March 23, 2010

My Two-Cents on Chuck vs. the Cancellation Threat

I personally think that the last couple of episodes of Chuck have been the show's best, and season 3 is shaping up to be the best of the series, but unfortunately not enough people share my opinions. The whole Chuck-pocalypse started by the Suck shippers being pissy seems to have had a ripple effect that is threatening to take our beloved show down.

Chuck vs. the Numbers
By now, most die-hard Chucksters have heard the bad news that last night's great "Chuck vs. the Final Exam" did not rebound when it came to the ratings. Unfortunately, we cannot blame Daylight Saving Time this time around, although Dancing with the Stars did have a record season debut.

I've been a loyal fan since day one, but even I have to admit that the show's chances for a fourth season are next to none. Chuck is officially on life support and $5 foot-longs cannot change its fate. Now, I'm not saying that the show is DoA, but things are not looking very good.

Chuck vs. the Network
NBC might shock us all and bring back Chuck for a shortened (13 episodes) order and use it as a mid-season replacement as a way for the storylines to be wrapped up, but Chuck's numbers have never dictated that kind of treatment. Sure, it has a cult following (which is apparently dwindling), but the ratings have never been stellar. Now, if NBC brings back Heroes for the same reason, then maybe just maybe Chuck can be brought back too. That scenario is far-fetched, but the debate right now is whether NBC has enough quality shows and pilots to put together a full schedule next season.

The biggest roadblock confronting season 4 of Chuck is NBC really doesn't have incentive to bring it back.  Heroes is produced by NBC sibling, Universal Media Studios, so ultimately NBC benefits from additional episodes of Heroes, while Chuck is produced by Warner Bros. The corporation will not gain much, if anything at all, by airing Chuck next season.

Chuck vs. the Longshot
If NBC cancels Chuck, that doesn't mean hope is dead and gone because there are some longshot scenarios, but they are extremely unlikely. One possible saving grace for Chuck would be if the CW picks up the show since that network is co-owned by Warners. Chuck's numbers could help the networklet by bringing in new viewers, and it could strengthen the CW's working relationship with Josh Schwartz (he is also in charge of Gossip Girl). The CW could even make an all-spy line-up with Chuck and the new Nikita or Nomads. You could even team up Chuck with GG or even put it on Fridays with Smallville for one last hurrah.

Another possible, but even less likely, option would be if TNT (another WB company) picks up the show like it did for another WB TV show and NBC castoff, Southland. Chuck's track record, and following, is more established than SL, so if TNT was willing to take a risk on that show, why not take a potentially less costly risk on Chuck too? The biggest difference between the two is the fact that Southland episodes were already shot prior to its cancellation by NBC. I'm a little selfish by hoping for this option because a night of Leverage and Chuck would literally blow my mind.

Now, I'm realistic enough to know that these options are pipe dreams and will probably never happen, but there is still hope...even if it is foolish hope.

Chuck vs. the Final Nail
As much as it pains me to admit it, we Chuck fans need come to grips with the reality that our show is on borrowed time. Sure, a miracle could happen, and we could get a fourth season, but we shouldn't hold our collective breath. We just need to prepare ourselves for the show's ending, and be thankful that we got three seasons of Chucky goodness.


Kristal said...

I think this will be the end of Chuck, unfortunately. I doubt a cable network will pick it because it is an expensive show to produce by their standards. Southland works on TNT because NBC paid for those episodes to be made, and then canceled it before any of Season 2 aired. It started out so strong this season, it just makes me sad that it dwindled in these past couple weeks just when the show is at its strongest.

Marcos said...

I pretty much agree with you 100%, and my coping process has begun.

Anonymous said...


And I was loving Season 3...

Marcos said...

@Anon - I feel ya...

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