NBC and their 2009/2010 Schedule

When NBC announced their 2009/2010 TV Schedule my first thought was “This makes as much sense as Bristol Palin’s Abstinence Tour,” but I’ve since had some time to think about all the crazy stuff BS has in store for us in 2009/2010:

HEROES moving to 7/8pm.  The move up by an hour places HEROES up against HOUSE, DANCING WITH THE STARS, The CBS comedy block of BIG BANG THEORY and HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, and GOSSIP GIRL.  They also gave us the information that HEROES would run 19 consecutive episodes off (and I’m guessing 2 weeks off during the Holiday Season).  Bryan Fuller is going to have to work a miracle.  This will be a fun ratings fight to witness, and I’m convinced HEROES fans will be blaming the move on their likely ratings drop.  I’d also take the over on Tim Kring making another stupid comment about the people who watch his show.

CHUCK getting 10 months off.  Every one’s favorite Nerd Herder quit his job and learned Kung Fu.  We know Subway is going to be playing a big part in the new season.  I think Josh and Chris will actually improve upon this series if they keep Chuck out of the Buy More.  I also suggest more Scott Bakula.  However will it survive the 10 month hiatus?

Sure.  CHUCK fans need to keep the hype alive.  TV BY THE NUMBERS commentor Rick Holy suggests giving friends and family a CHUCK Christmas.  Buy them DVD sets of Season 1 and Season 2.  This will give your friends and family plenty of time to get hooked.  The Olympics are likely to make a big bruha about CHUCK season 3 and CHUCK is lucky that it will be the first scripted show to air on NBC after the Olympics ends.  Subway, NBC, and CHUCK fans can help make this work.  I’m going to bet on CHUCK making it and…

CHUCK getting a summer run in 2010.  BS said he’d like to air new CHUCK over the summer if they could pull it off and combine it with FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS.  I really like this idea.  I really like this idea if they take FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS off of Friday.  This is NBC’s top critically acclaimed show after THE OFFICE and 30 ROCK but they keep it on Friday where it goes to wilt away every season.  Just because the show has the name Friday in it doesn’t mean it has to air on Friday.  A CHUCK/FNL combo would be an entertaining package and might actually help both grow new viewers.  Viewers don’t have summer viewing habits and there for CHUCK could actually grow over the summer.  This has worked in the past for FOX and 90210 in the 90s.

The biggest change seems to be that NBC is going to “seasonal programming.”  The new shows premiering in the Fall are not scheduled for the Spring with the exception of the comedy COMMUNITY.  You also have a new 90 minute version of THE BIGGEST LOSER which is being used as a launching pad for 100 QUESTIONS.  I like the idea of seasonal programming it has worked for Cable now for years.  If shows like TRAUMA make it and only air in the Fall, that’s not a bad thing.  I also believe this is going to open up some more programming for the summer.

We all knew about LENO.  LENO will rule the airwaves from 9/10pm five nights a week!  ABC is celebrating and I think the Mouse might just send BS a thank you gift for giving them 2nd place guaranteed for the 9/10pm time slot.

I like a lot of what NBC is doing, but I also shake my head at their line up.  The pilots aren’t as good as the pilots that FOX, ABC, and CBS have.  They are better than what the CW has, but then again PBS has a better line up than the CW.

Check out TV BY THE NUMBERS and their take on the schedule plus commentary.

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104 responses to “NBC and their 2009/2010 Schedule

  1. I know this is NBC and this is basically an impossible fantasy, but say Trauma gets 4+ in the demo. Do you really think they’ll bench it in the spring? I just don’t see that honestly happening. They’ll shorten Apprentice to one hour or drop Southland to make room for Mercy, but I don’t see them pulling a show that is getting real ratings.

  2. They’ve painted themselves into a corner when you look at the schedule. We know some shows will fail as they’re bound to do every season. When you look at their schedule for dramas you basically have Monday and Wednesday as being a viable option. They’re betting on seasonal TV, and I admit it’s a gamble.

    However if they end up having a true hit (a 4+ in the demo) I see that show getting a back 9 picked up and the mid-season schedule getting tossed in the trash. They’d be insane to not try and milk their first hit in years.

  3. It’s a super safe gamble, at least. No one will really notice if they change up their midseason schedule. They could even hold Mercy or Day One for summer like they are doing this year with, well, everything.

