Just one final hot scene. Hell, that's not gonna happen.ONE NON PECK KISS?
I get the feeling that the decision for cancelation has already been taken, but u dont wont us to get dissapointed...
Magnitude says ...POP POP !Now J says ...That podcast was a freakin' riot ! I noticed in the scene where Vivian tosses the bank card on the table in castle and Chuck flashes on it . After the flash the scene cuts to Vivian who has a surprised/shocked look on her face . I wonder if that will be touched upon down the line somehow . Another homage was near end where Morgan asked Jeffster if he could stay the night at their place/Loretta and Lester replies with " sorry friendo " ( No Country for Old Men reference ) . So many shout outs in this episode . This episode just reminded me why I fell in love with this show in the first place . Well done Team CHUCK !!
Thanks Magnus. I enjoyed your analysis of this episode, especially the analysis of Sarah’s character. I couldn’t agree with you more. You mentioned elsewhere (possibly Fan Forum) regarding Sarah having an emotional epiphany, that initially took you by surprise. Was the epiphany you were referring to in this episode? Or is that still to come? Funnily enough, I wasn’t feeling Sarah’s hair in this episode as much as previous eps, but agree she’s been looking great recently.I was a Mulder/Scully shipper for many years (you have the X-Files fandom to blame for the term Shipper) so I’m used to restraint and sexiness happening off-screen. So I’m not one to complain too much about lack of hotness but I definitely think they have toned down that aspect way too much. I don’t know what they are afraid of here. I’ve seen much worse on other shows.
Thanks for bringing up my pet peeve, the "family viewing" trope. I wasn't around online fandom during the first two seasons of the show, but did this start with fans or the showrunners?All told, only 4% of the viewers are Kids 2-11 and 5% are 12-17. That doesn't add up to a lot of "families" watching the show. I could even argue that for the older teens, you don't have to be "family". They're watching Skins.You brought up my comment about Chuck's talking to Vivian at the end was a callback to Nacho Sampler. I probably should have clarified what I meant by that. The situations are similar, but if you watch Nacho and then watch the scene here, you can see Chuck's growth. I like when they do that.In both, it started with Sarah asking if Chuck needed her to help do it. In Nacho, Chuck says "yes", but acknowledges he has to do it himself anyway. Then, he does it and its clearly difficult for him. Here, he says he doesn't need her help from the start. It's still not pleasant for him, but it's not as traumatic. I could also mention that it was tough on Sarah that Chuck had to do it in Nacho. She was in that "afraid he's not going to be Chuck anymore" mode. But, here she accepts that Chuck can do these things now.I love these types of repeat situations that show Chuck's growth. I didn't mean it was exactly the same.
Danix, the dress and the fact that she would dive head-first into the wedding like that. When I first heard about it I didn't understand the context. So, it surprised me. But as I began to understand what it was about it, it made perfect sense to me.
dkd, like you said, it was similar but different. And as always, thanks for the numbers. This whole fandom has built itself up, in its own mind, as something it isn't and has never been. It is like if you just say something, then it is true. But the numbers don't support. Just because someone on the Internet does something, that doesn't mean it is reflected in how most people do it. And that is something television people sometimes have a problem coming to terms with. Your Twitter universe is not representative of the rest of the world. Or your fans who come up to you at SDCC, are not the world.
Music used in the podcast, in order of appearance:Life of Agony - Bad SeedDown - LiferGregory Abbott - Shake You DownGabrielle - Dreams
Yes but nelson family for some reason represent the world. I funny how that works. I don't care what people say or how they spin it. i know it never going to change but nelson has no idea how many people are watching TV it all estimated and not way it that accurate. I guess we should be thankful though we did get 4 season. Also are you telling me that more people have nelson boxes than they have computers in their houses. Sorry do not buy that either. Also it really not a surprise to me that it getting canceled. With lack of promotion and really no traffic as much as we had with the show on websites and stuff it lost it appeal to people i suppose. I just hope that the show runners know and give it a proper ending. I do not think their dumb i think they know this is it.
It is NIELSEN, not nelson. And their method of measuring is at least based on sound SCIENCE. Whereas massive supposition based on tweets and what someone says to you on set is social networking.That is not to say that I like the system, but at least it is more believable than fan conjecture.
Hey Magnus,Great podcast as always and I really loved the episode this week. Bank scene was awesome and I really loved the emotional moments with Sarah realizing how important the wedding is to her too. Magnus, will we get to see Sarah continue to be crazy excited about the wedding and will we see a Chuck bachelor party this season, maybe with Agent Forest as the stripper again? ;) AB
I was not sleep until this podcast came out, and after , I was so tired that i can not made a comment.But I wake up now .soFantastic, really, just like the episode remind why I love this show, You podcast remind me why I love your podcast and you blog. You and Mike did a great work. again. I thank you too , the Sarah analysis. BTW I always loved more the real girl behind the Spy Mask, which sounds stupid, but, to Me that Sarah is a super spy, at some point it become just an Extra. and at the same time that is why I loved a little more the Spy Chuck, or not even true that I loved more, I just intrested more about those side of the characters.and I actualy realy hoped that Sarah will change about the wedding, and it happend, and I know it may be sounds ridiculous, but it is just screamed for it . and I hope it will continue. :) and she will give us some more suprise.Oh and I already sorry for the Bad guys, who are gonna destroy Her wedding, I remember what she did in the Phase three, I only just can imagine what she will do if this is happeningThanks again
Look i am not saying that online it accurate either. Matter of fact i know it not. But i dont think NIELSEN is either. I do not care if they say it science or not. No it not they say that just so they can say the system works.
IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE WHAT YOU THINK.It only makes a difference what is a fact. The fact is, Nielsen is the SYSTEM they use to decide whether CHUCK lives or dies.
Magnus,Since another source beat you to the punch about Sarah's father in ep4.21 would you give us an exclusive for 4.19 and 4.20?Can't wait to see if Vivian becomes good or evil, how Alexi will mess with Chuck and Sarah, how Jack Burton mixes things up, or what happens to moma b.I really hope Chuck and Sarah go back to plan a and elope in the last 5 seconds of ep4.24 :)TS
TS, I will post spoilers for episodes at the appropriate time. Maybe some 4.19 stuff next week.
Thanks Magnus !!!TS
BTW I'm glad the chineese food didn't kill you off :)TS
Heh... I am glad too... and surprised.
Please tell me that NBC will NOT air a new episode on March 21st opposite the premier of DWTS . TPTB should be courting Charlie Sheen to play Alexei Volkoff's estranged brother Charlie Volkoff .
Well no crap. I know it don't matter what i think. I know how it is. But i also going to speak my mind sir. Can i change thing no probably not. But you never know maybe if enough people say something then maybe. You know i know you don't think a person can make a difference sir but I think one can.
Anonymous, if that even is your name, the networks are spending a lot more time, effort, and money to get more revenue per viewer than the entire Internet of bitching will ever do. So, despite your delusions, the truth is that you stating the obvious won't change anything, ever.
Charlie Volkoff... genious!!!!!!!
I give up. What is DWTS?Chuck is the only thing I watch on Monday nights.TS
Sorry for the typo. I meant to say:Charlie Volkoff... genius!!!I am kidding. Charlie Sheen would probably set the set on fire or try to tackle Timothy Dalton.BTW, when is TD coming back? What about Linda Hamilton?ps.: good to see that you survived the chinese food, Magnus. Was it sizzling shrimp?
It was steamed dumplings and egg rolls.
If Vivian Volkoff went bad that would be cool but I think it's cool that they are making most of the fans wonder will she become bad won't she come bad. But for me it wouldn't be the end of the world if she stayed good and become a spy so then it can be daughter vs father. What do you think MAGNUS
Suggestion for Anonymous:If you have a degree in Statistics (Masters degree is better), you can actually get a job at Nielsen and work from within to improve their system.If you don't, get one. Maybe in four years, you can get a job at Nielsen and work from within.
I am craving chinese food now, dumplings actually. Crap.(can we say "crap" or is it considered cursing?)
Archer!!!!! Yes! So! Much! Everybody should watch this weird hysterical little show. Loved the podcast as usual. In total agreement about the love for this episode. I've now watched it 5 times now. It just keeps getting better.
Magnus, if the Nielsen system is the only system they use to determine whether a show lives or dies, then the Nielsen system itself has got to be gotten rid of or updated, or it shouldn't be the only arbiter on whether a show is canceled. The Nielsen ratings system not only has too much of a monopoly on the ratings game, but it is also not a purely scientific method of gathering viewership statistics. The methods of gathering their sample sizes are have their flaws and the sample sizes themselves are often too small. And viewers shouldn't be objectified by television advertisers and executives, as being just numbers in a competitive ratings game. A fandom's love of a show matters, we are not just a set of numbers to be matched up against the competition, we are consumers and people who are interested in watching a show and investing our time in it.Even critically acclaimed shows and shows with large followings are subject to random cancellation by selfish network executives. Farscape,for example, was abruptly canceled by the Scifi Channel (Now Syfy) when the show makers thought it was going to be renewed. The repercussions of that cancellation reverberated throughout the entire television industry being one of the worst decisions in that network's history. It not only lead to the network's forum website crashing, but it also lead to a well concerted campaign by the Farscape fandom to have the show renewed, which lead to the Peacekeeper Wars miniseries being aired and to the Farscape comics being created.The Syfy network is still being vilified by viewers as a result of their decision to cancel well-beloved shows.
Nielsen isn't really the problem. The networks aren't the problem. It is the ADVERTISERS. And they aren't even a problem. This is about advertisers getting the most for their money. Shows are paid for with advertiser money. If you don't watch the commercials, then they don't pay. If they don't pay, then the network cancels your show.If there was a better system out there, AND the advertisers were open to having views tracked via it, and the networks could demonstrate that it was better than Nielsen, AND it was cost effective to change to that system, they would.
Until you come up with a better system, and you figure out a way to keep shows around when no one is paying for them, the current system remains.
I loved season 4 so far except for the Intersect-less arc. Magnus, my least favorite episode of this season was "Phase Three" and I honestly thought that Sarah failed to save Chuck in time, and that everything that happened after she found Chuck was a hallucinatory delusion on her part caused by her grief. I honestly could not figure out how Chuck could wake up and be fine after what had happened to him. Please explain to me how Chuck recovered from what the Belgian did to him. Am I wrong in thinking that the Belgian had killed Chuck and that Sarah is only deluding herself that she saved Chuck? Would the writers think that I am only deluding myself for fearing that Chuck is brain-dead and Sarah is in a permanent delusional state?However I loved every episode before and after "Fear of Death" and "Phase Three", that is if everything that happened in "Leftovers" and onward was reality and not delusion. "Phase Three" and "Fear of Death" are the only episodes that I wish were never written or filmed.
melwicker, he survived because he is Chuck. He didn't die. The rest of the season is not a hallucination.So, yes. You are wrong.
As a diehard Farscape fan, I just want to say Melwecker's knowledge of what really happened with the Farscape cancellation is wrong. But, I've discussed this many times on Farscape forums under another handle.In a nutshell: Scifi offered Farscape's producers a 13-episode fifth season. The production company turned them down. Neither Scifi or Henson was turning a profit on the show and they were stuck betweeen a rock and a hardplace. The show was very expensive to produce. Henson needed more money from SciFi, but the ratings didn't justify Scifi paying them any more. After the fan uproar, Scifi did make their offer with a slightly higher fee, for naught. It was just a business decision on both sides of the negotiation.There was nothing "random" about it and not wanting to lose money is not being "selfish", it's being a businessperson.At the time, Henson was owned by a German company who was losing money, which complicated their part of it.Many people conveniently forget that the mini-series did not get spectacular ratings either.Apologies to Magnus for waylaying this to being about Farscape, but the lessons learned from that are no different from what is probably going on at NBC and WB right now. In the end, it's not really about ratings, but revenue vs. cost.
Then maybe rampant capitalism and greed from advertisers are the problems as well in some cases. Not in Chuck's case though: Chuck suffers from a lack in promotion, a bad time slot, heavy competition, and some other problems that prevent it from either bleeding viewers or from gaining in viewers. In a better time slot and with better promotion and with a bigger, more carefully planned budget, it would do well. Even the writing in some cases needed some improvement. Sometimes whole networks are in massive trouble: Republicans in Congress want to shut down PBS and NPR and we television viewers must not let that happen, in my opinion. NBC in general is in big trouble from failing ratings and poor management of their shows, from what I have heard. I have heard that whole networks can sometimes kick the bucket, though this happens rarely.
melwicker, you are preaching to the converted (and not even with your facts in order). As I said earlier, it makes no difference what we think. And any change that might come down the line will be way too late for CHUCK.
Thank you for telling me I was wrong about my fear that "Phase Three" actually killed off Chuck. I really needed to hear that from someone other than my mom. I have been bothering my mom all the time with my fears, and she was telling me that I was driving myself crazy with the fear that Chuck was brain-dead. My mom told me that my fear was completely wrong. So it is good to know that my mom was right about me being wrong.
