Chuck vs. The Event? Sort of. An article by our friend Brian Stelter at the New York Times covering NBC's "best hope," The Event notes a scheduling maneuver I hadn't picked up on.
Both Chuck and The Event premiere on September 20 on NBC. But at 8pm on September 27, at the same time the second episode of Chuck will air, NBC Universal will run an encore of the first episode of The Event on six of NBC Universal's cable channels: Syfy, Oxygen, Bravo, Sleuth, Chiller and Universal HD.
I know a lot of fans will just add this to the list of carping at NBC ranging from "NBC didn't promote Chuck" to "NBC should've given Chuck a better time slot."
The reality is, whether some fans are willing to accept it or not is that Chuck is scheduling spackle for NBC. I'm a Chuck fan, but I don't blame NBC here. NBC knows what happens if they constantly promote the hell out of Chuck for an episode:- it will pull about a 3.0 adults 18-49 rating if fairly massively marketed.
But they also know what happens for the subsequent episodes that aren't heavily promoted: it goes down to somewhere around a 2.0 adults 18-49 rating (and sometimes lower).
NBC is looking for shows that will hold up better after the initial massive marketing push. To that end, NBC seems to be putting a lot of its eggs in The Event basket. Indeed, the initial marketing push for The Event as noted in Brian Stelter's article is heavy as NBC looks "to make ‘The Event’ the media event of the season."
For that, and other reasons many are predicting that The Event will be this year's Flash Forward.
Will the September 27 move make a difference?
While I wouldn't predict the simulcast of The Event's pilot encore on six cable channels will mean that much for either Chuck's ratings or The Event's 9pm ratings, if Chuck dips in its second episode don't be surprised to hear some Chuck fans use The Event simulcast as an excuse.
I doubt that will be a valid excuse, but while sometimes sibling rivalry is imaginary, even if the Chuck fans are paranoid... NBC really does love The Event more.