Thursday, September 30, 2010


Is that a misleading headline?

You bet your bunny slippers it is!  And that is the kind of thing might be delivering for the next few weeks.

"But why?!" you ask.

Because it drives people to the site.  Just like this posting probably flooded my blog and likely crashed the host.  Misleading headlines are the cornerstone of news related hook-you-into-a-nothing-story marketing.

Just know this, week-two of a 13-week season schedule is WAY TOO EARLY to be calling anything.  I do love TVBTN and appreciate the great service they provide for those of us who are obsessed with ratings (and they do it better than anyone), so I am not attacking them for putting out articles that draw CHUCK viewers to their site (and you know how much I love to attack).  I just want CHUCK fans to chillax for a bit and wait.

We will have a better idea of where the show stands in about three weeks.  Granted, based on the history of this show, we will probably still be wondering all the way up to week-13.

And before you ask, no, none of my sources have indicated that CHUCK is going to be canceled.  I am sure TVBTN has their own sources and they are probably telling them the same thing.  So, remember this important lesson in headline reading:

READ THE CONTENT OF THE ARTICLE, not just the headline.

And if you want to save CHUCK, read the posting at this link and tell everyone to memorize it and post it everywhere, every day, until CHUCK is renewed.

(To the people who messaged me that they had heart attacks just reading the headline, I have only this to say: you are now unlikely to forget it and hopefully don't overreact to future CHUCK headlines... and I hope you survived --Love, Me)


  1. Episode 2 might be enormous if Chuck was on Fox. ;)

  2. Damn it, you almost got me there. XD

    Thanks for the warning though. :D

  3. Hi Magnus,
    I might be drinking kool aid here but my question is this - if we were renewed this year at a 2.0/1.9 demo - what would have to change for the show to be cancelled assuming similar ratings? Obviously that's a working assumption because if ratings drop to 1.6 or something then clearly we're dead.
    Presumably someone has either decided that the show can make a profit even at those levels or NBC really just has nothing else it can put in that tough Monday slot that won't get killed. If the show is making a profit why cancel it? And NBC still doesn't seem to have a viable replacement.
    Or - was there another reason behind renewal which may.have changed come the next renewal decision?
    As for TVBTN someone on there was predicting a back 6 pickup last week - and now someone else is forecasting cancellation. Ridiculous journalism - agenda or otherwise.

  4. Big Kev, last time I heard, NBC made around $1 million profit per episode on CHUCK. Now, that was last year. I have no idea what their per-episode profit is right now.

    I was told their ability to make a profit is based on a number of factors:

    1. Low licensing fee.
    2. Good male 18-49 demo.
    3. Ability to grab a good male 18-49 demo on Monday, during football season.
    4. High median income of CHUCK viewers (apparently means they can charge advertisers more than your average 2.0).
    5. High audience engagement (something related to how viewers of CHUCK are more aware of advertisements... or something).

    There is more but I am going from memory. So, with CHUCK doing essentially what NBC expected and so far not losing much of that viewership, even without promotion, it has to be a positive sign.

    But is it good enough? That is the most important question. We don't know.

  5. TV shows needs ratings, websites needs hits. They'll post whatever it takes (good or bad) to keep getting traffic from rabid Chuck fans.

  6. Thanks Magnus,
    In all the threads I've read about ratings those are the only concrete figures I've seen. Much appreciated.

  7. Diane says...

    Thank you, Magnus, for performing this necessary public service.

    For the profit discussion, it should be noted that the networks had a healthy upfront selling season and networks were able to secure nice CPM increases vs. last year. TV buys are negotiated based on "Cost per Thousand(CPM)" viewers for the demo the advertiser is seeking.

    Another thing in Chuck's favor is that its viewers would be sought after for any advertiser in the electronics, gaming, or fast food categories. It has a synergistic environment for those categories.

  8. Just pointing out Lone Star was canceled after two weeks. However if NBC was to cancel Chuck based on ratings, then they better be prepared to cancel the rest of their schedule except SNF.
    Chuck 2.0 was the only Monday show that did not drop and Chase is at a 2.1. Undercovers 2.0 ( waiting for results)did not open well, and parenthood 2.4 > 2.0 dropped. I think NBC is worried but not stupid. If Chuck earns another 2.0 with just over 5 million viewers next week with the same massive amount of marketing or lack there of, then it is what it is, it is a stable secure little show that has the ability to be flexible. If I were NBC I would consider picking up the back 9 and showing the best of Chuck Season 4 when DWTS is not the competition, but I am one of the 5 million.

