Exclusive 'Chuck' boss on who's in, who's out, and what's next!

I don’t know about you, but NBC’s official renewal of Chuck has been the highlight of upfront week for me. (ABC’s cancellation of According to Jim finishes a very close second.) But it’s time to bring the victory celebrations to a close and get down to business — the business of asking questions. Will a tighter budget lead to a less awesome (and populated) show? Does the massive Subway deal mean an end to Sarah’s yogurt shop? Will the midseason launch kill the show’s momentum? Will Chuck and Sarah start dating for real? Will exec producer Josh Schwartz answer all of these and then some in the following exclusive Q&A? I can tackle that last one: Yes!

NBC said the show’s budget will remain unchanged from last season. I’m hearing different. What’s the deal?
I can tell you that [Warner Bros.] asked us to make budget cuts to meet a decrease in the NBC license fee. That’s how it was presented to me. That’s as far as I know. My job is to then be able to produce the show at the number the studio is able to deficit it for.

How will the cuts affect what we see?
Hopefully, you won’t be able to tell. I don’t think the look
of the show is going to change. We might have certain episodes where
Chuck’s mission is such that we don’t get the opportunity to go to the
Buy More [as much]. We love our cast and, obviously, we want to use
them as much as possible in as many episodes as possible.

I heard Julia Ling [Anna] might not return. True?
No. We have plans for Anna to return.

Has she been taken off contract?
We actually haven’t finalized all of our actor deals yet.
It’s all being sorted out. But, like I said, we’re going to do whatever
we can to try to keep the ensemble together.

Will the show’s central trio be in every episodes?
Yes. Chuck, Sarah, and Casey are in all episodes.

Will Sarah be working at a Subway next season?
[Laughs] You
know, I don’t know the full details of the Subway integration yet.
I know it will be significant. Chuck is a show that happens to be well
positioned for effortless product integration, especially because Chuck
works at an electronics shop in a strip mall. If Sarah or someone
worked at a Subway it would hopefully be no more intrusive or
unrealistic than Liz Lemon working at NBC.

Are you concerned at all about the show being off the air for 10 months?
It was really a tough choice that the network faced: Put us
on Friday or [hold us until] midseason. I really believe Chuck is the
little show that could. Our fans are clearly passionate, clearly loyal,
and hopefully all we’ll do is get them more and more [excited] for our
return. And we’ll come up with fun ways of stoking the fans throughout
the fall. We also have something very, very fun planned for Comic-Con
this year.

How about a season 3 spoiler in honor of the show’s renewal?
The biggest thing, obviously, will be dealing with the
ramifications of how we ended the season. What does it mean for Chuck
[and] how will it manifest itself? And I think for anyone who is
concerned that he’s no longer going to be the Everyman, or an
accidental hero, fear not.

Will Chuck and Sarah start the season off as a full-fledged couple?
I don’t want to give anything away, but obviously, Chuck
having the Intersect in his head will severely complicate their ability
to be a couple. Oh, here’s something: Look for… [the rest of this
answer will run in this week’s Ask Ausiello, posting tonight.

Really? For who?
[The rest of this answer will run in this week’s Ask Ausiello, posting tonight].

Male or female?
Gosh, isn’t it more fun to tease?

I guess.
Teasing is what you’re good at.

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Comments (83 total) Add your comment
Page: 1 2 3 6
  • Zacfan

    10 months feels like a lifetime, but it will be here before we know it and the fans will be just as eager.
    This show is awesome….thankyou NBC for renewing. Yay! More Charah!

  • Alex

    I’m so thrilled that Chuck got renewed!!!
    I worry that Chuck won’t do well since like Reaper it will be off air for nearly a year (crying). Pushing Daisies also got canceled after being off air for a long time.
    I’m rooting for the show and I’ll be watching and eating Subway subs.

  • david

    I wonder what they have planned for comic con, maybe film some footage???
    I’ll be there and really would like any more info you can spare

  • Candace

    So excited that Chuck got renewed!! 10 months seems like a long time, but I can wait. Especially if Chuck does really well and NBC orders more episodes into the summer like they said they might.

  • Illyria

    I can’t wait for the episodes with less Buy Snore! Forced subplots at the store is what I like the least about the show. I was hoping the budget cuts would take care of that…

  • SM

    Woo hoo! A surprise for Comic-con! I’ll be there so I’m really excited to find out what this is :)

  • Kermonk

    “My job is to then be able to produce the show at the number the studio is able to deficit it for.”
    Able to “deficit it for” – what the hell kind of sentence structure is that??

  • Kristina

    No more Anna?!? Why have Chuck without the Anna and Morgan tango?

  • BigJames

    Hey with them being off for 10 months can you recommend a couple of Buy More webepisodes or something to keep the fans going.

  • Emily N.

    Thanks for this post! I can’t wait for the rest of the info in Ask Ausiello. You’re such a tease!

  • James

    That’s what she said (Re: Last sentence of the interview).

  • DavidJ

    I’m SO happy NBC isn’t making them completely rework the show or anything. While I definitely think they needed to shake the formula up a bit, the basic elements and characters are great as is.
    And yes that includes the fun little Buy More storylines. I’ve really grown to love those guys.

  • Maura

    Sarah or someone worked at a Subway it would hopefully be no more intrusive or unrealistic than Liz Lemon working at NBC.
    WIN FOR THE 30 ROCK REFERENCE. I love Josh Schwartz for that. And the truth of it. :D

  • jay

    I’m so glad NBC came to their senses. It’s fantastic that Chuck has been renewed, but it sucks that we have to wait for 10 months.
    Now I guess my next questions are when is the Season 2 blu ray coming out??? And will Chuck vs. the Third Dimension be in 3-D???

  • Rob G.

    One way to make the 10-month wait a ‘positive’… ‘Chuck’ DVD’s for friends & family at Christmas! That way we can get more people into this great show, and not have to worry about it’s renewal next year!

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