Comic-Con Live-Blog: NBC's 'Chuck'

Zachary Levi and company celebrate their final 'Chuck' Comic-Con

Comic-Con Live-Blog: NBC's 'Chuck'
Credit: NBC
Saturday (July 23) is a TV-tastic day at Comic-Con. Ballroom 20 will feature "Chuck," "Terra Nova," FOX animation, "The Vampire Diaries" and "Fringe." Other rooms will be paneling "Community," "Once Upon a Time," "Grimm" and much much more.
 
Today's festive live-blogging will begin with a show that has been a Comic-Con favorite since premiering its pilot for these same San Diego fans. That's right. It's time for what we all are assuming will be the final "Chuck" Comic-Con panel.
 
Click through for the surprises, the emotion and the hilarity...
 
9:55 a.m. Five minutes til the panel. The room is filling rapidly, with fans receiving one-size-fits-all t-shirts very clearly reading "The Final Season." Sniffly...
 
10:00 a.m. The panel begins right on time with a clip package led by the finale shocker that found Morgan uploading the Intersect and discovering the wonders of kung-fu. It cuts to "4 Weeks Later... Chris Fedak's Office." Fedak is on the phone with an executive reassuring them that even though Josh Gomez can't fight or dance or even act, the Intersect twist will pay off. Fedak ends the call banging his head on a table. They have a blank "Ideas" board. "It wasn't the best of choices," Josh Gomez tells him. Captain Awesome shows up to suggest a musical montage to help, specifically a performance from Jeffster, specifically a montage set to "Eye of the Tiger." It's very "Rocky" style with Gomez running and doing pushups on the Warner Brothers Lot. The Jeffster footage includes a huge Tiger in the background. Josh Gomez punching a side of beef? Funny. Josh Gomez jumping rope? Even funnier. But where are the steps he runs up?

10:05 a.m. The video continues with Levi and Gomez outside the door of Ballroom 20. "I think you're ready," Levi tells him. They high five and Levi lets Gomez run in alone. He looks at the camera and mutters, "We're doomed." The tag line... "Chuck... Season 5... We're doomed."
 
10:06 a.m. On the stage first... Mark Christopher Lawrence. Much happiness! Jeff Krinsky! Vik Sahay (bowing to the appreciative crowd)! Louder cheers for Ryan "Captain Awesome!" McPartlin. No surprise here, the loudest reception so far? Mr. Adam Baldwin. These folks love Baldwin and Baldwin loves them. But the lovely Yvonne Strahovski is no slouch in the fan-happiness department. On comes Joshua Gomez, sporting the cup of coffee I wish I had. Impressively, Zachary Levi has *nearly* equalled Baldwin when the roaring begins. And last, but not least, the man who didn't invite me and Sepinwall back to moderate this year... Chris Fedak.
 
10:09 a.m. The moderator vows that we're going to get questions from the crowd this year.
 
10:10 a.m. Chris Fedak begins, "In network TV, You don't always get the chance to write your own ending. Alf was captured by the bad guys and we don't know what happened to him because it was cancelled." Levi adds, "Are we going to wrap up 'ALF' in Season 5?" Then, in a more serious moment, Levi's voice cracks as he says, "We get to say good-bye to each other and we get to say good-bye to you and that's a really rare thing in television these days."
 
10:11 a.m. Gomez gives a "Holy crap" when it's mentioned that he's the Intersect. Gomez adds, "I think in true Morgan Grimes fashion, it's full-steam ahead. Unlike Chuck where he actually thought things through and cared about the welfare of other human beings, Morgan just wants to hurt people with kung-fu and take revenge. No, I'm excited.." He speculates that the Intersect project was originally designed to provide laughter.
 
10:12 a.m. Is Chuck OK with not being the Intersect? "I wouldn't say he's totally 100 percent OK, that that was the perfect solution. I think he definitely what the beginning of the season wants the Intersect," Fedak says before calling this a "back to basis" season for "Chuck." Fedak says, "What happens if you take away Superman's cape?" and reassures the fans that Chuck will still be a real spy and that this will still be the Chuck show.
 
10:14 a.m. What's on tap for Sarah? "I hope I get to kick more ass. I loved that Thailand. It was one of my favorite things ever," Strahovski says.
 
10:16 a.m. Will Casey find true love? "Define 'true,'" Baldwin says. Fedak adds that Chuck is now running his own private spy company called Carmichael Industries. Their leading rival is titled Verbanski and Gertrude Verbanski is a potential love interest.
 
10:16 a.m. Villains for the first episode will include one played by MARK HAMILL. Fedak says that because Chuck and Company are private contractors, the CIA will have an adversarial relationship. But don't worry, Beckman will be back.
 
10:18 a.m. "I wish we had a montage of pictures of how his hair has morphed from the original Morgan we knew and loved to now, where it's almost like Awesome's," McPartlin says, worrying that with Intersect Morgan and Casey, there may not be room for Awesome. The crowd says "Awww..." but he assures us that all will be well with Awesome.
 
