We know that the vagaries of modern science fiction entertainment haven’t exactly been kind to you recently. After all, Journeyman was a flop despite the fact that it should have been a resounding success, your previously flagship show Heroes has sunk so far in the ratings that it probably won’t see daylight again, and Bionic Woman… well, let’s not talk about that.
Let’s talk about Chuck instead. It’s been a strange mix of success and hair-pulling mediocrity for you, we know. Once a sure lock for the cancellation bin, it ended up being something of a Renaissance Man for your slate in the SF field, and you demonstrated your commitment to it strongly by giving it an early back nine for this season. You also rescued it from impending doom in season two thanks to the efforts of fans, although we know that wasn’t the only reason.
We don’t pretend to understand the intricacies of the decision-making process that you utilise in deciding what to keep and what not to. We also don’t presume that you owe us the decision to keep Chuck, you don’t. It’s your network, you can do whatever the hell you like with it, after all. We just thought we’d give you a few reminders of why it has such a rabid fan base, why it has potential, and why you should certainly keep it on the air for at least another season. Preferably more.
PS: At least Chuck’s ratings can’t be as bad as Knight Rider’s were, eh?
Chuck is one of the few shows that still retains the Whedon pop culture flavour in its make-up, and we’ve all seen how successful that can be if written cleverly, which it is. From Star Wars references through to Comic-Con and Dune, it’s a veritable smorgasbord of high geekery, which inspires affection in those of a similar persuasion.
The Subway association certainly paid off, so Chuck also has a lot of potential for other advertisers. Product placement, although prominent in Chuck (hello, Apple), isn’t as mind bogglingly intrusive as in other shows, possibly because it takes it a bit tongue-in-cheek. This relates back to the point above.
One of the show’s greatest strengths lies in its fan base, which is undeniably large. More so, it appeals to those who wouldn’t necessarily watch a genre show, and it has cross appeal to many different demographics. Granted, you may not convert all casual viewers into regulars, but it’s all about the softening of perception toward the genre.
It’s been proven that the show can take a few cuts and still turn out quality programming week-in, week-out. After all, the stories that we were hearing about the budgetary downsizing for season three sounded savage to say the least, but it doesn’t seem to have affected the series at all, minus poor Julia Ling, of course.
We know that the storyline was brought forward from where it was going to originally develop, and that Chuck wasn’t meant to be a CIA Agent with Neo powers until a few years time. This proves, if nothing else, that the premise is malleable and flexible enough to accommodate change if necessary, and the stars are proficient enough in their trade to run with it.