When a show’s executive producer takes to his Twitter account to implore fans to watch (“New Chuck Monday. Building up to the finale. Will be blunt: get ppl to watch tmrrw!”) it’s never a good sign. But just how dire are things for CHUCK — a show no stranger to the bubble — with NBC’s May UpFront just around the corner? Nawfal Faizullah, special correspondent to theTVaddict.com, makes the case.
Working in its favor: CHUCK is one of NBC’s most consistent performers. No really, even when performing at a series low of 1.3 (in the coveted 18-49 demographic), las week’s episode was still the perennial fourth place network’s highest rated show of the night. CHUCK also has a very vocal and passionate fan base, the type of fans that will bombard NBC headquarters with Subway sandwiches, repeatedly vote for the series on “save our show” polls, and more importantly, generate buzz for the network.
Working against it: CHUCK has consistently been on “the bubble”, yet every season it manages to survive. This year, however, the ratings have sunk lower than ever before. The last new episode of CHUCK attracted a series low of just 4.20 million viewers and 1.3 adults 18-49 rating. That’s almost 2 million viewers that have abandoned CHUCK since this season began. When CHUCK was renewed for a fourth season, a key factor behind NBC’s decision was the shows relatively stable audience, with the ratings remaining low, but consistent. This season has seen CHUCK’s ratings go down almost week to week.
The Verdict: As a fan, I want CHUCK to succeed. The ratings, however, make CHUCK’s chances of renewal seem somewhat improbable. While on the surface it may appear as though CHUCK has a loyal and devoted fan base, those fans are certainly not being represented in the show’s ratings. If CHUCK had maintained its already low ratings it was attracting during its third season, then perhaps NBC could have kept the series as a stable performer, but the ratings are lower than they have ever been. NBC cannot continue to be seen as the network where under-performing shows come to thrive, and keeping a show like CHUCK for five seasons isn’t going to help NBC climb out of 4th place.
Nawfal Faizullah is a contributing writer to The TV Addict. He lives in London, has a passion for American television, and dreams about one day crashing on the Island from LOST. Contact Nawfal at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter (@mightynaf).