Official: NBC renews 'Chuck' for final season


Image Credit: Chris Haston/NBC

You want the good news first or the bad news?

NBC’s Chuck has been renewed for a fifth season. Yay!

But: This is will be the final season of Chuck.

The perpetual bubbliest of the broadcast bubble shows has once again pulled out a victory, securing a fifth round that will air on NBC next season. The network has ordered 13 episodes for Warner Bros. The “final season” part is a bummer, but at least the show will get an ending, which is something most serialized dramas on TV never get.

Creator Josh Schwartz tweeted: “What’s the square root of 25?” (playing off, of course, Ashton Kutcher’s tweet about joining Two and a Half Men). Then he added: The passion of the CHUCK fans has been heard again… We are all truly lucky to have the greatest fan base on tv. Thank you. … I will have more details soon… Very happy for the cast and crew.”

For awhile there, things looked possibly bleak for our heroes. New NBC chief Robert Greenblatt took the reins and inherited a new crop of pilots to shape into his own hits, while at the same time Chuck was dipping in the rating — the show averaged 5.6 million viewers and a 2.0 rating among adults 18-49 this season. But the show has a devoted following and was often NBC’s highest-rated series on Monday nights and insiders were confident the show would return once more.

Also in the current NBC news-pocalypse pre-upfront frenzy: NBC has cancelled The Event, has rejected Wonder Woman, has renewed Parenthood and Harry’s Law, greenlit Chelsea Handler’s sitcom and ordered dramas about Playboy and others.

Read more:
Ashton Kutcher joins ‘Two and a Half Men’

Comments (172 total) Add your comment
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  • Clara

    awesome – it’s all i can say right now

    • Pippi

      I think it’s perfect. They can make this the best season ever and give the series well deserved finale.

      • relieved

        5 seasons is the optimal time for a show given that most peak at season 4, making 5 the swan song. I wish Smallville had stuck to just five, the same Buffy the Vampire Slayer. No show can maintain quality beyond 5 seasons

      • Liv

        @Relieved, I would argue that the 7th season of Buffy had some of it’s best episodes. I especially loved the episode in the last weeks of the final season that dealt with Spike excising his personal demons via flashbacks and a brutal knock dwon drag out fight with DB Woodsides’s character. I still get chills watching the series finale when Buffy gives her speech about how “Anyone who can stand up will stand up. Slayers. All of us.” I got chills just writing that. It was a true moment of badassery.

      • NJ

        Wrong. There are tons of shows that were great after Seaason 5. Like Friends, Seinfeld, Buffy, The Simpsons, South Park, Scrubs, Curb Your Enthusiasm and many more.

      • Lori

        I love Chuck, and the cast, and SwedishFriendFinder was amazing

      • TJ. Church

        When the relationship became the focus, they should’ve had their finale long ago.

      • Captain

        What shows peak at Season 4? Season 4 is often the worst season in my experience. That was the case with Buffy, Grey’s Anatomy, The OC, Friends…Typically, it starts to slow down after Season 2 and improves towards the last season.

      • Amanda

        @relieved Charmed was great all the way through to the end….. SO HAPPY THAT CHUCK WASN’T CANCELED!!!

      • thin

        Also, it would be really hard to argue that this has been Chuck’s best season. I’m glad to get another season, but this one has had some really… well, I think it would be charitable to call it “uneven.”

      • Lissa

        @Liv: Buffy rules! But I didn’t really like the last season. Those “potential” slayers got way annoying and Buffy was bummed out all the time.

      • oliver humphrey

        Chuck is my favorite show and I hate to see it go off the air. It seems everytime a good show comes on they end up taking it off.

      • Baardi

        IMO the show was great the 3 first seasons, but the fourth sucked. The fifth season seems a bit better so hopefully it will be a good finale

  • Jenna

    YESSSSS!!!!! oh thank god. now i won’t have to dip into a depression after next monday!!

