Chuck to return in January

Also to serve as a lead-in for Heroes.

adam-baldwin-chuck-tv-series-season-2-promo-gq-02NBC has announced that Chuck, the spy-fi series starring Zachary Levi and Yvonne Strahovski, will return several months early to television screens on 10 January 2010.

The season three premiere will be a double bill, back-to-back feature in the irregular Sunday slot, before the show moves back to its normal space on Monday at 8-9pm ET, after originally being slated for a March debut. Chuck was, reportedly, considered for the axe last season despite climbing audience numbers, however a concerted effort by fans was credited with turning network heads. The new season, despite having a reduced budget according to Levi, has already received an additional episode order and is apparently being regarded as the last hope of the network to make the ratings in drama, even during the Winter Olympics that have disrupted so much of the US programming schedule.

Heroes will also be moving to a new timeslot with Chuck as its lead-in, with the move seeming to be an attempt to bolster the once-strong series’ flagging ratings. NBC’s sci-fi slate has been less than impressive recently, to say the least. Bionic Woman, a remake of the Seventies show, failed to even finish its season run two years ago, while the alternate reality show Kings was cancelled, and Knight Rider marked a new low for remake ratings. This year, their much-touted Day One has been reduced to a miniseries and moved in its time slot, while Heroes, as we previously mentioned, has been losing viewers hand over fist since its first season.

Chuck’s story centres on the titular character, who after inadvertently having the US Government’s intelligence database downloaded into his brain, is assigned two handlers from the NSA and CIA to utilise his new talents. The end of the last season saw Chuck finally rid of the database, known as The Intersect, and free to pursue a relationship with his CIA handler Sarah, but in order to save his friends he was forced to download a new and improved version of the computer which affects him physically as well as mentally.