Maureen Ryan at the Chicago Tribune has an extensive interview with Chuck co-creator and executive producer Chris Fedak. They talked about a lot of stuff, and spent a lot of time talking about ratings, too.
I give Mr. Fedak a TV by the Numbers gold star for striking the proper balance of reality and fair play. He didn’t try to whip the fans into any letter-writing frenzy and he didn’t really ask anything of the fans than that they watch the show and do whatever they can to get people they know who used to watch it to start watching again.
Sure his comments about healthy eating being important suggest that he isn’t going to have a problem if you make like Jared and go all Subway on him, but it was subtle rather than a loud clarion call. He seemed firmly rooted in the reality that the best hope for the show is more people watching it. How refreshing!
Ryan: At this point, do people need to swing into the “Save This Show” mode, and if so, what do you want people to do? What do you want people to eat to save the show?
Fedak: First off, I want you to eat healthy, I’m trying to eat healthy, I think that’s the most important thing. I think right now, if we can get people to watch the show, I think that whatever we can do to kind of expand our base to get people to kind of give the show a chance is really the most helpful thing. And also to people who have given the show a try in the past, [we want them] to give it another shot.
Ryan: Well, I hope they do. Is it a situation where essentially live ratings have to be at a certain point? You know, the fan campaign obviously did so much last year I have no doubt fans can do a lot this year, but is NBC’s decision going to live or die by ratings?
Fedak: You know, that’s probably a question for NBC.
Ryan: Is that a key part of what you want to tell people, something you want them to hear?
Fedak: Right now ratings are important. We have one more episode then we have a two-week break and then we have six episodes when we get back. And those episodes and those ratings — ratings are, in truth, very, very important in regard to a show to come back for another season. So, whatever we can do to get people to watch the show is, right now, the key thing.
They talked more about the ratings and what needs to happen for renewal than I included above, but I didn’t feel like I could excerpt it all without feeling like I was stealing from Mo.