Chuck’s mostly excellent season two premiere was critically lauded, but was unable to garner excitement from the television audience. The ratings were poor, but not surprisingly so – Chuck inhabits perhaps the most difficult time slot in the network week. The Monday – 8pm slot is home to Chuck, Gossip Girl, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Dancing with the Stars. It’s one thing to pit both of Josh Schwartz’s shows against each other (he runs Chuck and Gossip Girl), but placing both series against such fierce competition is plain mean. NBC curiously ordered a full second of season of Chuck before the premiere even aired. They had to have known what to expect from Chuck’s ratings.
Chuck’s Monday premiere garnered 6.6 million viewers, down nearly 30 percent from the show’s first season premiere a year ago. The 6.6 million is low for a network show, but it is in line with how Chuck did near the end of its first season. Is there an answer? NBC could move Chuck to a different time slot, but they have to put something on at 8pm on Mondays. You can’t just punt a time slot.
NBC isn’t stupid. They knew that Chuck would struggle against its time slot competition. Yet, they had enough confidence in the series to renew it for a full season. Are the demographic numbers good enough that, even at 6 to 7 million viewers, Chuck remains financially viable? That’s possible. However, going against shows geared towards young males like Terminator and the two CBS comedies, Chuck doesn’t do great in really any way, ratings-wise.
Selfishly, I wish NBC would move Chuck to a more enviable time slot. Even with Chuck’s full season order, I can’t escape the feeling that Chuck is on unsteady ground. NBC can’t be content with the show’s low numbers and if Chuck continues to perform this poorly, they would eventually have to cancel Chuck, or at least move it.
What do you think NBC should do? Is there a good solution? Should they shuffle their entire schedule around?
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of NBC)