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Chuck: Renew or Cancel?

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Written By

October 29th, 2007

UPDATE: Click here to see the latest on Chuck's Renewal Prospects

chuck.jpgWhen Seinfeld stood across the TV world like a colossus, NBC's sitcoms were the envy of the industry. These days, not so much. Enter Chuck, a new comedy airing at 8PM Eastern Monday.

Once again we ask, Renew or Cancel?

Chuck's Audience & Rank among New Shows and New NBC Shows

Date Audience, Live+SD (million) Rank among all New Shows Rank among New NBC Shows
9/24 9.21 #8 of 20 #3 of 4
10/1 8.39 #10 of 23 #3 of 4
10/8 7.21 #11 of 24 #3 of 4
10/15 8.36 #8 of 24 #2 of 4
10/22 7.22 #13 of 26 #3 of 5
10/29* 7.03    

Chuck has lost 22% of it's debut audience through 10/29 without stabilization. That's a devastating trend.

It's total Live+SD audience has been above average compared to other new shows, and has moved to #2 among new NBC shows.

For the week of Oct 15-21 it was #11 of 21 overall for NBC.

How is it doing against its competition on Monday?

Chuck's Rankings for its 8pm Monday Timeslot.

Date Viewers Adults 18-49 Adults 18-34 Adults 25-54
9/24 #2 #2 #2 #2
10/1 #2 #2 #3 #2
10/8 #4 #4 #4 #4
10/15 #3 #2 #2 #2
10/22* #4 #4    
10/29* #3 #3    

Chuck started strong against its local 8PM Monday competition, initially finishing #2 to Dancing with the Stars and held up well in its second week.

However, by 10/22, Chuck had fallen to the back of the pack on Monday at 8PM across the board.

There are no national lead in numbers for an 8PM show, so Chuck doesn't have to worry about that. Note that the networks get detailed audience numbers during the show time period to analyze, we don't.

Conclusions

Negatives

  1. Significant audience loss since debut without apparent stabilization.
  2. Very negative trend vs. timeslot competition in all viewer categories.

Positives

  1. Currently NBC's second best new show.
  2. Somewhat above average performance for all new shows in general.
  3. NBC is a beggar, not a chooser, among the networks, and its standards for renewal are likely lower than other networks.

Verdict: Based on current (10/29 PM) publicly available information, I'd call it a solid cancel.

11/26 UPDATE: NBC has ordered 9 more episodes of Chuck.

Wondering about other shows? Check our all our Renew or Cancel? posts.

________________________________________________________

*based on Overnight Fast National data

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2007 Nielsen Media Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 
  • Jennifer

    Chuck is tied with Pushing Daisies (I've been a big Bryan Fuller fan for many years) as my favorite new show of the season. I went in not knowing that much about the new season (unusual for me) and was surprised to find the gem that Chuck is. I'm at a loss as to why the show hasn't really caught on.

  • Jennifer

    Chuck is tied with Pushing Daisies (I’ve been a big Bryan Fuller fan for many years) as my favorite new show of the season. I went in not knowing that much about the new season (unusual for me) and was surprised to find the gem that Chuck is. I’m at a loss as to why the show hasn’t really caught on.

  • Herb

    I like Chuck; it has kept it's comic overtones and the cast is great. Now the nitty gritty is how well is any show going to do against Dancing with the Stars? It's a juggernaut; however while I have followed Dancing in the past this year none of the contestants entices me to watch for some reason and Chuck has held my enthusiasm. So keep it around and let's not let NBC be too trigger happy either.

  • http://none Herb

    I like Chuck; it has kept it’s comic overtones and the cast is great. Now the nitty gritty is how well is any show going to do against Dancing with the Stars? It’s a juggernaut; however while I have followed Dancing in the past this year none of the contestants entices me to watch for some reason and Chuck has held my enthusiasm. So keep it around and let’s not let NBC be too trigger happy either.

  • http://Tvbythenumbers.com Ted Rose

    Chuck is so well written, acted and so over the top tongue in cheek it's a breath of fresh air from the usual vomit the BIG networks serve up anymore. God forbid that anyone give something new a try…yeah, NBC, your ratings are SO huge let's keep coming up with the same old re-hashed crap that you've been trying to shove down our throats since you lost your beloved Seinfeld. Wake up!

  • http://Tvbythenumbers.com Ted Rose

    Chuck is so well written, acted and so over the top tongue in cheek it’s a breath of fresh air from the usual vomit the BIG networks serve up anymore. God forbid that anyone give something new a try…yeah, NBC, your ratings are SO huge let’s keep coming up with the same old re-hashed crap that you’ve been trying to shove down our throats since you lost your beloved Seinfeld. Wake up!