  4. Glad to see you have your own site =)

    Your prediction that the 10-month hiatus may actually help Chuck (since it will be on directly after the Olympics, and theoretically will get some advertising) is interesting. After your predictions have mostly come true this year, it gives me some good hope for the future! I really hope they actually DO advertise, since I can’t tell you how many times I bring up Chuck with people and they say “What is that?”.

    As for the Chuck webisodes in the Fall, are they planning to be as short as the previous ones? I mean, one minute clips are neat and all, but I fail to see how that’s going to keep the internet community simmering, so to speak.

  5. Oh, one more question. Everyone seems to have a fairly negative opinion of Ben Silverman. Is this because he is apparently terrible at his job, and/or because he is full of it? I’m wondering how much stock to put in his assurances of promotion and a lack of budget cuts for the show.

  6. Sam B, thanks I’m glad to have my own little soap box. I have to admit though that my predictions came true because they were based on information rather than tea leaves.

    The webisodes are likely to be like what EUReKA did on the SCI-FI channel a while back. I believe they’ll be 2 to 5 minutes long and be a serial. However they’re still discussing what the webisodes will be. From the ideas I heard thrown out the 2 to 5 minute serials sounded the best to me.

    As for people having a problem with Benji… Ben is 38 years old, good looking, a powerful Hollywood job, cocky, full of himself, and a hard guy not to like when you meet him in person. In other words he’s everything most men wish they were. Because Ben is like that he is going to be slammed with his mistakes. Unfortunately for him he has made more mistakes at NBC than successes.

    What BS is: an attention whore. He really is and that in my opinion isn’t a minus for the job he has. It’s a plus. He knows and understands image. So because of that aspect of him I foresee CHUCK getting the promotion it deserves in the Olympics.

  7. Sweet, sounds good =). Glad to hear that the webisode discussions are leaning towards making them more substantial.

  8. Nice to see this site up. I will be referring people who are getting on my nerves about being so negative all the time about Chuck 🙂

  9. Nice to see your website up and running. I too will be following closely.

  10. imkeh, I better make a CHUCK category then and keep some CHUCK related stuff in that category. Keeping this all organized will be the toughest part for me.

    VYuci, good to see you here! I’m going to try and write some stuff that will invite clashing opinions. We’ll see how it goes. I’ll also drop some inside stuff here, but I’ll definitely be repeating or posting it first on TVBTN.

  11. Nick C, yup making categories and tags as you’ve done in this post will keep things organized.

    Here’s what I wrote on TVBTN:

    Nick C, I for one will be following your blog. It’s fairly easy to get started as you’ve seen. WordPress is for free! I suggest asking for someone you trust to manage the content/design/hosting if that’s what you want. Your site could potentially become big and you want someone you can count on and who knows their stuff. Ask for recommendations from people who have successful blogs.

    If you just want to rant/write, just keep it as it is and keep writing. Easy peasy. It gets more complicated once you do want to make money. I clicked on your link. As it is, you don’t need someone to run it. Just keep ranting/writing/critiquing or whatever it is you do and the people will come. You’ve got great inside info and you could blow nikkifinke out of the water. 🙂

  12. Hey Nick glad to see you with your own space….And I loved the Bristol Palin Abstinence tour! HAHA I really like the idea of Seasonal TV. It gives the opportunity to keep TV fresh, and If NBC ends up with a hit it opens the door to them having 2 seasons a year (sort of like what CBS does with Survivor) Also I think that Heroes at 8 will not be able to handle the competition from the other networks. The show really lost a lot of viewers this past season and it’s going to be really hard for NBC to convince them to come back to the show. I can actually see Chuck pulling higher ratings over Heroes when you compare the 2 shows at the end of the season.

  13. nick c, not sure if you’re still around, but i don’t think i’ve seen an answer to this (though i may have forgotten after reading all the comments): is there any chance that, if a fall show does not do well, Chuck would start earlier to take its place? or will its shooting schedule not allow for that since it’s intended for spring? thanks for all your insight and for being so positive about Chuck’s chance at success despite the massive hiatus…

  14. imkeh, yeah I’m going to try and keep it organized. I’m planning on mixing opinion pieces with news and then my own take on the news. If it gets big over here I’ll have to figure out if it’s smart to find someone to take over this and try and make it a decent business venture for them. Supposedly if there are heavy hits they’ll try and make me pay for this service. When/If that happens I’ll move on to my own dedicated server somewhere else.

  15. Tommy, I have to agree I’m a fan of the idea behind “seasonal tv,” however my fear is that NBC doesn’t have the product for it. In all honesty BURN NOTICE is better than anything NBC has on it. I like CHUCK, but I love me some BURN NOTICE. Any show that takes full advantage of Bruce Campbell deserves the greatness it receives. BURN NOTICE however along with PSYCH and MONK have proven that summers are a good place for new tv.

    HEROES is the dead man walking over at NBC. I thought PUSHING DAISIES was the dead man walking going into last season at ABC so it’s kind of a shame that Bryan Fuller is attached to both. He’s a very talented writer and it’s a shame the way things end up sometimes. HEROES though is entirely the fault of NBC. NBC should have fired and replaced Kring before season 3 ever went into production.

  16. ChuckNut, I think it’s possible. It will all depend on whether or not Chris and Josh have product for NBC at the time. It also depends on which show gets canned. If it’s SOUTHLAND, I see DEAL OR NO DEAL or something coming in and taking its spot. If it’s TRAUMA or PARENTHOOD that is an entirely different story.

    Personally, I’m thinking the mid-season placement may be the best thing for CHUCK outside of starting the Fall season on Wednesday at 7/8pm. Since the latter isn’t happening then lets get behind creating some hype before it airs.

    Also don’t forget their will be some cool web content. They are going to have to make it worthwhile or its not going to help keep the interest going that the show has currently.

  17. awesome, thanks for the rapid response. yeah, that’s my biggest concern, waning interest. here’s hoping nbc will promote the heck out it; twe fans will do our part, but we can only do so much…

  18. I’m excited to see you with your own blog Nick! Although that does mean I’ll be checking 2 sites now for stories about TV.

    Is that the true definition of a TV addict—when you watch SO MUCH TV, you read websites about it too?

  19. Wow Nick C., that was fast. A couple of posts on TVbytheNumbers saying you were thinking about starting your own blog, and then POOF! Here it is. Nice job 🙂

    “…but then again, PBS has a better lineup than the CW”. That made me smile. I can see the defensive CW press release now: “Despite some comments from critics that PBS has a better lineup than the CW, every single CW show has managed to beat PBS in the all-important 18-34 demo.”

  20. icalyn, thanks it’s great to know I’ll be in good company with TVBTN in your opinion! I love that site. Robert and Bill have provided a great site for people to get ratings and discuss things in a much more intellectual manner than some other sites I won’t mention.

  21. Grace W, well Julia mentioned this site (wordpress) and it was really easy to make. I’m seeing if I can find a voice people are interested on here and if so I’ll continue doing it.

    As for the CW and having better 18-34 demos than PBS… they may, but the quality of product they provide isn’t as good as PBS in my mind. The CW is so poorly run it amazes me that nobody stops and goes “couldn’t a blind monkey do better?”

  22. Was unfortunately banned by TVBTN. Let personal things get to me but i assure you nick i wont be starting anything here.

    Nice to see your blog is up and running. All the best

  23. Thanks for all of the inside information.

    After reading your blog I feel much better about Chuck starting in March. If starting in March is better for the show, then I’m all for it. I’m still disappointed by the news but it’s for selfish reasons. I just have to settle for watching the DVD’s.

    I am on episode 7 of the Season 1 DVD of Burn Notice. I like it so far but at this point I like Chuck more.

  24. Ant, yeah I’d heard that in the grapevine but nothing specific. I’m sure you’ll behave yourself and I look forward to your opinions on here.

  25. JT808, I think CHUCK can survive. The critics will remind people, and with a little smart promotional work during the Olympics I can see it starting well. Then it’s up to Chris and Josh to provide the goods and I’m certain they will.

    As for BURN NOTICE it wasn’t until season 2 that I was really hooked. I think the main 3 stars chemistry is great and they’re really into it all by season 2.

  26. Whoops also i forgot to ask. Is BS a fan of Chuck? Judging from comments made from him to Sepinwall and others, he was very impressed with the fans campaign and was delighted at the SUBWAY deal. Unless it was all exec talk

  27. Good luck for your blog

  28. Wow, this is awesome that you’ve got your own blog, Nick! Can’t wait to read up on what’s really going on in TV land.

    Its really too bad about Heroes, that show used to be great. The story is just all over the place now. It makes no sense. NBC probably should have held it till midseason to let Fuller try to fix it, but I don’t know, after watching the finale I’m not sure the show is actually fixable anymore.

