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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.

 
  • Prof. S.

    The show sucks ass.

    The guy was uploaded with info 2 months ago, yet he knows stuff that happened two days ago? WTF?

    And how lame is a spy show where (a) the spies and bad guys suck (one kick and apparently they disappear), (b) the dangers are hokey and stupid, (c) every time they get into a pinch, one guy suddenly knows how to solve it because he's was given information 2 months ago.

    The ONLY thing this show has is a hot girl. And she's only hot if she keeps her mouth closed. Once she opens it, her messed up teeth get in the way.

    Cancel this crap.

  • Prof. S.

    Oh, and you people who say it's “well written” need to get out. The show's writing is somewhere above Garfield's 27th book and somewhere below old Peanuts comic strips.

    In other words, it sucks too.

  • Francois

    CHUCK IS THE ONLY SHOW I WATCH. If NBC dumps it I'm dumping NBC. Chuck is the only show worth watching. After I'm done writing this I'm going to the NBC website and telling them what I think. I encourage everyone who loves the show to do the same. With enough emails maybe we can get through to them.

  • Prof. S.

    The show sucks ass.

    The guy was uploaded with info 2 months ago, yet he knows stuff that happened two days ago? WTF?

    And how lame is a spy show where (a) the spies and bad guys suck (one kick and apparently they disappear), (b) the dangers are hokey and stupid, (c) every time they get into a pinch, one guy suddenly knows how to solve it because he’s was given information 2 months ago.

    The ONLY thing this show has is a hot girl. And she’s only hot if she keeps her mouth closed. Once she opens it, her messed up teeth get in the way.

    Cancel this crap.

  • Prof. S.

    Oh, and you people who say it’s “well written” need to get out. The show’s writing is somewhere above Garfield’s 27th book and somewhere below old Peanuts comic strips.

    In other words, it sucks too.

  • Francois

    CHUCK IS THE ONLY SHOW I WATCH. If NBC dumps it I’m dumping NBC. Chuck is the only show worth watching. After I’m done writing this I’m going to the NBC website and telling them what I think. I encourage everyone who loves the show to do the same. With enough emails maybe we can get through to them.

  • Shane

    I think Chuck is a great show. So is Prison Break though, don't stick up for one show but putting down another. I think Chuck is awesome and hope it goes one for another few seasons.

  • Shane

    I think Chuck is a great show. So is Prison Break though, don’t stick up for one show but putting down another. I think Chuck is awesome and hope it goes one for another few seasons.

  • Israfil

    Honestly, Chuck could be a major hit if it retooled a bit. As it caters to the nerd/geek culture, or is meant to, it should be far more accurate in terms of the technology involved. Another problem would be its lack of what I like to call badassery. No self respecting nerd (myself included) would want to see our people shown as a whiny little wimp with barely the ability to take care of himself. Some of us are actually pretty tough, yet give us a broken pc and it's as good as fixed.

  • http://notforyou Israfil

    Honestly, Chuck could be a major hit if it retooled a bit. As it caters to the nerd/geek culture, or is meant to, it should be far more accurate in terms of the technology involved. Another problem would be its lack of what I like to call badassery. No self respecting nerd (myself included) would want to see our people shown as a whiny little wimp with barely the ability to take care of himself. Some of us are actually pretty tough, yet give us a broken pc and it’s as good as fixed.

  • Mike

    Chuck is my favorite show on TV right now. I recorded it all the time and watched the very next day as soon as i had time to. I love the actors in it and its really funny. It has action too and a very beautiful girl i might add. I think that if they were going to replace it they would do it with something a little more appealing than American Gladiator. The show is terrible and nowhere near the show it was back when. But Chuck needs to stay on air cause its a show that i believe could take off into something great.

  • Mike

    Chuck is my favorite show on TV right now. I recorded it all the time and watched the very next day as soon as i had time to. I love the actors in it and its really funny. It has action too and a very beautiful girl i might add. I think that if they were going to replace it they would do it with something a little more appealing than American Gladiator. The show is terrible and nowhere near the show it was back when. But Chuck needs to stay on air cause its a show that i believe could take off into something great.

  • Tom

    Please give Chuck a little more time and also remember that the Writer's Strike has hurt allot of TV shows with potential. Chuck has action, romance, humor, the “villain” and the “hero” and enough innocence where you don't feel uncomfortable allowing your kids to watch alongside you. Sure, it is a stretch for the imagination but that is forgivable because it is a fun show. I call for “a stay of execution”.

