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.

  • Nancy

    I have really tried to like Awake. The concept of living in two realities through dreams and not knowing which is the real one sounds interesting. Unfortunately it’s not very well executed. The sessions with the psychiatrists really drag and the police procedural part isn’t really interesting either and it drags. This show is putting me into a coma, and I’m coming to believe that Brittin is in one and living both realities while he’s in one. Why else would the action and plot move so slowly!

    As for Chuck, I’m still a big fan and which the series was still on TV, but reality check – Sets have been struck Zach (Chuck) is shooting a pilot today in LA, Yvonne (Sarah) is doing some movie, and Adam (Casey)is a guest on Castle tonight so time to move on. We got 5 seasons and while the finale may not be all that we wanted, there is Chuck fan fiction out there which is investigating what happens after the scene at the Beach in the finale. Also if you liked Chuck in the earlier years, there are several stories out there and then After Season 5 comes out in May will will have 91 episodes to re-watch over again.

  • Bob Pizzimenti

    Awake is a very good show but it aired through spring
    vacation period…give it more time and I feel it will do better.
    BTW I think the DAD is the one who is dead! Maybe give more
    of a clue on a direction and it will pick up!!!!

  • shay

    the best show around. but with the level of audience intelligent now days, i guess that its doomed to be cancelled. so go and watch another reality show cave people

  • DonnaZ

    NBC has got to get real. I love Awake but miss the episodes. So I try to catch up using my Android tablet. Well the episides do not play.

    NBC has got to realize they are in toilet and have to get their video to play everywhere. I tried to purchase skyfire to watch the shows.

    If I were a producer, I would want to retain Internet rights and get their show to play on all devices. Is NBC pimping to worthless Hulu?

  • Nick

    Donna, just because it doesn’t work on your tablet doesn’t mean that it won’t on others. I have no problems playing these things on my iPad if I need to (other than a stray issue with 30 Rock ONCE) and many other android owners have no issues.

    Even with all this said, no numbers are based on online or Hulu plays, everything is based on the stupid Nielsen ratings that are ancient and idiotic. Things need to change, but they haven’t and until they do potential hit shows will fail.

    I watch Mad Men and Game of thrones. They come on at the same time. Does anyone in their right mind believe I’d pick one over the other in this day and age? No. That’s why this system fails. People often don’t watch things live any longer. Why would they?

  • DonnaZ

    I think the DAD is in a coma and in reality, both his son and wife are gone. He is some sort of experiment.

    Notice I said his wife and son are GONE. They maybe not dead.

  • DinTampa

    Awake is a really great show. Neat concept I hate that every show I like is cancelled

  • RIta Higgins

    So, if it’s cancelled, do we at least get to find out what the heck is going on with him? I really like the show! Can they release it to DVD/Blu-ray??

  • Mike

    If it’s cancelled and they don’t explain what’s going on, hopefully the producer will tell us in an interview what would have happened, like what has happened with other cancelled shows.

    MY theory is that both realities are his dream, and he’s actually in a coma in the real world, having been injured in the car crash. In the show’s soundtrack, there is occasionally the sound of an MRI in some scenes, so I think in the real world he’s getting an MRI while in his coma and it’s bleeding through to his dream worlds.

  • Jason D.

    GREAT show. It’ll be a sad day if (gulp) it’s cancelled. I watch VERY little NBC for good reason…the VAST majority of the shows on NBC are as low-brow as they can create. Awake is smart. Real smart. Not for the lowest common denominator crowd. ‘Nuff said.

  • Bill

    Sorry, I lost all respect for you after you featured two blatantly obvious errors in punctuation in the second paragraph. Fourth graders could correct you. It’s time you learn which “its” is which and how to pluralize the common noun (Here’s a hint – it’s not with an apostrophe. Not for a word like “show.”).

  • jeanne allen

    This is the best new show I’ve seen in years and years! It actually challenges me to think! Great writing and fascinating characters. KEEP IT NBC!

  • April

    I’m disappointed this show will be cancelled. I found the acting to be great and the story lines and writing were quite good. It’s unfortunate the average American won’t watch a show that requires a little thinking and imagination. Turn your TV to MTV, I’m sure there’s some re runs of Jersey Shore on. :/

  • Clif

    My wife and I love the show! But . . . we’re over 49. Way over. So, as I understand it (1) in order to keep shows on the air that we like, we have to get a bunch of 19-49 yr. olds to watch it and (2) we no longer buy products advertised on TV. What if we suggest a Sr. Adult boycott of the sponsors who wouldn’t keep AWAKE on the air? Would that help?

  • Jensen

    NBC will have to stop thinking reactively. Its best series have never been the product of such math but of creative commitment. They have an opportunity to push the series in a dry time. Instead of flapping around unfaithful to their series and viewers, I think they should run it like mad men – as a really good spring summer series…and I think they should also (along with touch and also like ringer) push the series to a cliff hanger conclusion and then bring it back next spring summer…

  • Jensen

    PS. the May 10 episode was amazing. I find the series extremely well cast, acted and scripted.

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