There's good news on the 'Chuck' ratings front
Well, "Chuck" fans, it's been a long road with this series so far, and it's nowhere near the end, but after the ratings news of this week, it sure seems as though we'll be seeing this show coming back for a fourth season. Now, it's not a done deal, and if you've got any spare $5 bills lying around, you might want to run down to Subway, but it sure seems as though "Chuck" is going to be the least of NBC's worries. And given that NBC has many, many worries, what with the whole "Jay Leno Show" implosion, it sure seems as though "Chuck" being a consistent performer with a dedicated audience is going to be enough to keep it around for a little while. And because Season 4 usually equals Season 5 (the better to get to 100 episodes and big syndication dollars), I'd say we "Chuck" fans are in good shape.
The first piece of good news came Tuesday morning, when "Chuck" posted a ratings number that was up 8% from where the show was when it last left the air. It was also good enough for the series to be NBC's No. 1 show Monday night (something that's been true ever since "Chuck" came back, Dan Fienberg points out). Do you really think NBC would cancel a show that was No. 1 on one of the key nights of the TV week? The numbers for "Chuck" could be better, but they're at least consistently average, and that's likely to count for something.
All of this is probably helped by the fact that NBC prime-time president Angela Bromstad didn't quite come out and say the show would be back but said encouraging things in that regard in this interview with the Hollywood Reporter. First, she called the show's numbers this season a "pleasant surprise," and then she said, "Well, it's got to maintain, and it depends on development." Now, if there's one thing "Chuck" has done this season, it's maintain. The show has been remarkably consistent in its numbers. In addition, one of NBC's surefire pickups for next season is a J.J. Abrams-produced spy show. Now, granted, some might see this as a sign that NBC will pick one spy drama over the other, but I wouldn't be surprised if the network tried to piggyback the two off each other, provided the tones of the two series are different enough.
Now, again, none of this is a surefire thing, but if you're a "Chuck" fan worried about Season 4, I'd say things are looking up.
-- Todd VanDerWerff (follow me on Twitter at @tvoti)
Photo: Zachary Levi's Chuck has a good shot at seeing the show with his name in the title get a fourth season. Credit: NBC