    As for Chuck I really hope the show can capitalize on NBC’s decision to give it the Olympic spot. There are some fan campaigns about to get underway, to try to bring in new viewers to the show. There are ideas for getting DVDs to friends, using social media avenues to get people interested and to watch online, and then for when the show premieres to have a “watch it live” campaign. And if NBC uses the Olympics to promote the show, I really think that can give Chuck a kickstart right off the bat. Maybe not a jump like the Superbowl gave it, but I think even moving .2 or .3 in the 18-49 up from it’s finale would be a good start.

  29. Ant, I don’t know if BS is a fan, but he likes CHUCK.

    Frank, it’s a shame about HEROES. There was a show that could and should have been NBC’s new tent pole. It should have helped that Network rise out of 4th place and instead NBC didn’t nurture it and to the surprise of no one I know didn’t have a clue about what people liked about it. So when scripts came in they just said “Oh I see it has Sylar well panels showed they liked him!” It was a mess and it fell apart fast. When the first tremors were felt they should have kicked Kring out.

    As for CHUCK I suggest fans enjoy the webisodes. If they’re good maybe link to them on blogs, facebook, tweet them, etc. Around Christmas is a good time and opportunity for getting box sets out there.

    If it debuts with a 2.6 it’s up to Chris and Josh to deliver quality product. I believe they will.

  30. Nick, Thanks for starting this blog. I’ve enjoyed your comments at TVBTN and look forward to reading your opinions and news reports here. Best of luck with the new venture.

  31. Thats good to hear he likes the show Nick.

    With all the critical acclaim and buzz surrounding Chuck, it would not surprise me in the slightest if Chuck is a staple of NBCs schedule like 24, House, CSI etc is to there respective networks.

  32. David1, thanks!

    Ant, the potential is there for CHUCK to be a hit, but the time is running out. It is rare for a show to become a hit after a 3rd season, so NBC needs to invest in CHUCK and I believe if they do it will pay off.

  33. I hope it will pay off. I havent been this vested in a show since Jericho. Hopefully NBC has learned from CBSs mistakes.

    Oh and if it is not too much of a bother..put in a good word for me at TVBTN lol. Miss commenting there

  34. Hopefully they’ll make some quality Chuck webisodes. I think if NBC/WB was able to make some with the three main stars in them (Zac, Yvonne, Adam), that would go a long way to giving the fans some cool stuff to watch in the interim and also giving us something to really recruit new fans with.

    The DVD sets work like magic at creating new fans, but getting people to initially watch takes some work (mostly I think because of the disconnect between the show title, what people think the show is like, and then actually watching an episode and seeing for themselves). Video clips work really well at doing the initial work of getting people interested. Some well made webisodes would be even better since it would be a self-contained story.

  35. Frank, I think they should give us some background on the characters. Since it was left in a To Be Continued state they can’t really do much else. I wouldn’t mind seeing some Casey or Sarah history in little webisodes. Maybe some Chuck & Morgan past pranks at the Buy More as well. Anything that entertains and isn’t cheap and cheesy.

  36. I know the quality was not on par with the original show but on the first webisode last year, it was Casey on how to deal with thieves at the BM.

    Personally i think they should incorporate the Spy world into the webisodes. Like Spy Training 101 etc.

    I think Burn Notice has done something similar

  37. Exactly, Nick, I was thinking the same thing. They could show maybe a standalone mission from S2 that we never saw, background on the characters, maybe Chuck getting Sarah a birthday present to satiate all the shippers out there. Anything that will fill in between the episodes we’ve already seen, maybe even create a mini-series effect that will allow new viewers to transition right into S3, but at the same time won’t encroach on the big changes that will take place as S3 starts. There is a lot of speculation as to how they’ll even start S3, since the show will be airing at midseason. Will they start it right when the “to be continued…” happens? Or later? The show will be off its timeline, so to speak.

  38. Frank, I’m sure they’ll pick up right where they left off for Season 3. They have a lot of options for the webisodes but some serial ones would be for the best. NBC also needs to remind people that CHUCK is coming in the Spring during the Fall on their web site. So it all makes sense to make the most of it. As I mentioned somewhere EUReKA did a solid job with some serial webisodes during either season 1 or season 2.