  • Tara

    I'm with Herb, and I think we're all way too quick to jump the gun these days. Chuck is a good show – light and sweet and fun. The actors are likable and talented (which is huge), and the writing is competent. Is it appointment TV? No. But when I see it in the stack on my Tivo, I smile and hit the button. If I were Ben Silverman I'd be riding the wave to see what happens when there is no more DWTS.

  • Tara

    I’m with Herb, and I think we’re all way too quick to jump the gun these days. Chuck is a good show – light and sweet and fun. The actors are likable and talented (which is huge), and the writing is competent. Is it appointment TV? No. But when I see it in the stack on my Tivo, I smile and hit the button. If I were Ben Silverman I’d be riding the wave to see what happens when there is no more DWTS.

  • Bonnie

    I was a huge fan of Jake 2.0 – Chuck is a close copy and not as well done. That said, I don't think it should be pulled because it has an audience of eight million fans who would be disappointed if it were cancelled. Why isn't eight million viewers enough?

  • Bonnie

    I was a huge fan of Jake 2.0 – Chuck is a close copy and not as well done. That said, I don’t think it should be pulled because it has an audience of eight million fans who would be disappointed if it were cancelled. Why isn’t eight million viewers enough?

  • Ike

    Woah, you're using viewer numbers in total millions? Advertisers only care about demos. (Yes, they are ageist bastards.) You should only do these studies using adult 18-49 ratings. Unfortunately “Chuck” looks about as bad in that demo as in total millions. Also, the timeslot rankings for 10/15 and 10/29 are misleading since young-male-demo-stealing competitor “Prison Break” was not on the air.

    “Currently NBC’s second best new show” — that doesn't count for much considering that all of its new shows are tanking. Also, if you take the debut of the hideous-looking “Phenomenon” into account, “Chuck” is now only third-best.

    “Why isn’t eight million viewers enough?” Um, seven million, now. More importantly, only a 2.7 rating among adults 18-49. Why isn't that enough? Well, why won't a tablespoon of water keep a houseplant alive? Why won't a thimble of cat food keep my cat alive?

    I love “Chuck”, but the sad truth is that the ratings are just awful. Sigh.

  • Ike

    Woah, you’re using viewer numbers in total millions? Advertisers only care about demos. (Yes, they are ageist bastards.) You should only do these studies using adult 18-49 ratings. Unfortunately “Chuck” looks about as bad in that demo as in total millions. Also, the timeslot rankings for 10/15 and 10/29 are misleading since young-male-demo-stealing competitor “Prison Break” was not on the air.

    “Currently NBC’s second best new show” — that doesn’t count for much considering that all of its new shows are tanking. Also, if you take the debut of the hideous-looking “Phenomenon” into account, “Chuck” is now only third-best.

    “Why isn’t eight million viewers enough?” Um, seven million, now. More importantly, only a 2.7 rating among adults 18-49. Why isn’t that enough? Well, why won’t a tablespoon of water keep a houseplant alive? Why won’t a thimble of cat food keep my cat alive?

    I love “Chuck”, but the sad truth is that the ratings are just awful. Sigh.

  • Mel

    Oh noes! I really like Chuck — I hope NBC is patient and maybe retools it a little– I wish they would focus a bit more on the spy stuff and less on the dorky friend and Chuck's sister — those sidebar storylines suck the energy right out of the episodes (in my opinion)
    However w/ the writer's strike looming — I guess what we see is what we get

  • Mel

    Oh noes! I really like Chuck — I hope NBC is patient and maybe retools it a little– I wish they would focus a bit more on the spy stuff and less on the dorky friend and Chuck’s sister — those sidebar storylines suck the energy right out of the episodes (in my opinion)
    However w/ the writer’s strike looming — I guess what we see is what we get

  • Scott

    Chuck is a waste of air time. The premise was interesting for the first episode and having a few hot girls can only keep it interesting for a short period of time. Is it me or are girlgirl fight scenes about the lamest thing ever put on TV.

  • Scott

    Chuck is a waste of air time. The premise was interesting for the first episode and having a few hot girls can only keep it interesting for a short period of time. Is it me or are girl\girl fight scenes about the lamest thing ever put on TV.

  • http://yahoo.com Eva G.

    Remember Baywatch? Hot girls make for a good show, so let's not undermine beautiful talented women on TV. Chuck will not be cancelled this season, because there is no replacement availablle before sweeps with a pending writers strike.

  • http://yahoo.com Eva G.

    Remember Baywatch? Hot girls make for a good show, so let’s not undermine beautiful talented women on TV. Chuck will not be cancelled this season, because there is no replacement availablle before sweeps with a pending writers strike.

  • Shelly

    I actually totally love this show…I find it to be cute, funny and entertaining. I hope they don't cancel it…maybe, if need be, move it to a different time slot.

  • Shelly

    I actually totally love this show…I find it to be cute, funny and entertaining. I hope they don’t cancel it…maybe, if need be, move it to a different time slot.

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