    • tvwatcher

      YYAAAYYY!!! Great news! Monday is for Chuck. I can’t stand DWTS and since 24 was gone, there was nothing else! So glad they’re coming back for another season!!

    • Concerned Citizen

      You may not have to dip into a depression, but NBC’s Monday night ratings sure will.

  • hayanna

    \\o// Season 5

  • Michelle

    13 episodes isn’t enough though. I’m happy the show is returning but only 13 eps?

    • cj

      That’s how they’ve done it pretty much every season since the show started… they’ll order the first 13, NBC has loved the first couple of those episodes and they order what’s known as the “back 9″ to make it a full season of 22 episodes. In the case of this season they actually ordered a “back 11″ making it a total of 24 episodes. Here’s hoping they do it again!

      • Johnification

        I’d almost rather they didn’t do that this time, though, or they decide really early…if they’re plotting a “final arc” I’d like it to be REALLY final.

      • Me

        I agree. I don’t like the idea of only 13 episodes, but I do want it to have a satisfying ending. I’m not sure that will happen if there’s the option of more episodes. Then they’re either leaving it open and it doesn’t happen or there’s the perfect ending episode in the middle of the season.

      • Jan

        Whatever the final number is, I want the creators to know NOW. This “we have to write a finale, we did, it’s great, oh wait we have a bunch more what do we do now” business has to stop. The most irritating part is that they write a great finale, then get picked up for more episodes, then fans and critics start saying “oh this season has been really uneven.” NBC, just end on 13 or give them 24, NOW, so they know what to do.

      • fathertime

        @Me I agree. I think that is what happened this season. The 13th episode that aired in January would have been the perfect ending to the series. “Chuck vs the Push Mix” had Chuck and Morgan take down Alexei Volkoff, while Sarah rescued Chuck’s mom. Casey gets to know his daughter better, and Ellie eases Devon into fatherhood. That tied up all the loose ends. The back 11 meant they had to create a new villian–the daughter–and new story lines. Let’s see how they ended this season.

    • RK

      13? What is this, the BBC?

      • Brooke

        I wish, ’cause the BBC’s shows tend to have a really good run with only 13 episodes per season.

  • Marianne

    So Awesome!!! Biggest smile on face right now!

  • Dee

    Dude,that is just outstanding! Loved Josh Schwartz’s tweet to the fan base. Truly a remarkable thing to be a part of! Five alive baby!!

  • Pam

    meh. I could care less. I was previously a religious Chuck viewer and tried to convert everyone I knew. But this season, it seemed to get rid of a lot of the things I loved about the show so I stopped watching. I think everyone knows that season 5 will be its last.

    • Lissa

      Well they said it is the last…

      • oh

        Pam had to send her nasty-gram, couldn’t be bothered to read the article.

  • Elena

    Hoping that the order gets upgraded to 22 later but even if not, 91 episodes is pretty great for a show always on the bubble.

    • Kirsten

      Yeah, you’d think they’d just go up to get to the magic number of 100 episodes. Of course, they don’t actually need that much to be syndicated, but it wouldn’t hurt

    • Icon

      Agree. I loved this show and campaigned for it every single season, and nothing made me happier than to hear it was renewed, but this season it doesnt feel like Chuck to me, i remember it used to be Buy More=Spy Stuff=Relationships… now its Relationships>Spy Stuff>>>>>>>>>buymore…

  • Chuck Fan

    And that’s how we do it in the #NotANielsenFamily!

  • Chuck is Senor Chang!

    Chuck is a show which can never be killed.

    • DJ

      Until the end of next season.

  • Liz

    Go Chuck!

  • Lucy

    Chuck fan, your campaign had nothing to do with this. NBC did not want to order the show but WB wanted to have enough episodes to put it in syndication. That is the only reason the show is getting renewed with those terrible ratings.

    I used to love the show but it has gotten way downhill this season and the ratings reflect that.

    • Tim

      Lucy: This was one of several reasons all along.