  39. don’t know if you’re allowing links to other sites, nick c, but here’s an interview from ausiello w. j.s.: http://ausiellofiles.ew.com/2009/05/exclusive-chuck.html

  40. Doesn’t the Subway integration take the pressure off Chuck when it comes to ratings? I would think that considering the ease of product placement in this show they would be out working with Toyota immediately on a deal similar to Subway. They have been really successful in my mind with product placement being well done and not cheesy like 30 Rock.

  41. the thing is, they may be hampered in how far they can proceed in the webisodes without leaving the rest of the viewers lost when the actual season airs.

  42. ChuckNut, the link works.

  43. ChuckNut, thanks for the link! At least Josh cleared up that it was between Friday and mid-season for the fans. Perhaps now they’ll see that NBC made the right decision.

    tullmanj, it entirely depends on how that is all set up. It is likely to help. The other thing that will help is no SUPER BOWL to boost ratings for NBC this season. So if CHUCK even just kept the 2.4 average it had last season that would look much better against the network average.

    I think CHUCK can grow but it will be up to promos & critic/fan support.

  44. ChuckNut, that is why I think they’re likely to do something about character pasts vs in between the seasons. There are plenty of options out there for Chris and Josh to follow up on. However the content has to be tons better than anything they’ve put online in the past.

  45. Nick , sorry to ask you something entirely unrelated but ill be going on holiday in a few days and would love to know what are the chances of ABC reaching a deal for Reaper?

    Once again im sorry for the topic change but i cant comment on TVBTN

  46. (didn’t realize my nickname was tullmanj, sorry) As long as the fan base doesn’t let up in its support I think there has been enough buzz generated to lift the show. 10 months is a long time but also time to get people interested.

    You had written on TVBTN about viewing habits being set by March. Couldn’t the March start help if the shows coming out in the Fall don’t impress? Viewers, more importantly NIelsen families, who are looking for something fresh jump on a hyped show that has a big online following, critical acclaim, and a large popular sponsor?

  47. Ant, REAPER isn’t dead yet, it’s just dead on The CW. I think we’ll hear something soon on it though. ABC will have to let the actor who plays Sock know if he’s able to star on the FOX show SONS OF TUCSON.

  48. JT, it all depends on how NBC and others react when the time gets closer. Hype can be built up over time, and indeed time helps. The problem is will non-CHUCK fanatics give it a shot after they’ve had their viewing habits set? NBC is betting on The Winter Olympics upsetting those habits. Good promos could indeed make some waves.

    I think CHUCK has more of a chance than the new shows. That’s dangerous waters. Ask all the ABC shows that tried March starts this year.

  49. Ah thanks a lot Nick. BTW did you get my comment earlier about the possibility of me affiliating your site with a network of dedicated TV sites?

  50. Ant, we’ll have to wait and see how this blog works out. If I can keep it filled with content and if there is enough participation from others.

  51. Ah i see. Well if you need any help then just ask. I know a few webmasters/coders etc so if you need me then just holla.

  52. Nick …

    If Heroes is really struggling at the 8PM Monday slot and one of their hour long dramas needs to be pulled … what are the odds of NBC bumping heroes back to 9 and putting Chuck reruns on prior to the Olympics to try to build momentum to the premiere … maybe starting in December?

  53. NDBob, anything is possible. However I don’t see them doing HEROES any favors. It either improves or they’re going to toss it. It’s expensive and it’s a reminder that they screwed up its development.

  54. IMHO, nothing can save Heroes at this point.

    I got into the show late in the game and benefited from seeing most of the previous seasons in a short period of time on Netflix. For people who had to wait the normal amount of time between episodes and seasons, I can’t imagine they have a clue what is going on at this point, not to mention the cliff they threw everyone off in the finale.

    Forget saving the world and the cheerleader, save yourself Heroes.

  55. JT, I have to agree. I wonder if what they do is sit in a room at the start of every season and ask themselves “Ok, how do we kill Nathan in the season finale this season?” The show is a sad, sad, sad joke.

  56. I have decided, upon scouring the internet that BS made a ballsy decision with moving Chuck back to Monday at midseason. The orginial plan was to put it on Friday night. But because of the perception of the dying show being put out to pasture goes to Friday, they didn’t want to deliver Chuck DOA. The only other possiblity was for a Wednesday night at 8/7c but Chuck really didn’t fit well there.

