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Rumor Mill: "Chuck" Vs. The End of October?

Well, Chuck me.

NBC's action-comedy hybrid Chuck could be back on the airwaves as early as the end of October, according to a report filed by Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello.

Citing an unnamed insider within the production, Ausiello is reporting that NBC might make the decision to put Chuck back on the schedule earlier than anticipated with the series--currently slated to launch its third season in March--possibly kicking off as early as the end of October.

"While it remains unclear whether the little show that could (and has and shall again) would return to its Monday timeslot or find itself a new perch, NBC insiders who’ve seen the first four episodes are calling this season the best yet," writes Ausiello. "But wait, there’s more. If Chuck does come back sooner rather than later, the chances of NBC ordering additional episodes beyond the 13 it initially commissioned increases dramatically."

So it's good news, right? That's where things get murky.

I'd gladly welcome back Chuck sooner rather than later (hell, I've been pleading with NBC to do just that for months now) but the end of October is, well, nearly upon us. Which doesn't leave much time for on-air promotion, advertising, marketing. Or, really, for any of the necessary behind-the-scenes movement necessary to launch a series--or launch a returning series--well.

And then there's the matter of the narrative for the series' third season, which had received a thirteen-episode commitment from the network. Given that the writers were breaking the tenth script when I visited the Chuck writers' room recently, reconfiguring the season could force the writers to make some adjustments to the arc that they've been planning these past few months. (Though an additional episode order was always a possibility.)

Still, it's not a done deal, so don't crack open the champagne or celebrate with some Orange Orange frozen yogurt just yet. But what is clear is that NBC is considering bumping the premiere up by several months (the network would still have to figure out how to accommodate the Olympics schedule) as the Peacock is surely smarting from the relatively low ratings of some of its series newcomers.

So would Chuck coming back in October be a mixed blessing or the best early holiday present yet? Discuss.


OldDarth said…
I am really torn about this possibility. Don't want the current 13 episode arc impacted. If NBC puts in an order for the additional 9 - make it a seperate arc/min-season.

As for promotion, only during the Olympics would it have any impact. Right now, no one is watching NBC so promotion would be of minimal impact to begin with.

Bottom line - the 13 episode arc needs to be aired uninterrupted and unchanged!
rockauteur said…
I think, at this point, Chuck is best served launching after the Olympics, and using the winter games as a great marketing tool. Coming back in a few weeks doesn't give them any time for promotion and will hurt the series in the long run. Hopefully NBC will wisen up and put some ad dollars towards Chuck, though then again, they're the dumbest broadcast network right now.
Anonymous said…
Thanks for offering a counterpoint. I think people are going to go crazy over the fact that it's coming back soon that they won't think about it maybe not being the best thing for the show. I worry about Chuck on NBC.
Amanda said…
Like Old Darth, I'm genuinely torn. On the one hand, I'm very !!! about the possibility of having the Chuckles back on my TV before this month is over. (The thought of a "Chuck," "Big Bang Theory," and "Glee" happy trifecta in one week makes me giddy...)

On the other hand, though, I think the Olympic promotion could only be a good thing. I found the show thanks to the promos that ran during the 2008 Summer Games. I want the best for this show -- a show I consider one of the most enjoyable hours of television currently being produced -- and, sadly, an abrupt start to season three does not qualify as "the best."

If this is what ends up happening, though, we'll all just have to help promote like crazy. (And hope that NBC's lowered-expectations pay off.) I'll be buying a few more sets of DVDs to give out to friends...
Bella Spruce said…
As much as I'd like to see Chuck back on the airwaves soon, I don't want the show to come back early only to be tossed around in different time slots or shoved aside for the Olympics. Chuck needs to be treated with the respect it deserves!!!
SerendipityWAF said…
I'd rather NBC waited until after the Olympics if only because they're not going to capture any new viewers by putting Chuck back on early with no promotion AND when the S2 DVD's are not even out. No new viewers would even have a means to get caught up before the 3rd season aired...yes they've got some episodes up for free on with their current rotation schedule, they'd never get all the episodes up for people to see before the end of October.
Tempest said…
Like everyone else, I'd like to see Chuck as soon as possible, but without endangering its chances. Couldn't they re-run old Chucks in the mean time?
GaryW3 said…
The Olympics are a HUGE marketing opportunity for NBC to hype their shows. Chuck might have a better chance if they wait till after the Olympics. Having the promos and maybe Zach and Yvonne in the studio segments in front of all those extra eyeballs, might get the extra viewers Chuck needs.

Just dropping it in behind a sinking Heroes, up against the CBS comedies and DWTS without proper promotion is just a recipe for disaster.

I'd love to see Chuck ASAP but I'd rather wait if it gives the show a better chance of long term success.
Unknown said…
Waiting until March will kill Chuck. People (not us!) will have forgotten about it and not be able to pick it up (with or without the DVDs). The 13-ep order will be the last.

Airing it at the end of October runs into issue with the Olympics, but I still think that way Chuck has a better chance of keeping what momentum it has. If NBC picks up the back nine, the writers are geniuses and can do a mini-arc or just a few standalone eps. Either way, we Chuck fans will be happy.
Anonymous said…
i want chuck now
Cory said…
I think NBC should start promoting it NOW, if they're bringing it back early, but should air it in November. While I like the idea of a 13-episode arc if the actual third season could get a 22 episode order that would be great, and they could use the Olympics to promote the back nine...or something.

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