Oh, I didn't know that Farscape was in a financial and ratings crisis. I only knew that it was one of the most beloved and well-known series on television. I only heard that the Farscape producers were shocked and dismayed by the cancellation. I did not know that there were revenue vs cost problems with Farscape during it's final season and that the producers had gotten an offer from the network that they refused. I only knew of the fallout caused by the Farscape cancellation. Many people are still blaming Syfy and Bonnie Hammer for it...but it may turn out that no one was really to blame. BTW, my mom, who's username is Shipscat, helped with the fan made campaign to save Farscape. maybe she and the other Scapers could give me a few pointers on how to help save Chuck.
melwicker, you should go make your own site and save CHUCK.
rich saysMy only complaint along the lines of the "cheesiness" of the wedding dress scene is what Sarah said. in my mind it was only cheesy when she told us "OMG its perfect!" We could see that in her smile, we knew it when she said "we're getting married!" and when she said "I know" to casey and was still smiling.My complaint again is that the writers feel the need to write things out as lines for Sarah that yvonne could easily silently emote, absolutely keeping the integrity of the character without a statement like "OMG its perfect"that's just me. you seemed ok with it though.
rich, I was OK with it because there is nothing wrong with the line, or her saying it.
in your objective opinion.
Asking Chuck questions at the Big Bang panel at Comic Con? Genius.
Nielsen is not sound science at all. Two years ago they contacted me and I filled out the little journal for a month and they did not give me a box because I don't watch enough Television. They expect that the households who get their boxes are watching at least twelve hours of programming a week. That alone skews the data sample all to hell because they are pre-screening their audience and specifically looking for indiscriminate couch potatoes. By only sampling viewers who watch lots and lots of television you cannot possibly get an accurate look at what Americans are watching on television because the fact is the MAJORITY of real world households don't watch very much television anymore. You cannot narrow any data sample to just one culture and get an accurate reading. That would be the equivalent of building a car and only inspecting the tires and power train and just "assuming" that the windshields, interiors, and electronics have the same defect rate. It's not very sound and it's probably one of the reasons that we are seeing ratings continue to plummet. When you continually narrow your data samples your numbers always shrink! Now I am nearly twenty five years removed from engineering school so I have forgotten most of my Gaussian model correlations and Boolean curves and all that stuff, but it doesn't take a statistical genius to figure out that something is amiss. I mean thing about this: Fox News is number one by a wide margin. Does that actually indicate that "most" American households are right wing conservatives? or is it just an indicator that the moderate majority simply tuned out years ago, doesn't watch much TV, will never wind up with a Nielsen box and therefore cannot be measured - and if they were it would be obvious they are watching Chuck!Ok now I am just being optimistic...Zman
Zman, you are being ridiculous. They look for types of viewers to fit into the sample. You didn't fit the type of viewer for the sample. It is SCIENCE whether you think it is or not.
Watching yvonnes and zachary's interviews I get a sense that yvonne is sorta a shipper and zachary is a bromance guy. For me in chuck versus the masquerade zachary killed those scenes with josh because that is what I suppose is the material he is very comfortable with because that is what he wants for his character (for chuck and morgan to be soul mates). The same for yvonne, I really believed her transformation, every bit of it because from interviews we as an audience know that she really does want sarah to have a normal life with chuck, because she says and has being saying before season 3 that she wants chuck and sarah to be happy.....so I do not know why fans are nitpicking these scenes, I am sold! I actually thought the only scene that seemed odd is when sarah is trying to look disinterested with ellie in the beginning, because we know yvonne wants sarah to be very interested (based on her interviews) so that moment was like a little false, but everything else was awesome! great acting! (BTW Please crazy shippers do not misinterpret what I have said here as reality! Thank you)
Jake... you shouldn't apply that much of their real world wants for their characters into the scenes. No matter what the actor WANTS, it is about what the CHARACTER wants or feels. So, if you don't believe a scene because you don't believe the actor felt that personally, then you have just lost your perspective.
But have we (not just you) seen and mentioned that in chuck versus the mask or even aisle of terror that at times zachary (and sometimes yvonne, especially in the mask) look like they just are not buying the material given and have respectively not given a great performance.....is that not the same or different? why does this happen? (I am being sincere in the question, damn it is hard to emote that in text, lol). I always thought that is because the actor does not feel that the character they play would do or not do or say something that is written as they do not believe that is their characters true state... I have a headache, but you know what I mean?
Jake, I posited that perhaps the actor was having a difficult time with the scene and that is why it didn't work. The scene you are talking about WORKS but you are deciding it doesn't work because you think the actor didn't buy it.So, you are projecting something into the scene based on what you know of the actor. I was positing a possible reason for why the actor didn't make the scene believable. Two different things.
