Chuck vs. The Truth

Day 1 Mood:  positive and upbeat for renewal!

Oh come on. Who didn’t see this coming?!  Fifteen more days of Chuck love, Chuck comments, the bashing of Chuck fans, and the bashing of the Chuck fan bashers.

I’m just going to soak it all in – bask in it even.  And then, I’m probably going to take a month off and watch every episode ever made of Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.  I’ve been watching those shows a bit recently in homage to my colleague Bill who marks those among his favorite shows.  I understand why he likes those shows so much.  There’s rarely any wasted plot at all.

Anyway, back to Chuck.  From now until May 19th when NBC allegedly will be announcing more pickups and the schedule, there will be a Chuck o’ the Day post.  So here’s today’s…

I’m still upbeat for the renewals of Law & Order, Medium and Chuck.  All the tea leaves today still point towards renewal of those three shows despite them not being among NBC’s announcements today.  But tomorrow is another day.  Do I buy into the Watch With Kristin theory put forth by our friend Jennifer Godwin?

One theory on the delayed announcements is that NBC wants to see what the other networks do with their pilots and programming before making any final picks. And one theory derivative of that theory is that there’s some defensive strategy involved. Cancel Fox-studios-produced My Name Is Earl now and you might see it picked up by Fox-network president Kevin Reilly on May 18. Drop Chuck today and maybe you get a courtesy call from CW boss Dawn Ostroff next week informing you that she’s taking it to the See-Dub to hang out with Gossip Girl

The primary reason I’m not quick to jump to conspiracy theorist here is NBC could’ve scheduled their upfront for May 20th and other than taking a little bit of flack over “I guess that “infront” thing didn’t work out”, nobody would’ve thought twice about it.

NBC can and probably should use any advantage it has.  It seems a bit icky, but it’s an icky business. Still, I do not believe CW would pick up Chuck under any circumstances.  I could be wrong, but had NBC announced Chuck today, I just don’t see much of a case for Dawn picking it up.  Whether CW should/shouldn’t is a different matter. I just think under Dawn’s management they wouldn’t.   But even if that’s wrong, if NBC doesn’t renew it on May 19th, Dawn still has a couple of days to slide it into the CW schedule before CW’s upfront on May 21 if she has a mind to.

As for FOX picking up My Name is Earl?  There, it just seems like If it makes sense for FOX, they will pick it up if NBC doesn’t and figure it out regardless of what NBC does and when they announce it.

I’d offer another theory on the delayed announcements: NBC wishes it was having its upfront in a couple of weeks like everyone else.  They weren’t really ready and Nora O’brien’s sad passing didn’t help matters any.  But they had announced their infront upfront and scheduled meetings etc., so they felt like they had to stay with the plan even though it isn’t actually ready yet.  It will be interesting to see if NBC goes back to a normal upfront schedule next year.

For now, the way I look at it is that when it comes to Chuck (and a few other shows) we simply don’t know yet, and I believe that is because NBC doesn’t know yet.  I think once NBC picked up the Warner Brothers produced Southland, Warner Brothers wasn’t as likely to pressure NBC into making its Chuck decision now.

I do agree with this from TV Week though:

The lack of a decision on borderline shows “doesn’t mean that they won’t be picked up,” Mr. Graboff said. “We just haven’t made those decisions, and we don’t feel any pressure to do so.”

NBC, however, may be looking to maximize its leverage with the studios behind the bubble shows. Networks are looking to control license fee costs wherever possible, and by announcing its lineup of newcomers now, NBC is trying to signal that it might just be able to live without shows on the bubble if the studios behind those shows get too greedy.

Again, I’m upbeat for Chuck.  Upbeat for a mid-season return of Medium and upbeat that somehow, some way Law & Order will see its twentieth season.

What about Life and Knight Rider?  Not upbeat at all.  But I mourned Life appropriately already, by thoroughly enjoying the season (and no doubt series) finale.  Update: during our site outage many sites reported on Ben Silverman’s comment that Life was definitely not coming back. While not a surprise, I think some were still holding out hope of a miracle. That hope has now been dashed.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers