Sci-Fi Fodder

Why "Chuck" Hasn't Been Cancelled

Matt Roush, in his "Ask Matt" column for TV Guide, answered a question about the need for a "Save the Show" campaign for the NBC drama, "Chuck". It is no secret that the NBC Monday night rating have been low, coming in just ahead of FOX, but well behind ABC and CBS in the ratings. "Chuck" is basically getting smashed by 'Dancing With The Stars", "How I Met Your Mother" and "Big Bang Theory".

In the column, Matt responded that "...I wish it were doing better, but given the generally positive press it's been getting amid the up-and-down ratings, I'm expecting NBC to be patient with this one". He then advocates a move away from Monday, to avoid the juggernaut that is "Dancing With The Stars".

I have another reason why it is still on the air: the pending Writer's Strike.

It seems to me that in a previous season, "Chuck" (and possibly "Journeyman") would have already been cancelled. Sure, both shows are solid and have moderate viewing bases. But, in previous seasons, the networks have been ruthless toward "Chuck"-type programming. This season, the only show that I know that has been cancelled is "Viva Laughlin" - and it was a karoake musical that really never should have aired at all!

I think that the networks are hedging their bets. Why not burn off all of a show's stock, especially if it is getting moderately good reviews? I think we are lucky - this is the way it should be every time, not just in a strike year. Many shows, especially in the Sci-Fi genre, require time to mature. The pending strike is providing the opportunity.

I've been moderately impressed with both "Chuck", "Journeyman", and on another night - "Life". In the case case of "Journeyman" and "Life", the lead actors caused me to give it a look, having been impressed by their work on "Rome" and "Band of Brothers", respectively. I've not been dissappointed.

"Chuck" lured me in with the "Lost" hook in the second episode, so I sought it out online and watched, was surprised by both the humor and the story-telling, and have stayed with the show.

At least NBC seems inclined to give give them all a chance, unlike ABC which yanked the fairly decent "Lost" time-filler replacements "Daybreak" and "Traveller" just as they were getting interesting.

Of course if "Lost" comes back on Mondays at 8, I'm in trouble.

-- Posted by: Cecil Rose at October 31, 2007 1:18 PM

I'm glad the pending strike may give some shows a fighting chance to survive, namely "Life" and "Moonlight."

-- Posted by: KayDee at October 31, 2007 10:47 PM

Actually, it's more likely that if the strike lasts any length of time, the shows that are on the bubble will never come back after the strike is over.

I remember 1988....

-- Posted by: Mike Shields at November 6, 2007 9:31 AM

I remember the strike of '88. I loved "V - the series" and it got cancelled after the strike was over.

I enjoy Chuck. I think it's pretty funny and Zach Levi is pretty charming. Adam Baldwin is perfect in the role of Casey.

-- Posted by: Connie at November 9, 2007 2:16 AM

I am getting so tired of getting interested in a television show just to have them cancel during a cliff hanger.
I'd be very dissapointed if CHUCK was one of them. I really enjoy the humor. It's impossible not to fall in love with Zach's character.
I like looking forward to Mondays.

-- Posted by: Michele S. at December 13, 2007 9:01 AM