Chuck, the new action-comedy from The OC creator Josh Schwartz, is easily one of Fall’s best pilots. About a computer nerd who suddenly becomes an invaluable tool for the government, Chuck’s pilot is uniquely funny with surprisingly fast-paced and polished action. When NBC decided to switch up their Fall schedule and move Chuck’s time slot to Mondays at 8pm, many saw this as a positive change. After all, Chuck will now be leading into Heroes, currently NBC’s prized franchise, which airs Mondays at 9pm. At first glance, this may seem to be a show of faith from NBC, but if we look a little further, tough times may be ahead for Chuck. Its competition is nasty.
This is what the TV landscape will look like at 8pm on Mondays this Fall:
ABC: Dancing with the Stars
FOX: Prison Break
CBS: How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory
The CW: Everybody Hates Chris, Aliens in America
ESPN: Monday Night Football
Yikes. That’s a whole lot of good stuff. At best, Chuck can hope to secure the number three spot in the network ratings behind Dancing with the Stars and Prison Break. I suppose Chuck could become a runaway success and entice more viewers than Prison Break, but even then it won’t be taking down Dancing with the Stars. Monday Night Football, which begins at 8pm ET/5pm PT will impact viewership on both coasts as the games typically run at least three and a half hours.
CBS may pose problems for Chuck, because they’ll be competing for similar demographics. In fact, How I Met Your Mother may become the biggest casualty of this Monday night scheduling quagmire. I hope not. It’s a damn good show and it deserves better. The CW shouldn’t pose much of a problem for Chuck, although Everybody Hates Chris is well-regarded and Aliens in America has garnered overall positive reviews. It’s still the CW, though.
Chuck’s success will have to come right from the start, if it comes at all. If Chuck doesn’t hook viewers from the beginning, the show may be doomed. Good luck trying to pry people away from the bevy of other Monday night options.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of NBC)