Don't Expect 'Awake' To Get the 'Chuck' Treatment

Categories: 1-Featured,Broadcast TV

Written By

April 13th, 2012

Revisionist history happens. With everything. So it's no surprise that it happens with TV show renewals, too. Some have suggested that NBC might give Awake the Chuck treatment because that's just how NBC rolls. But that isn't how NBC rolls.

For most of it's run, Chuck's ratings were neither awful nor great relative to the rest of NBC's scripted shows. By its fourth season things were worse, but things were worse for NBC too, and Chuck still managed to perform at about 83% of NBC's scripted average. More importantly, at the end of its fourth season Chuck was a mere 10 episodes away from 88 episodes which is what is considered the minimum "magic number" these days for stripped syndication (where show's can be aired every day, Monday-Friday).

At the end of its first season Awake will be 75 episodes away from syndication which is to say, a long, long, long way from syndication.

Some will say "but Awake is performing at 85% of NBC's scripted average!"  That was true through last week, but it'll be closer to 80% than 85% after last night's episode (which drew another preliminary 0.9 adults 18--49) and is misleading  since Awake hasn't aired many episodes. The first week performed above average and the next two weeks were about average. Since then it's been well below average so that 85% of NBC's scripted original average will go lower very rapidly and without a  remarkable ratings turnaround, there's not much chance it will end the season at even 80% of NBC's scripted average. For a first season show, far, far from syndication, that equals canceled.

  • TVDude

    Another thing, is NBC happy with that average or do they want to raise it? Each year the average is lowering and it’s partly due to keeping lower than average shows. Awake won’t be back for the points you brought up and more. It’ll sell to Netflix though (repeats, I mean).

  • RobertN

    I wish that “Chuck” would get the Chuck treatment by a new network. It should have moved over to the USA network following season 2.

  • Tom Mc

    I really like the show, but I have accepted it will be cancelled. I just wish networks would commit to serialized shows with one extra episodes to allow a wrap-up of the storyline after cancellation. I am certain a lot of people held off watching Awake to see if it would be cancelled without a resolution. Ratings might have been a wee bit better if viewers were guaranteed a conclusion to the overall storyline.

  • Brian J

    All of that makes sense, but what else does NBC have right now? Aside from “The Voice” and “Sunday Night Football,” not one of its programs is really a hit. Not even “The Biggest Loser.” Even a former champ like “SVU” is down the in the dumps, featuring record low ratings in recent weeks.

    I don’t know how much this program costs to produce, but it’s well reviewed. If it shows relatively stable ratings, especially if you factor in DVR viewings, I could see it being given another shot. After all, it’s hard to get a decent show in general, and despite the ratings woes, that’s what it has here. As I keep saying, the network should work like a dog to promote it over the summer, pair it with “Grimm” on Fridays, and see what happens. Is the network really going to lose a lot by giving it 13 more episodes?

  • rob60990

    Bye bye Awake. :D

  • Concerned Citizen

    In all honesty, I don’t consider it to be a tremendous loss. Love the concept, love the cast (especially Jason Isaacs), but the procedural cop elements have really dragged the show down for me. A few flashes of greatness aside, I won’t miss it too terribly when it’s gone, and I’ll just hope Isaacs finds himself a quality cable series to star in.

  • bsp

    I do hope that they give “Awake” some measure of closure before it’s canceled.

  • Jaya

    I am so sick of reading your negative prediction for Awake. It is a great show and it ‘s got 99% positive review from critics and viewers. Considering it has no sex/sexual tension to speak off, it’s pretty good. At least there were about 2.5 millions USA viewers who still enjoy intelligent shows.There’s still hope for America.

  • scott

    NBC is probably trying to figure out how to renew Chuck and move it back to another night, the way their other shows are rating.

  • Dan S

    I’m resigned to the fact Awake is through. It has a small total audience to match the low 0.9 demo. With NBC in such dire straits I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a surprising renewal of Harry’s Law because it does have a steady loyal audience that has followed it to 3 different timeslots now. This show deserves some love & a break

  • richard

    Dangh, best hsow on tv besides breaking bad

  • tvfreak

    Too often shows end way too soon. It’s sad that Awake is going to join this club. :(

  • SmG

    Shame its such a great show. Enjoying it while it lasts.

  • Mike

    Shame that the new shows just don’t get much of a chance these days. ‘Awake’ is tops on my ‘new show’ favorites list. Really like the concept, acting, and stories. They already have the one guy that got away…a potential reoccurring ‘bad guy’ that many great shows have. Show has potential for sure. Wish it could stick around, but I’m ready for its cancellation.

  • a p garcia

    I miss the clever writing of Chuck and the unusal storyline but I don’t care if “The Bear” dines on Awake.

  • John

    Liked the show but kind of saw it coming since we live in a society that has almost no appreciation for outside the box shows on network TV

  • PeterScott

    Pretty obvious with sub 1.0 ratings only a few episodes that it will be cancelled. It is one of my favorites but it is clearly doomed.

  • curt

    premise seemed good and had high hopes for Awake, but alas. NBC deserves a great deal of credit for taking several chances lately. Sorry they cut some of them but….numbers/money are the final word.
    Yes, Chuck should have been moved to USA by season 3 but maybe we got as much as we could out of 5 seasons..

  • battye

    @Brian J, Saturday Night Live.

    I agree with TVDude, it’s time to usher in the new era of shows for NBC. Obviously you keep around the (few) star performers and let any “syndicatable” shows hit the magic number or keep accumulating… but everything with mediocre ratings and no other reason to stick around (Rock Centre, Whitney, etc) should be dumped.

  • John Berggren

    I was excited about this show before it arrived, the first two episodes did not hook me. I’ve been meaning to catch up, but life gets in the way.

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