I've decided to unlurk a little to say this: Magnus is totally right about Nielsen and the ratings (but what else is new under the sun?)Television is basically a sucession of ads with other stuff (shows) in between. It's the advertisers who pay everything, so it's normal the tv is done for their wishes. The advertisers want people to see their ads so they can sell the things they make. The stuff between ads (the shows) is only there so people would watch tv at that time and watch the ads. If the show has a lot of people watching it, then there are a lot of potential buyers. That's what they care about. They don't care a bit about the shows, their quality, the fans or anything else. And the showrunners can't do anything against it. Because they need to eat, like anybody else.The Nielsen ratings, as much as they're criticized, have proved to work for the advertisers. The way to watch tv has changed, and maybe that means that in the future there will be another ways to measure the ratings. But for now, the advertisers won't change something that, as far as they know, works for them. And that's all. We can argue all the time we want, but the Nielsen will change when the advertisers notice that the ratings and the sales of their products don't match at all.
The only way around Nielsen is if fans email or send letters with proof of purchase within a year period of purchasing an advertisers product and stating they only purchased that product because of the companies support of chuck. But the problem is a) the product really has to be expensive enough to make a difference e.g. 100,000 customers buy a toyota, say the average cost is 15000 dollars then that means toyota have made 1500000000 dollars because of chuck. b) their enough fans who buy small priced items, say 3 million fans go to one of the advertised restaurants and say they only eat their because of chuck. Either idea would send a serious message to a sponsor. But as Magnus says, the fandom is lazy and only a few hundred strong and it would be nearly impossible to have that many fans who can make that much of a difference.So we have to hope that NBC and WB just love chuck enough to keep it on air on basically sentiment alone.....
Just to weigh in on the Nielsen debate. The real issue is that television in the minds of many viewers has evolved from what it started out as. Historically TV was always a vehicle for advertising. The first iteration of the modern serial drama was soap operas, which anyone will tell you were produced primarily as a way to advertise home products like laundry detergent etc, to housewives. Today however, due to the prevalence of TV in modern society and the impact of the internet, you have communities like this which treat television as an art form and a creative expression, not just a vehicle for advertising. Unfortunately, the Nielsen system was created and based around the historical origins of television long before anyone could have predicted how it would evolve creatively. And as others have pointed out: yes the system is certainly not the most effective way to judge a shows quality, but it is what we are stuck with and the truth is every show has to find its own way to exist within that system.-OPD
Hey man, we should do a podcast just on parks and recreation alone! I mean I just am so in love with Ron Swanson! his line "I'm a simple man. I like pretty, dark-haired women and breakfast food. But this stock photo I bought at a framing store isn't real. Today, I got the real thing. A naked Tammy made me breakfast this morning. I should've taken a picture of it." is perhaps the greatest line in the history of half hour comedy. Everything he does and say's is awesome!....."you had me at meat tornado!" brilliant, we need to spread the word that this series is awesome!
Jamie, pretty much.OPD, the problem with every single fan argument against the system is this: ALL SHOWS are suffering the SAME PROBLEM. So, if we counted differently, we would likely just inflate ALL the numbers on ALL shows, meaning CHUCK would have bigger but still problematic ratings.Jake, once CHUCK is over, I am thinking about starting a podcast/site related to a few different things. I know Michael and I have talked about doing a sports podcast. And I would love to do more GPITW with Elizabeth, and perhaps some kind of media podcast with a few people.
P.S.Since another podcast decided to further mislead its audience about ratings and such, we will be doing a podcast on Sunday (that should be out Monday) where we discuss the FACTS of the system. Plus, we will talk about the season so far and what is to come. Other than me, the rest of the people on the show will not be the usual regulars.
Magnus, I think I know which podcast you are talking about! but there was one interesting thing that was said, the fact that the show producers or show runners were told that they have to have the buymore. I am going to be far less critical about the buymore going forward, considering that it has been forced on them for pure commercial reasons. Suits! Barney Stinson would be proud of this pure corperate america out in full force!
Magnus- Sorry I should have been clearer, my comment was directed more towards the idea of WHY fans of a show and Nielsen don't get along; because it's a system that fundamentally doesn't take into account the artistic or creative quality of a show that fans often relate to. I largely agree with your point above that even were we to use a different calculation system, it might not alter that fundamental divide. Fans are always going to like a show because it appeals or speaks to them in some way, whereas advertisers are always going to look to raw numbers and cost v. benefit to determine if a show is worthwhile. Apologies as I typed that first response out quickly and perhaps I failed to make that point.-OPD
Neil, I didn't listen to the podcast, I was just told what was said regarding ratings etc. However, the Buy More thing, as far as I know, is true. The show runners intended on doing away with it.