    So in a way BS is hedging his bets, he knows that there is a sizable audience out there for Chuck, and a large vocal core. Therefore, leveraging the fervor of the fanbase, smart marketing at the Olympics, and a new season format, he gives Chuck the best shot it can possibly have at becoming a hit. Also the subsidizing of some of the cost to Subway also factor in the potential that expectations can be lowered a bit.

    What does it all mean? If Chuck [b]maintains or grows[/b] the audience after the looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong break, which is the key, then the show will be financially successful.

    BS has set the show up for success, on a personal note, I think that if HEROES doesn’t get better in a hurry (and it won’t), that Chuck would get a quick flip for the fall [b]if[/b] the scenario happens above

  57. It’s a shame because I really enjoyed it for a long time. Some shows veer off course but recover, this one seems to just continue with the foot to floor regardless of how ridiculous the concepts get. Sad indeed since it has such a great cast.

  58. Nick , you just know the way they are gonna bring Nathan back. Claires blood.

  59. Ant, they already would have done it. That was just the major plot hole at the end. She easily could have saved him.

  60. Yeah thats true. You’d have thought she would of had people pay to use it ha

  61. Chorgan, the opportunity is definitely there. It would be better if it was in HEROES spot, but beggars can’t be choosers. CHUCK fans have the show coming back, now they need to do something about it in a smart way. Give out DVDs, etc. Have CHUCK viewing parties (if you have a Nielsen friend watch it there because you don’t want them not watching it!).

  62. I asked you another question earlier this morning, in regard to your gut feeling, on tvbtn, I’ll post it here as well:

    Nick C. what would you say the chances of Chuck getting the back 9 pick up. Gut feeling?

    I know that there are some big “ifs” and “buts.” Let’s just assume that the ratings are maintained or maybe even slightly lower, average around 2.2.

  63. Chorgan, yeah I saw that on TVBTN just now. I also did answer it over there. It’s tough balancing between the two sites but I’m trying.

  64. Well I knew that you would answer my question somewhere, so there you go. Thanks, I’ve also pasted your answer below, on the ouside chance that someone who reads your blog isn’t also reading you on TVBTN 🙂

    NICK C’s answer:

    http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/05/19/nbc-2009-2010-schedule/19031#comment-92295

  65. Nick … Do you think it more likely that they bring Chuck back early with Season 3 or re-run episodes to build up to the (late)mid-season premiere if they need filler? Maybe pick the “mythology-building” Fulcrum episodes out of seasons 1-2 and run them off in Dec-Feb.

  66. The interesting thing about Monday’s in the 8pm hour next year will be the absence of Big Bang. HIMYM does well, but for some reason Big Bang hurts Chuck more. House fans, well I think that demographic is set, the ones who watch Chuck live will keep watching Chuck live, the ones who don’t won’t. Dancing, I don’t know, that show hits hard but seems to taper as the season goes on. So in a way I think Chuck has already “lost” all the viewers it’s going to lose from the other shows. Now it just has to worry about losing the viewers it has. The thing is, I think the way the show ended S2, and if the online content and promotion is good, the fans are so curious about where this thing is going (I mean did any other NBC show trend UP in the demo as it hit its finale this year?) that as long as they know when the premiere is they’ll hopefully tune in.

  67. Frank,

    I definitely agree BBT and Chuck probably share Nielsen families so that could help. I am not sure it really matters though, the decision wasn’t based on ratings but the Subway deal and cost cutting. If NBC can attract similar partnerships through other big name advertisers then I think Chuck lives on with similar ratings next season, even a slight dip.

    I am actually pretty confident that dip won’t happen, I even feel it could crack 10M in the premier since 3-D did 8.5, but 6.5 million average with a few more sponsors signing on would surely get it 22 plus a 2011 renewal.

  68. JT, yeah I’m kind of curious actually about if any more sponsors will pile on. But in his recent interview Schwartz was still saying WB is asking for budget cuts, so who knows.

    I think the real question though is how will NBC define success? Is it all sponsors like FNL or will ratings be the major factor? I’m not sure anyone can answer that until we see what kind of “success” Leno and the host of Fall shows brings to the network. If everything skyrockets in the ratings, then sponsors or not I think Chuck will need to perform to S1 numbers. If shows start failing left and right, I don’t know, I think they’ll take a stable 2.4 from Chuck and be happy. And as it is, NBC ended its season on a downward trend for some pretty name brand shows. The numbers for the Office shocked me actually. A 3.5?