  9. BJ, if I were NBC, I would have canceled CHUCK at the end of season 3. If I were me (which I am) and had power (which I don't), I would have picked it up for 10 seasons. ;)

  10. Hi Magnus,

    Objectively speaking, how much of a shock is it that the majority of new shows on NBC are tanking in the ratings? Also they are all different, there is a spy show, legal, us marshall, etc, but they all tank? Also I agree with your blog, I think NBC has to see if chuck can keep the same 2.0 without promotion and what will happen to the other shows, they may pick up or continue to freefall. I mean new shows at a 2.0 already! wow. Chuck took 3 1/2 seasons to get that low, lol.

  11. Luke, the only show that is a shock to me is UNDERCOVERS. I thought JJ being involved would pull in more viewers. The rest are doing pretty much what I thought they would do. Unlike many critics, I thought OUTSOURCED would do well. THE EVENT is following a predictable pattern. It will be interesting to see what it does next week.

    Oh wait, there is one other shock... CHUCK. I was sure it would stay well below 2.0 with what little promotion it got/gets.

  12. Magnus,

    A lot is always said about the budget, I assume listening to your podcasts that the chuck people save their money for later episodes when the storylines get more jucier and more action and drama is needed. So do you think that with timothy dalton coming in this season and more money likely to be spent along with saving mama b for later episodes the ratings could hold steady?

  13. John, that is how it usually works. They hold back from some episodes to give to others.

    As for that helping the show gain ratings, or hold onto them, as I have said a million times over the last couple of years, ratings are usually not dependent on the quality or critical reception of individual episodes. What drives ratings tends to be traditional marketing, word of mouth, and general curiosity.

    At this point, I don't think there is much general curiosity. Traditional marketing is almost non-existent. Word of mouth hasn't spread enough over three years, or it hasn't been effective. So, I can't predict anything improving. But one never knows what unpredictable element might play into things that could drive viewers to or away from the show.

  14. Undercovers slid 20% to just a 1.6 adults 18-49 rating.

  15. Nena I saw a table that said undercovers fell to a 1.5, but still wow! Looks like the name jj abrahams really does not equate to success, fringe was a 2.0 in its premier week. Head scratcher! I am now really interested in next week!

  16. A 1.6 for Undercovers? LMAO! Well I called it. I said below a 2.0, but a 1.6 is putrid. Even Chuck never got that in the dark days of DLST and Shaw. So it looks like Undercover and Outlaw are done for. That feeds the bear for now, but how many others have to die before its full and Chuck is safe. It looks like The Chase, Parenthood and Chuck are all about on even ground running from the bear at this point. I predict both Parenthood and The Chase will fall behind and be eaten first. The real question is will that be enough to give Chuck a back 9 or a 5th season. Who knows....


  17. I imagine 5 shows have to fail to secure CHUCK for more episodes. I am not going to guess at what needs to happen for another season.

  18. So that is parenthood, outlaw, undercover, chase, the apprentice, law and order Los angeles wait did you say only 5, oh well I am sure there will be more........

  19. THE APPRENTICE is not getting canceled. L&O:LA should survive in that prime spot... but we shall see. CHASE might survive too.

  20. Unfortunately, Outsourced, LOLA, SVU and The Event have done pretty well so I can't see a renewal for us. I don't even know if a back 5 or 6 is likely because of the sheer amount of content NBC has for mid season. I guess it depends on if Undercovers, Chase and maybe The Event (I just think we need the Event to keep us going in NBC's mind) keep dropping big percentages (I personally don't think Chase will go much lower as its cookie cutter procedural TV).

  21. Eaglemmoonmin, it is too early to say LOLA and the event have done pretty well, lets see what there overall key demo ratings are in 2 - 3 weeks, then we shall see if they have earned the right ratings for the amount of money it costs and the promotion it gets.

  22. Thanks for the explanation, Magnus. Really insightful. Keep hope alive, right?

  23. I may be way out in left field here ,

    Most shows start with a 13 plus 6/9 option . Everyone seems to think that a midseason show starts in January . Some do , but lots start in the early part of spring . Parenthood last year started March 2 ran 13episodes all the way till May.

    This year NBC has a lot of midseason shows to air , unlike last year. So what happens if Chase , Undercover, Chuck , Outlaw and Outsourced don't get additional episodes and end their run in December or early January. NBC replaces all those shows with new ones and they do much worse ? Are they going to run Minute to win it 5 days a week @ 8 pm ?

    After seeing the rating for NBC new shows , I.m a lot more optimistic regarding more episodes than I was a month , heck a week ago .

    Some of the fall shows will get additional episodes to run until march , hopefully Chuck is one of them .


  24. Avrit, it is unlikely that NBC would cancel all of those shows. They would just not order more episodes but keep them on the bench just in case. They could even order more episodes of CHUCK and hold them over for either a replacement, in case a mid-season tanks, or for the summer.