I just wished someone had said earlier that the buymore was forced on schwedak and the creative force. People have been moaning and groaning, it is not their fault that they are stuck with the buymore! It would have made lives a lot easier. Now we can aportion the blame where it belongs!
I mentioned it nearly a year ago. And many times since.
While keeping the Buy More may not have not been the showrunners preference, if it ultimately brought needed revenue to the show and may have helped keep it on air, isn't that a good thing?
I would rather they use the Buy More... more. I know a few guys who are not happy that there has been less and less Buy More in the show.
Sepinwall did not have an issue with colonel, he called it the most awesome episode in the history of awesome, he even invoked dayenu to point out what he loved. The only episode that he was hard on in season 3 was tooth and this season it has been fear of death ans first bank of evil. There is a pattern forming here and I know you have disagreed people saying it but sepinwall is hard on episodes that cause potential or actual conflict between chuck and sarah! I just think maybe he did not like vivian hugging chuck? A sense of PLI or any angst between chuck and sarah and sepinwall will crap on an episode....blame shaw!
Jake, oops... I realized later it wasn't Colonel he had a problem with, it was Ring he loved. They were so close together I mixed the problem up. Thanks for clarifying.
My mom says that as far as the Farscape cancellation goes: BOTH parent companies were having financial problems. Saber-rattling ensued. Farscape was cancelled. The Scifi channel had previously told the viewers that they had renewed Farscape for a history making two season pickup, so the viewers were understandably shocked. The offer given Farscape at the time of the saber rattling was not enough to produce the show. There was no offer presented AFTER the fan outcry, as one person (probably dkd) claimed during the campaign. (MS, if there was, prove it.)Scifi and Bonnie Hammer made the fans very angry with their rude and cavalier attitude towards the fans.Two good things came out of the campaign-the miniseries, which wrapped up the storyline, and Scifi has given other shows, such as BSG, a chance to wrap up before canceling them. My mom says: A couple of things I learned from the campaign-there is no way to influence the Nielsens. We didn't get them to budge an inch. You can't discount them or persuade anyone that they are wrong. And as I have told Melwicker, enjoy it while you've got it. Everything ends eventually. Another thing I have learned is that some people who claim to be the biggest fans are the biggest naysayers during a campaign. They really can drag you down. This is Melwicker here again. I just want to say to my fellow Chuck fans: Don't stop fighting to keep Chuck alive. Get Nielsen viewers to watch the show live, Get on the Reward TV website and make your viewing of Chuck count as well. And don't stop trying to find ways to help save Chuck. I know the Nielsen system cannot be budged by a few fans, but if we somehow can convince millions of Nielsen viewers to watch our favorite show live, if we can convince the advertisers that our show is worth keeping on the air for another season, then we can possibly convince NBC to save Chuck. We need a lot more luck for the Nielsen ratings to climb again on their own.
Out of curiousity why did you not like ring? I loved the wedding (both) and the final scene in the intersect room, it was high adrenaline stuff.
Jake, I loved the second wedding. I thought the first wedding, the Jeffster performance, and the Bryce/Sarah fight with Fulcrum were all pretty lame... weak writing. Weak setups. Dumb. The montage during the second wedding was brilliant. And the episode ended great. But a majority of it, I felt, was weak and had setup after setup that were obviously NOT going to lead to what was suggested (Chuck would be back at the Buy More in episode 1, Chuck and Sarah would not be together etc). All in all, I feel that it was saved by the final two acts.And after Sepinwall spent all that time complaining about the writers utilizing one step forward and two steps back, he let them off the hook for it.
melwicker, well, we did influence Nielsen because I got my hands on a few of them, and they didn't know how to have their views counted correctly. So, in that way they were influenced.Everything else I know. See, I was part of the effort that actually SAVED a show.
Irony!, the Jeffster performance at the wedding is like my favourite jeffster performance ever, lol! but yeah the sarah/bryce fight was lame, I mean why would he go there with only one gun? castle has a massive armoury as well as bullet proof vests! But casey was awesome when he saved them and how can a scene with a line : "why are you letting sam kinisen and an indian lesbian reck your wedding" not be awesome? I also agree that sarah all the sudden deciding that she changed her mind from colonel when she said everything is real to oh yeah now I am going to leave with Bryce.... was not the best moment for her character. I can now see why you did not like the setup and now I agree with you while I write it out, her actions came out of nowhere! all the sudden chuck is free, cool, casey gets to do his thing, cool and sarah decides that it is not real anymore and takes off with bryce, great setup, not! I suppose our brains always remember the fun stuff that we like and faze out the weak crap.....
