still under wraps, but really, what more do you need to know? Pudi is a very funny man and ‘Chuck’ will no doubt pull out all the stops to make sure his time in the spy world will be, in a word, awesome.
We can tell you exclusively that Tron: Legacy beauty Beau Garrett has been cast in what sounds like a very creepy role: a cult leader! What are the details on her role? And what’s it have to do with Chuck (Zachary Levi) and Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski)? You have questions, we have answers…
5.06 – Chuck vs. The Curse
Guest Stars: Rebecca Romijn
From Spoiler TV:
Joining in the fun is Simms, an intense, slightly creepy CIA agent who may be what Team Bartowski needs to defeat Romijn. Or not.
5.07 – Chuck vs. TBD
Writers: Amanda Kate Shuman
Director: Peter Lauer
Guest Stars: Rebecca Romijn, Brandon Routh, Stan Lee
Spoilers: This will be a Christmas episode!
5.08 – Chuck vs. TBD
Writers: Rafe Judkins & Lauren LeFranc
Director: Matt Barber
Guest Stars: Cheryl Ladd, Tim Dekay
Former Charlie’s Angels sleuth Cheryl Ladd has been tapped to play the mother of Yvonne Strahovski’s Sarah on Chuck — and TVLine readers can (maybe) take credit for the casting!
Last week, TVLine suggested five actresses for the plum part, one of whom was Ladd. And when all the votes in the accompanying poll were counted, the 60-year-old actress won with nearly 27 percent.
Well done, my friends. Well. Done.
Look for Sarah’s estranged mum, Emma, to turn up in this season’s eighth episode, slated to air in January. I’m told mother and daughter share a very complicated past and haven’t seen each other in five years.
Something tells me we’re about to find out why.
5.09 – Chuck vs. the Kept Man
5.10 – Chuck vs. TBD
Macfadyen’s arc (as a villain) will span the last four episodes of Chuck‘s fifth and final season
5.11 – Chuck vs. TBD
5.12 – Chuck vs. TBD
Writers: Rafe Judkins & Lauren LeFranc
5.13 – Chuck vs. TBD
Writers: Chris Fedak