10:19 a.m. And what of the Buy More guys? "I said this before, but you *could* address us individually," Sahay cracks, adding, "I didn't get a microphone. That's how respected I am." Fedak adds, "This is the season where it all fall apart between Jeff and Lester. There will be war between them." McPartlin interjects, "Jeffster is like Sonny and Cher. You can't break them up!"
 
10:22 a.m. "Someone might not survive this season," Fedak teases.
 
10:22 a.m. How do they all want the show to end? "Awesomely," Levi says. "I don't," Gomez replies. "Do I really have a say in how the show ends? No. So... Adam?" Yvonne says. "With the death of Vik," Baldwin says, with McPartlin between them, trying to keep peace. "We have to have a set scapegoat and Vik's the perfect target," Baldin says, adding "I'm still not convinced that it will end this year." McPartlin says, "I would like a feature trilogy, much like 'Lord of the Rings.'" Sahay wants a glorious death in slo-mo. "I think there needs to be a baby Jeffster by the end of the show... not our baby," Krinsky says. "I think it should end funny," Lawrence says.
 
10:30 a.m. Ellie knows about Chuck's spy life, so it's much more of a family business, Fedak teases. "I'd love to have Linda [Hamilton] back," Fedak teases.
 
10:31 a.m. Favorite stunts? "I liked falling off a balcony with Adam into a pool," Levi says. "The Thailand episode was one and the catwalk fight scene," Strahovski says. Baldwin's favorite was a scene in which Chuck fell off a roof and Casey caught him with one arm. "My 'Pulp Fiction' homage," McPartlin says. "I think mine was just one of the many times I passed out," Krinsky says. "I only had three, so I love them all," Christopher says.
 
10:33 a.m. Fan asks Yvonne if Australian women find American accents sexy. "OK, the line for creepy questions are actually there," Levi says. "You should go to Australia. Why not? Give it a shot," Strahovski says, giggling.
 
10:34 a.m. Are we going to find out the science behind Chuck's brain and the Intersect. Fedak can't come up with an answer and Strahovski jokingly passes him their printed talking points. Fedak still can't find a spoiler-free answer, as Levi dies next to him. "Everybody behaves differently when they have it... Let me put it this way, by the third episode, Morgan will have frosted his tips. It effects people in different ways," Fedak says.
 
10:35 a.m. Has Josh practiced his "Flash" face? "That's such a big spoiler," Gomez says, as the audience starts chanting "Flash! Flash!" at Levi's urging. Gomez went into the writers and asked if he had to replicate Levi's "flash face." Finally Gomez does his flash face. It's a flash face.
 
10:37 a.m. A fan wants a Jeffster DVD or World Tour. "Absolutely. Done," Sahay says. "We're going to your country first," Krinsky says.
 
10:37 a.m. Could there be a spinoff? "Definitely," Fedak says. "I always liked the idea that the ending of the show was just a prologue for another adventure," Fedak says. He says that their greatest challenge as writers is giving each of the potential shows within "Chuck" enough screentime. 
 
10:39 a.m. How much impact did the actors have in the development of their characters? Levi says that on the pilot, both Fedak and Josh Schwartz were open to their suggestions. Sahay doesn't feel the same way. "You guys have a great show here," Sahay cracks. Fedak admits that over the course of five years, the characters begin to belong to the actors. "When we see something that works really well in an episode early in the season, we begin to go after that," Fedak says. "I don't like to toot my horn too often, but I will take credit for the appearance of Ronald Reagan on the show," Baldwin says.

10:41 a.m. Will Chuck the character ever go to Comic-Con? "I would love to do that," Fedak says.
 
10:42 a.m. Last question: Who would win in a fight - Casey or Jayne? "We're out of time," Baldwin responds. "This is a 'Chuck' panel. Casey would win," Baldwin says.
 
10:43 a.m. Time for last words to the fans. "This is a really amazing place for the 'Chuck' show. We made it, but it was really born here," Fedak says, recalling that first Comic-Con panel again. "From the bottom of our hearts, thank you. Thank you for the support. Thank you for the Subway sandwiches," Fedak says. 
 
10:44 a.m. Levi's going to have a hard time getting this out. He's in tears again. "You guys are just so epic. You're so epic. You're so awesome. Every single one of you," Levi says, thanking y'all for the time and the money spent on Subway sandwiches and for the passion and the energy. "So thank you," Levi says, again choking up. Led by McPartlin, the cast stands to clap for the audience and the audience stands and claps for "Chuck." Awwwwwwwwwwww.

 

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Daniel Fienberg
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A long-time member of the TCA Board and a longer-time blogger of "American Idol," Dan Fienberg writes about TV, except for when he writes about movies or sometimes writes about the Red Sox. But never music. He would sound stupid talking about music.
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