  • Tom

    Please give Chuck a little more time and also remember that the Writer’s Strike has hurt allot of TV shows with potential. Chuck has action, romance, humor, the “villain” and the “hero” and enough innocence where you don’t feel uncomfortable allowing your kids to watch alongside you. Sure, it is a stretch for the imagination but that is forgivable because it is a fun show. I call for “a stay of execution”.

  • Brian

    Chuck is a solid show with good actors and lots of plot material. In a world where one major technology store is dominant and that “culture” of the retail-worker is well known, the show is a refreshing mix of comedy, wit, as well as sci-fi technology, spies, and geeks.

    The best new NBC show, God help us if they replace this with yet another law and order or CSI.. because we need 8 shows of each. Not to knock those shows, but it is getting a bit ridiculous. I hope this show doesn't die because of this writers strike. No new shows are posted yet by NBC…

  • Brian

    Chuck is a solid show with good actors and lots of plot material. In a world where one major technology store is dominant and that “culture” of the retail-worker is well known, the show is a refreshing mix of comedy, wit, as well as sci-fi technology, spies, and geeks.

    The best new NBC show, God help us if they replace this with yet another law and order or CSI.. because we need 8 shows of each. Not to knock those shows, but it is getting a bit ridiculous. I hope this show doesn’t die because of this writers strike. No new shows are posted yet by NBC…

  • Victoria

    I adore Chuck. Sure the concept is farfetched but I like the characters (bring back the Changs), the humor and espicially Zachery Levi. Chuck will grow (if he survives) into the man he should have been. I especially love his relationships with his sister and Cpt. Awesome and with the crazy gang at the buy more. Morgan has even grown on me. Keep the characters moving forward let the spyworld beware. I do believe Chuck will need an “update” to his database from time to time. Courious to see how the pull that off.

  • Victoria

    I adore Chuck. Sure the concept is farfetched but I like the characters (bring back the Changs), the humor and espicially Zachery Levi. Chuck will grow (if he survives) into the man he should have been. I especially love his relationships with his sister and Cpt. Awesome and with the crazy gang at the buy more. Morgan has even grown on me. Keep the characters moving forward let the spyworld beware. I do believe Chuck will need an “update” to his database from time to time. Courious to see how the pull that off.

  • Ike

    Above, several weeks ago, I noted that the ratings were poor. Now I'm not so sure. I've heard the show got good numbers among men 18-34, and that's an extremely lucrative and hard-to-capture demo. Advertisers will pay lots of extra cash to reach them. That's how Prison Break can charge $200,000 per ad, despite mediocre total viewer numbers. (As noted elsewhere on this site, Chuck was the most DVRed show on the week of 1/21, which could be another indication that the young adult demo is keen on it, because that demo is really into DVRs.)

    Also, virtually all of NBC's other new shows have tanked. After episode #2, Chuck basically maintained its demos each week. Meanwhile, American Gladiators and Bionic Woman seemed like big hits at first, but over time, their ratings went into free-fall. This makes Chuck look more valuable to NBC.

    So, from a business standpoint, I'd say Chuck is a solid RENEW for NBC at this point. Word is, they ARE renewing it, and it'll be back in fall 2008.

    If it were on Fox, it might be different. Thank goodness it ain't. :)

    The downside is that we can DEFINITELY expect NBC to interfere with the show, creatively, in a lame-brained attempt to improve the ratings. This usually spells disaster.

  • Ike

    Above, several weeks ago, I noted that the ratings were poor. Now I’m not so sure. I’ve heard the show got good numbers among men 18-34, and that’s an extremely lucrative and hard-to-capture demo. Advertisers will pay lots of extra cash to reach them. That’s how Prison Break can charge $200,000 per ad, despite mediocre total viewer numbers. (As noted elsewhere on this site, Chuck was the most DVRed show on the week of 1/21, which could be another indication that the young adult demo is keen on it, because that demo is really into DVRs.)

    Also, virtually all of NBC’s other new shows have tanked. After episode #2, Chuck basically maintained its demos each week. Meanwhile, American Gladiators and Bionic Woman seemed like big hits at first, but over time, their ratings went into free-fall. This makes Chuck look more valuable to NBC.

    So, from a business standpoint, I’d say Chuck is a solid RENEW for NBC at this point. Word is, they ARE renewing it, and it’ll be back in fall 2008.

    If it were on Fox, it might be different. Thank goodness it ain’t. :)

    The downside is that we can DEFINITELY expect NBC to interfere with the show, creatively, in a lame-brained attempt to improve the ratings. This usually spells disaster.

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