      Syndication is not guaranteed money, but if you don’t have it as an option, you are certain to make 0 money. They were close. Given the other aspects of the decision (listed below) this probably pushed it over the edge to renewal.

      Other reasons:
      – before this latest drop, it was actually doing better then anything else NBC put up there.

      – NBC has learned the hard way that promoting 7-8 new shows at once fails. My observation is that NBC is not going to gut their lineup but progressively change/upgrade it over time. Funnel the promo money into 3-4 shows and make them stick. It worked for the Voice.

      – Chuck fans are no doubt a factor in this. Not the dominant one, but they have vocally and fiscally played a role in the success of Chuck past season 2 to date.

      – Finally, I don’t know any Chuck fan that gripes about content up through episode 13. The problem killing Chuck is ultimately NBC itself. How could NBC (or anyone) honestly expect them to write a good 9-11 story arc on the fly, with little notice?

      Compound this with the overall lack of stability (which forces the show to lose writers).

      I mean, it’s no wonder it limps along the past two seasons. I still think it does a great job, but if they were assured 22/24 episodes the past 2 seasons early on, and this was the end product – then I wouldn’t hold this opinion.

      • Tim

        forgot to add: I definitely agree that this SHOULD be the last season. I only hope that NBC deicdes quickly on whether to expand the order. I really don’t want to see two stories in one season again.

    • Joe

      What the hell do you mean by bad ratings? Viewers have dropped but nearly all episodes of the recent season have still been strong. And the NANF campaign definitely had a BIG part in the shows renewal. Fans all across gathered together to show their support of the show and they did it with care. Name one other show that has dedicated fans like that.

    • batman

      Not really. What other show has a fan base like Chuck? And NBC does NO promos for this show. But they hype, hype, hype their cr^p shows instead. If they would just put a little effort into ads and promotion, this show could go out with big numbers.

    • Lou

      Yup. Too bad the show is AWFUL now.

      • Hudson

        Used to love Chuck but this season has been awful. So I still watch but time shift it down to the end of the week when there is nothing else to watch.

  • Andy

    No offense to CHUCK fans but I have to wonder what kind of dirt the producers of the show have on the network execs that forces them to keep renewing the show. So many fabulous shows have barely lasted a season and this one, with no audience numbers to speak of, is coated in Teflon. How is that shows with better ratings got canned but this one keeps coming back? Blackmail, I say. Or black magic.

    • Tim

      lol, what better shows?

      We ARE talking about NBC here. I agree CHUCK would have been lucky to make three seasons on just about any other of the four networks.

    • Hope

      It’s the Intersect!!

    • DN

      Andy, my boy, have you ever considered the idea that “Chuck” is a quality show not enough people are watching?

      Unlike shows that are renewed early based on their own merits, “Chuck” has had to continually be better than the incoming pilots year after year. I speculate that the new shows on the horizon that NBC purchased did not look as good as “Chuck”.

      So, those shows you consider ‘fabulous’, may just be so to you, but not to those who make the decisions.

      • Tim

        and truth is, when these new pilots run, Chuck honestly IS better programming.

        The only part of Chuck that – I won’t say sucks, but it’s subpar on the whole – is the back half episodes in which, as I’ve mentioned before, the writers are stuck making up on the fly.

        The first 13 episodes of Chuck every season have been outstanding by any critical parameter as far as show quality. It’ll never match American Idle, Dancing with the Stars, or those other mindless talent shows I could care less about (but I’m in the minority, clearly).

        The first 13 of every Chuck series has been great. It’s a mixed bag after that.

    • Lissa

      They tried making new shows on NBC and had worse ratings than Chuck. Why would they cancel Chuck, when its been its only consistant show the last 4 years?

  • Hayley

    Yay. 13 more episodes to wrap it up and END IT.

  • lovely

    5.6m and 2.0 in demo obviously isn’t live viewers, it has been under 1.5 all this year…way to spin numbers NBC

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