  69. I think the budget cuts are down to the actor contracts Frank.

  70. Ant, that is not what I am hearing, in fact I beleive that offers haven’t even been extended yet, or terms.

  71. Whic interview are you talking about? Ausiello one?

  72. NDBob, if NBC really wants to create “seasonal,” schedules then they would be best served to put reruns in the spot or something else entirely. I’m sure Howie Mandel would do just about anything for NBC and a dollar. I think the seasonal scheduling can work, but it will only work if they stick to it.

  73. CHUCK is going to lower the number of writers and limit the number of appearances for certain actors. I hear they’re laying out an outline that would have the BUY MORE guys not even appear in certain episodes.

    I’ll do a big CHUCK event for comicon and may even try and snare some interviews with peeps. Maybe start a thread with questions for them even.

  74. so wait — they are decreasing the writing staff?

    as for limited appearances by certain actors, not every character appeared in every episode this season, either, so that’s necessarily a major change. unless they change their appearance in the credits from regulars to guests.

    from where is this info, nick c?

  75. Heard from Ali Adler via Twitter that she will be staying and she is one of the main writers. I think its just the writers who did one or two episodes.

  76. Nick, you may know this being as you were relatively close to the situation.

    This Subway/NBC deal. No doubt it helped Chuck get back on the air although i certainly feel it would have been safe regardles. I was just wondering..will it pave the way for more seasons of CHUCK? Being as SUBWAY is a huge sponsor, if Toyota and Apple jump on board then NBC will be making money just on product placement and sponsorship alone right?

  77. ChuckNut, that was my understanding from Warner they’re going to limit talent appearances and shorten the writing staff by up to 2 writers. Perhaps the writers will all agree on a pay cut so everyone stays (sure).

    Ant, product placement Warner makes money on, and I don’t have the specifics of the Subway deal. It’s certain to help. I don’t think Subway wants to invest and not have NBC promote. So I think it all works out anyway.

  78. Ah i see. Thanks for clearing it up Nick. Apparently there was a lot of interest from other networks before NBC renewed. Did you hear anything?

  79. Nick C,

    Sorry if someone commented on this topic already, but what do you think of BBT moving out of the 8pm time slot being less competition for Chuck? It seems like that the two shows share an audience. I’m betting that Chuck should benefit somewhat with BBT gone (now at 930)

  80. Nick, or ANYONE, please what days will they be at Comic-con. When I bought my pass Sat. was already sold out. I only bought Sunday because I’m really not that much of a nerd, just thought it’d be fun. Are they gonna be there Sunday? Do i have to line up at 1 am to see them?

  81. Wow, imkeh, you’re going? Cool! Hope you get to see the cast!

    By the way, Nick, there’s some talk going around as to what Josh Schwartz meant when he said this to Ausiello.

    “We also have something very, very fun planned for Comic-Con this year.”

    Any ideas? Some people on the forums are speculating that they’re going to shoot a Chuck episode at Comic-Con, something about how Schwartz was asked this question last year and he said something like if they were smarter they would have. Wonder if he’s actually going to do it? Personally I think that would be awesome if they did. Talk about publicity for the show! Hell maybe they could shoot for the webisodes, that would be even cooler. Then the fans wouldn’t have to wait so long to see it.

  82. imkeh, it really depends on what day their panel is, but my guess is that Sunday will be too late. They may have other things set up for Comic Con as well. I’ll be there the whole 4 days plus the preview night.

  83. Frank, who knows but that sounds like a logistical as well as copyright nightmare. The webisodes maybe, but an episode? That while not impossible wouldn’t be easy.

  84. Nick, i reckong Comicon would be up for it. It was featured heavily in a few episodes of the first season plus Zachs been going there every year since he was born i think.

    There is a nice message from NBC on the Chuck site saying

    ‘Chuck lovers everywhere rallied around the show- and the effort paid off. Thanks to your support TVs quirkiest gang of nerds and spies will return for a third season’

    Man, i got a feeling NBC is going to promote the hell outta Chuck

  85. Ok, that makes me sad. Hope they’re there next year. I’m gonna pre-buy my pass months before.

  86. well, that’s a real bummer then for those of us who can’t attend… hope someone will post the stuff online somewhere…

  87. The entire Chuck panel from Comic-Con 2008 is on NBC.com, at least it used to be. I’m sure somebody will record this one too.