    They could also do that with any other show.

  25. Are you want to kill me? I really felt pain in his fake news. I'm not believing in alarms ... I prefer to wait and see. ok. After the fright ... it made me think. This is a real possibility, indeed, in my humble opinion the most certain. Cancellation ... since the first season that the hypothesis is more correct. And once again we must do something about it. Chuck fans are passionate, I'm too far away to a fan who cares for the ratings for Chuck, but I am still passionate about the show.
    I follow the daily news show. And the five million people loyal to Chuck, are no less passionate than me.
    The show is without promossão. The station seems to have positioned itself as the go that route. I do not understand. What is the purpose of that season 4 for the station? however, this is a fact. It can not be with him. I believe that the road is another. The publicity among loyal fans runs largely through the Internet. Of course it is important, but such advertisements must be external. For those who do not know or do not have a chance to chuck. The Internet is a powerful vehicle, it can propagate the show. The interest of keeping the show alive is the fans, then fans should promote them. 5 million people making noise attracts attention. If each one only gets a new fan, this herd doubles. You guys who care for ratings, should make a kind of showroom program with short videos showing what Chuck does best, and send to your friends, friends of friends, relatives and ask them aright to others, a kind of current well. Another way would be to fill the email box of newspapers, magazines, publishers, speaking of his passion for the program, someone will report, and will give publicity that is what you need. Another meneira would urge the fans to buy products from advertisements that promote the show and let them know that (I mean, it kind of makes and inform fabicantes who advertise their products at the time of the show that fans are really Chuck bound by the program).
    A bit naive of me to think so is not it? sorry about that Mr. Magnus, say, use your space. But I love "Chuck." The fourth season is there, and she is wonderful. I see that she can please Greeks and Trojans, not in its entirety, because, after all, each one is a thinking head and suit the story of their reality, but overall it's very pleasing.
    You, the fans that matter, do something, make some noise!
    sorry, if you have something that does not understand, my English is not very good.


  26. I'm just trying to avoid the ratings talk...
    Its either all speculation - or else it becomes another instance where we feel helpless...
    I think the fate of the show is now in the hands of the showrunners and writers.
    The better the story - [ best possible product] - the more likely that Chuck's numbers will stay the same - or maybe even improve [ as folks get bored when new shows go stale].

  27. Well. you just got your 5th show Magnus. Community hit a 1.9 last night...

    Outlaw - Toast
    Undercovers - Toast
    Parenthood ( Not looking good )
    Community ( Not looking good )
    The Chase( Not looking good )
    The Apprentace ( Not looking good )

    Also, Outsources slipped hard last night too even with The Office as a lead in.


  28. You need TWO half-hour shows to drop to equal one whole hour. So, that isn't working in CHUCKs favor. OUTSOURCED slipped 20% like most of the new NBC shows, but is still doing well at 2.8... for now.

    THE APPRENTICE is not getting canceled. But it could be moved.

  29. Just so everyone knows, NBC showed a Chuck commercial a little while ago during the Ryder Cup play.

    I wonder if this is only because it's during a sport, with the whole Men watch the show thing, or if they are actually going to give the show some promotion?


  30. If they are not giving it serious promotion, then I am not sure how much benefit they are doing giving it 3 spots per week with non prime-time shows.

  31. Hi Magnus,

    forgetting about the new and other existing shows, if chuck continues around a 2.0 without promotion (I am being hypothetical here and not predicting anything) but if it does, then what does that tell NBC apart from what they already know that chuck has its dedicated fanbase.

  32. It essentially tells NBC that CHUCK can do a 2.0 without much promotion. Now, would it do that number, or better, if it moved to another night? Maybe. Maybe not.

  33. So my understanding is this, by not promoting chuck and still getting a 2.0 NBC are basically making more profits on chuck then the profits on shows that they promote and still get the same ratngs. Plus chuck being cheaper to produce with a reduce budget, I am suprised NBC are not over the moon and dancing in the streets, it is all gravy for them, lol.

  34. I doubt NBC is over the moon about CHUCK. But it is a money maker. I bet they are chuckling to themselves about how the show just won't die.

  35. Well what I will say (and I will be serious because my last post was a joke sort of) is that although the first two episodes were lacking in mythology and did not have the action we expect from chuck (oh that darn budget) it still has nailed the character interaction, between chuck and mogan, casey and morgan, chuck and casey and chuck and sarah, especially chuck and sarah. So if they keep giving those scenes like they did at the end of the last episode (apart from the last 10 seconds) then I think they will be ok (you know men love those chuck and sarah make out scenes).

  36. And I will continue to say that perceived quality will not determine ratings. :)


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