The funny thing I find about the Nielsen system is that even though the show lost over 600k viewers in the second half of Mondays episode . Essentially that 600k might just be say 15 Nielsen viewers . 15 viewers or so switched the channel wich equated the sampling size to 600k . That's just depressing on a whole other level .
Does that TAM(?) chart people keep talking about have any real impact on anything?
Jake, that isn't irony.And Jeffster performing at the wedding is too silly. I hate the song. And the song ruins a perfectly good action sequence once Casey saves the day. Hell, the whole setup for them ruining Ellie's wedding day is weak. It is just time wasted so we can get to the point where you think, YET AGAIN, that Chuck and Sarah can't be together blahblahblahblahyawnrinserepeat.
Sue, who are these people?
They brought it up on the Chuckthis blog, and I'm wondering if it means anything significant.
If they brought it up, then it can't be significant.
I know you said that on reflection you thought that the writers should put have chuck and sarah together at the beginning of season 3, why did you think that? I agree btw, but my thought is that it never bothered me that chuck was not a complete charater at that point, that he had no job at then end of ring and that he was chuck and not bryce or cole. I did not need him to become them for him to be worthy of sarah since I always thought he was worthy of her. Do you think it might have been a matter of pride from TPTB? their pride would not allow sarah be with the chuck we met because they just did not believe he was worthy of her?
TAMI Total Audience Measurement Index. However it is not looking good since the total audience has declined since Gobbler. The reason why I believe Chuck will be cancelled is that no matter where you look Chuck's ratings metrics are declining.
Yeah the chuckthis blog consists of 4 or 5 authors who post articles and are mainly the only people who talk in the comments section. They are very biased and freely admit to being crazy shippers.....they bashed the show into oblivion last season and to this day discuss season 3 negatively. There is one guy jason/jc who just no matter how great a new episode slams the show, it is a place where sad people go to whinge and moan and groan. I have seen a guy on there who is obviously trying to wind them up (his handle is james bond...so come on, lol) and play devils advocate for any issue and it is quite fun to watch them vehimnently attack him, lol. I am actualy suprised to see your old podcaster olddarth post there.
Now that No Ordinary Family has wrapped shooting for the season and most likely headed towards cancelationville , could Ali Adler return to Chuck to write or help with the remaining episodes ? Not that it would be likely , but could she do it if she was asked ? Or would she have something in her contract with NOF/ABC preventing her from doing so ?
Anonymous, if that even is your name, Ali Adler could return to CHUCK if the show runners wanted her to. Though, it may be a bit late to do it.... I wouldn't be shocked if she was brought in for the finale.John, I am not surprised to see him posting there.Anonymous2, if that even isn't your name, I have to agree.... at least on the numbers front. Though, it could still return despite the across-the-board declining numbers. But it won't be because it is doing well. Anyone who says that is delusional or lying.Jake, at the end of season 2, the audience was HUNGRY for more CHUCK. They were EXPECTING Chuck and Sarah to be together. And they were prepared to see where it would go from there. By delaying it, and doing so in a manner that was not believable, they set themselves up for Chuck and Sarah fatigue. So that once they were together, a part of the audience was satisfied and moved on (some probably fully expecting that the writers would split them up again).I don't know if people left the show because of that, or because so many episodes make people think they just saw the season finale and so they stop tuning in, but it is interesting how certain milestone episodes were soon followed by a drop in ratings. Perhaps the CHUCK audience is dumb.
Magnus said: "Perhaps the CHUCK audience is dumb."Yes, we are all stupid. Wait... I still watch Chuck, so that means I am smart. YAY!
Or does it?
Maybe you are refering to a different podcast than you normally do, but the one that I heard on ratings basically said that if the ratings stay at the level they are currently at the show has a chance of being renewed. If the ratings decline further (as they ususally do post Daylight Savings) that chance decreases exponentially. They also said the only solution was more viewers. Not sure what is misleading about that; it was more a restating of the obvious. - Kelly
FYI--I said my peace about Farscape. This is not the place and I did it to death years ago. In regards to milestone episodes and subsequent drops, I don't know if it's dumb, but I've seen it happen that way on every TV series where I've followed ratings closely.It just seems to be human nature.