  88. Where abouts Frank?

  89. Thought i would divulge this information here as i am sitll unable to post on TVBTN.

    Just spoken to an NBC Affiliate friend of mine who went to the Upfronts and several other meetings. She said regarding Chuck that Silverman wants Chuck, along with JS and CF, to be more exciting and dynamic so they are going to tweak it a little bit to let Chuck and the characters grow and have Chuck be a little Jason Bourne ish.

    Also Chuck has a very strong following in NBC. Even more so than Heroes

  90. Ant, this is the full video, 40 minutes. There is a commercial at the beginning.

    http://www.nbc.com/Chuck/video/clips/chuck/280220/

  91. Thanks very much Frank

  92. Ant, I really hope that that’s completely wrong. The reason Chuck is special is because he isn’t Jason Bourne-ish. 😦

  93. I dont think Chuck will be like Jason Bourne but more the mood of the show. More..not darker but intense?

  94. hmm, i have a hard time thinking of jason bourne as an everyman, so i hope that chuck doesn’t loose that aspect of his personality.

    nick c., i hope you can help me out: i’m trying to figure out how to get someone at nbc’s marketing dept. for chuck to consider a certain promotional product. i’ve tried emailing the nbc universal store ppl, they sent me to the nbc people, who said they don’t accept unsolicited creative ideas. really, though, isn’t selling converse chuck’s with the chuck logo on it a decent idea for nbc to consider? (not to mention a t-shirt with the expression “chuck me” on it…) i just need to figure out who to talk to. please advise. thanks!

  95. Yeah i would like to know too ChuckNut. I hve an excellent idea for a viral campaign

  96. ChuckNut, contact Converse. That is the in for that product. Converse would then contact NBC.

  97. ok, i’ll try that. here’s hoping i don’t get another run-around. thanks!

  98. If Chuck were to get the back 9 pickup, wouldn’t NBC have to make the additional order well in advance of the March 2010 premiere?

    NBC cannot wait until the ratings for the first few episodes to make their decision because by that time, production for the 13 episodes will most likely already be wrapped up.

    NBC would have to notify the writers early on so they can properly plan out the season 3 story-arc for either 13 episodes or 22 episodes.

    If my assumptions and BS’ comments regarding Chuck in the summer are true, I think Chuck has an excellent shot at a full 22 episode order. NBC picked up the back 9 for season 2 based solely on the quality of the first few episodes and before even a single episode even aired.

  99. 24-7, what you say is partly true. They can do the pick up when ever they want before they notify Warner they never want any more. That is technically how it can be done. For logistical purposes your way makes more sense however.

    I’m feeling pretty good about a full order of CHUCK.

  100. Nickc- Glad to see your workin today. We were takling about this the other day, so I still have to believe that the back 9 is alomost a slamdunk.

    Taking my line of questioning one step further, if the ratings are maintaining the network average, do you foresee a season 4 pick up in a possibly better time slot? Say Wednesday at 7 in fall of ’10?

  101. Chorgan, for one the network average is going to drop like a rock. There will be no SUPERBOWL to inflate the numbers. There will be LENO to drag the numbers down. So CHUCK would have to do substantially better than the average. The 1.05 it did on:

    http://tvbythenumbers.com/category/renewcancel-index

    The TVBTN Index is going to have be improved upon. I’d guess 1.20+ which will be easier than people think.

  102. I am really worst case scenario-ing it right now.

    I believe that with a proper promtional campaign, both fan-based and company based, that you’ll see the numbers improve. So let’s say hypothetically that Chuck’s viewing levels remain the same, and then slightly improves as the first few episodes air, then can you forsee a solid pick-up for season 4?

  103. Chorgan, I can’t begin to guess until I see how the other new shows do. CHUCK is in a good spot because I think BS wants to turn the hype into something bigger than it was. That is what he says he’s good at. We’ll see.

  104. Hey I am not trying to pin you down, I just like talking in hypotheticals 🙂

    At any rate I am intrigued by the NBC schedule as a whole, I am curious to see how it does with the split season. I have my predictions about Leno being over exposed by the middle of October, off the air by November, and then NBC scrambling for filler. I see a myraid of cheap reality TV, then them rebooting the 10PM hour with more drama.

    I guess the reason that I keep zeroing in on Chuck, is for lack of other options, that it might be a tentpole on their schedule. It is unfortunate, but other than a couple of their comedies and biggest loser they have nothing else. I’m not feeling it on L & O like I used to.
    HEROES is a dead man walking.