From 'Chuck' to 'Dollhouse' to 'Terminator' to 'Fringe,' HitFix handicaps TV shows on the Bubble
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BubbleWatch: NBC's 'Chuck'
SHOW: "Chuck" (NBC)
IN ITS FAVOR: As you may have noticed, fans have come out in full-force for NBC's second-year action-comedy, particularly in the critical community and online. It's this season's most popular Save This Show candidate. Creatively strong, "Chuck" ended its second season with a streak of superior episodes, probably the show's best. As has often been discussed, "Chuck" seems to have the potential for across-the-board appeal, with its accessible plotlines, appealing characters and attractive young cast.
AGAINST IT: Then, um, why doesn't anybody watch? Part of it is certainly a killer timeslot, but ratings for "Chuck" started soft this season, dipped for a while and evened out at the end. With Jay Leno eating up an hour of primetime every night next season, there are fewer slots for "Chuck" and its ratings are lower than most of its bubble competition. In addition, "Chuck" is a Warner Bros. TV, so NBC doesn't have ownership incentive.
OUR GUESS: We think "Chuck" will be back next year, but we don't know how. Will it be a 13-episode midseason order? Will some time-sharing deal be worked out with an NBC-Universal cable network? We don't know, but NBC's going to need some good faith next season and renewing "Chuck" would help.
THE VERDICT: NBC has renewed "Chuck" for a third season, with the help of Subway.