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It's Official: NBC Renews "Chuck," Holds Off Airing Until Midseason

You read it here the other day but NBC has now officially announced the return of Chuck for the 2009-10 season via a press release that signals a partnership between the Peacock and Subway.

The renewal for Chuck, from Warner Bros. Television, marks an order for a third season of the much beloved action comedy which returns to NBC, thanks to an innovative partnership between the network and sponsor Subway.

"This innovative partnership is a perfect example of the effectiveness of the NBC Infront," said NBC Entertainment Co-Chairman Ben Silverman. "By involving Subway early in the process, we were able to bring a quality show like Chuck back to NBC for next season. Everybody wins -- NBC, Subway, and the loyal fans who so enthusiastically lobbied for Chuck's renewal."

The partnership with Subway marks a multi-platform deal that will "offer a variety of opportunities that will include significant integration into the show, as well as traditional advertising tie-ins."

One downer, however: Chuck isn't expected to return now until midseason but it WILL return to its old stomping ground at Mondays at 8 pm, according to The New York Times, following the conclusion of the Winter Olympics. NBC has ordered thirteen episodes of Chuck but Silverman indicated that number could increase and Chuck could in fact continue to run through the summer.

Chuck co-creator Josh Schwartz, meanwhile, emailed TV Week's Josef Adalian when news went out about the official renewal. "We are happy to be back," said Schwartz via email. "Ready to serve - whenever. Wherever. We have the best audience in the world and we will do everything we can to make this worth the wait.

The full press release from NBC, announcing the third season renewal of Chuck, can be found below.

NBC RENEWS POPULAR ACTION-COMEDY 'CHUCK' FOR THE 2009-2010 SEASON WITH SUBWAY AS MAJOR SPONSOR

Innovative Advertising Partnership With Subway Validates NBC's Early "Infront" Process

Renewal Represents Triumph for Fans and TV Critics Who Waged Successful Online and Twitter "Save Chuck" Campaign Supported by Subway

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. - May 19, 2009 - NBC is pleased to announce that due to an innovative advertising partnership with Subway, the fan-favorite and critically-lauded series "Chuck" will return for the 2009-10 season. The announcement was made by Ben Silverman, Co-Chairman, NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, and Mike Pilot, President, Sales and Marketing, NBC Universal.

"This innovative partnership is a perfect example of the effectiveness of the NBC Infront," said Silverman. "By involving Subway early in the process, we were able to bring a quality show like 'Chuck' back to NBC for next season. Everybody wins -- NBC, Subway, and the loyal fans who so enthusiastically lobbied for 'Chuck's' renewal."

"The synergy of the deal with Subway validates the Infront process," added Pilot. "Our goal with the Infront is to initiate early and ongoing dialogue with our advertising clients regarding the network's programming. We were thrilled when Subway, who had been integrated into the show lately, expressed a desire to expand their relationship with the series in a creative way."

"Our customers love 'Chuck' so we are happy to help bring the show back through our partnership with NBC," said Tony Pace, Chief Marketing Officer, SFAFT. "We have been working with NBC Universal extensively, well beyond the traditional upfront marketplace discussions, to craft ground-breaking, multi-platform deals, which we believe provide a more engaging way of getting our messages to our consumer audiences. And, since program development is essentially year round, we have found NBC's Infront process to be helpful in that we can be part of the conversation as programming decisions are made."

The multi-platform partnership with Subway will offer a variety of opportunities that will include significant integration into the show, as well as traditional advertising tie-ins.

"Chuck" has been heralded by TV Guide as classic TV escapism -- a funny, smart, stylish, silly action comedy, a hoot with heart, pure entertainment that mixes danger, humor and romance in a satisfying package."

In its second season, "Chuck" averaged a 2.8 rating, 7 share in adults 18-49 and 7.3 million viewers overall in a highly competitive time period that includes competition from Fox's "House," ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" and CBS's "Big Bang Theory" and "How I Met Your Mother." "Chuck" over-delivered in upscale households, scoring a 115 index of adults 18-49 living in homes with $75,000+ incomes (with 100 representing an average concentration of those homes in the general 18-49 population) and generated 28 percent of its adult 18-49 audience through DVR time-shifting. The February 2 "3-D" episode of "Chuck" (3.0 rating, 7 share in 18-49, 8.5 million viewers overall) nabbed NBC's highest non-Olympic 18-49 rating in the time period since February 25, 2008.

From executive producer, Josh Schwartz ("The O.C.") and executive producer-director McG ("Charlie's Angels," "We Are Marshall"), the one-hour, action-comedy series follows Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi, "Less Than Perfect") -- a computer geek who is catapulted into a new career as the government's most vital secret agent. When Chuck opens an e-mail subliminally encoded with government secrets, he unwittingly downloads an entire server of sensitive data into his brain. Now, the fate of the world lies in the unlikely hands of a guy who works at a Buy More Electronics store. Instead of fighting computer viruses, he must now confront assassins and international terrorists.

With the government's most precious secrets in Chuck's head, Major John Casey of the National Security Agency (Adam Baldwin, "My Bodyguard") assumes the responsibility of protecting him. His partner is the CIA's top agent (and Chuck's first date in years), Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski, "Gone"). They'll try to keep him safe by trading in his pocket protector for a bulletproof vest. Also starring are Joshua Gomez ("Without a Trace") as Morgan Grimes, Chuck's best buddy, and Sarah Lancaster ("What About Brian?") as Chuck's ever-supportive sister, Ellie. Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak wrote, "Chuck," which is produced by College Hill Pictures, Wonderland Sound and Vision, in association with Warner Bros. Television.

Comments

katm said…
I really appreciate what Subway has done. It shows that fans can really influence advertisers in a big way. However, waiting til Februrary is just too long. Chuck took a major viewship hit after the writer's strike. Plus, with it not starting until February, not much chance of full 22. Hopefully, whatever is on at 8pm on Mondays in September will crash & burn. I know I won't be watching NBC until February. I'll be boycotting NBC--not a problem--new shows stink anyways.
Does that mean that Chuck's undercover job is now working at Subway?
Annie said…
You announced it the other day but it's still good news anyway! Good on NBC for bringing Chuck back whenever and however they could.
Jace Lacob said…
Danielle,

I could certainly see Sarah donning a Subway visor as part of her cover story next season...
Mazza said…
I'd love it if Chuck aired all through next summer and we still got a 22 ep season without breaks from feb to august and then 4th season too! PLEASE NBC!!!!

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