It was the ultimate good news/bad news situation: Producers for NBC’s favorite underdog Chuck learned last May the show was renewed — for a final season. “We were picked up and cancelled in same phone call,” recalls writer-producer Chris Fedak. Still, it presents producers with a rare opportunity. Despite all the press surrounding the conclusion of Lost, broadcast TV producers very rarely get the luxury of planning an entire final season in advance. Readying for an appearance at Comic-Con today (the Chuck panel is always a high-energy highlight of the conference), Fedak talks about his plans for his hero’s last adventure.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What was your reaction when you learned about the final season order?
CHRIS FEDAK: We were very excited to be able to do one more season of the show. It’s really amazing to be able to plan a great finish for your story and it doesn’t always happen in TV. We look at it as an amazing opportunity to close the Chuck story in one epic final chapter. We have a big story pitched and we have a final moment for the series that we’ll have been working up to for five seasons.
Some fans worried about too much of a focus on Morgan next season. How are your going to balance Morgan’s new super-powered story and still keep it a show about Chuck?
Fedak: It’s still very much the Chuck show. He’s the star and Zachary Levi is fantastic. Watching Chuck without the Intersect is just as fantastic as watching him with it. We thought that would be ane fun way to start to season — watching him get used to not having it, and starting the spy team and working outside the government while best friend now has a super computer in his head. We have a lot of exciting twists and turns planned.
Will Chuck ever get the Intersect back? People liked badass Chuck.
For me, the most badass version of Chuck has been when he uses his brain. I always feel like was the hero who figures out the unconventional solution — in the writers room, we call it “The Chuck solution.” He’s still surround by two season spies and Morgan — the half-assed spy.
The first episode is “Chuck vs. The Zoom.” What is the Zoom?
The Zoom is a secret I will not be giving it up to you. But it’s a rather dangerous and powerful secret.
Are we going to have another major villian arc this season?
Yes, we are going to have a villain story this year. But if you look at episode 24, we’re exploring Chuck starting up his own spy firm and exploring the bromance between Chuck and Morgan — he has to become Morgan’s handler. And the heart of the Chuck show the show is a romance, just because they’re married doesn’t mean they’re riding off into the sunset. There’s a lot of things that are going to happen this season.
So in terms of series endings, do like Sopranos-style enigmatic or are you going for more solid closure?
I love endings that are in some ways a beginning. This is the Chuck story and I would be a bad storyteller if I implied it was going to be a happy ending. There’s a lot of scary things ahead. As far as a TV fan, it’s really neat to look at all the other endings — Lost, Sopranos, Newhart — and figure out what’s going to be our own crazy snowglobe.
My personal favorite is The Shield.
Oh! Heart wrenching! I don’t think we’ll go that dark. But you never know… “