Kelly, you will just have to listen to the podcast to find out what we are correcting. :)
I love it when people get so lost in a discussion that they say "I agree with you but you're wrong!"Zman
Zman, I bet the latter part of that statement happens to you a lot!
Hi, Magnus. I just started listening to your podcasts recently, and I have to say you are freaking awesome!!!!!! You make the wait between episodes much easier. Thanks for the great insight and laughs you've given me. It is disheartening to hear Chuck might be cancelled. It sucks that as soon as I find a show I love, it ends. Since I'm new to all of this, I would love to hear any ideas of what I, a non Nielsen viewer, can really do to make a difference, if that is even a possibility. Btw, did I mention that you are awesome?
Oh, I love this blog. The discussions always end up cheering me up and/or making me laugh of the stupidity shared (my own stupidity included, of course).Let's rebel agains the Nielsen system! NOT.
dav27, thank you for thinking that I am awesome. Outside of writing letters to NBC telling them how much you love the show and filling out those RewardtTV thingies on Tuesday, there isn't much you can do. I know people like to think there is something we can do to save the show... but there isn't. We have used up all of our fan good will with NBC. This is going to come down to a financial decision. Just hope everything else fails in the coming weeks.
Minus a little T.
Mamemomomoujm, I sometimes punch things in frustration reading the things people say... but I often laugh at the absurdity of what people think they can do. It is the American mentality that "WE CAN CHANGE THINGS!"No, we can't. Not any time soon, at least. These things take DECADES.
It's a shame, but like you said, it is what it is. I'll try writing letters and doing the survey. Although, hoping everything else tanks is my best bet. Thanks for heads up, Magnus.
Oh and hope the NFL goes on strike. If that happens, CHUCK is pretty much a lock for renewal.
That's cool. I'm a baseball fan anyway.
I just want Chuck and Community to go on. I also like 30 Rock and Parks n Rec, but they are safe(r). And I don't love them as much. Morgan and Abed rule!!I really don't get how some really great shows get crappy ratings and 2 & 1/2 Men and Mike & Molly do pretty well. The audience is not only stupid in general, they are borderline retarded not to like Chuck and Community, for instance.
It probably isn't even about them not liking the shows, they just don't check them out. I didn't check CHUCK out until season 2 because I was sure I wouldn't like it. The promos looked dumb and never really caught my interest.COMMUNITY I saw the pilot when they made it available for online viewing and I instantly knew I was going to love the show. It was like watching someone play out the last two years of my undergrad (since I was the guy who organized the study groups). :)
I think perception is such a funny thing, I saw a promo for parks and recs and a clip and thought wow there is no out and out laughter and the characters like april look like zombies and really boring and I was put off. But then a friend told me that I have to watch the whole series one weekend and he promised I would not be disappointed, he even bet me 50 british pounds that I would not be. So two weeks ago I did just that and ......it is the best comedy that has ever been produced! worth every pound I lost! every beat from the second season and third has had me in tears it is that awesome. I simply cannot get enough of ron effing swanson! his deadpan delivery of the wierdest and insane things makes them seem actually admirable and you start to actually root for them. He actually has convinced me to hate libraries! But my point is that a show (like people) has a very finate amount of time to show the audience what it is about, if it confuses people or becomes unappealing people stupidly just give up, after parks and rec....I will never ever do that again!
I skipped LOST for three seasons because it was the cool new thing and everyone was loving it and I watched a couple of episodes from season 1 and made an effort to dislike it. When season 3 came around, a friend of mine was so into it and going through a rough time, that I made it a point to check it out. It is easily in my top 5 of shows all time now.BSG was similar in that I watched the pilot/mini and decided I didn't like it. Why? I don't really know. I think I allowed the negativity surrounding it to cloud my judgement. After some UK friends talked up season 1 I decided I should check out the mini again. And I LOVED it. Then I acquired season 1 and fell in total love.
Actually I only heard about lost after season 2 finished, so I basically bought the dvd's and watched them over a two week period (evening s and weekends). In hindsight if I actually watched them live, lost would have driven me nuts! I mean it was so slow at times the story telling and they just kept raising so many questions! season 3 was no faster in telling the story but I was still hooked based on the quick delivery of the first 2 seasons. On reflection lost delivered for me, not the mythology but definately 95 percent of the character beats and the ending. Not many shows have gotten to me as emotionaly as lost or chuck do or did, too bad fans rag on them when they make or in lost's case made the odd mistake. I suppose that answers the question why fans abandon quality serialised shows so quickly....they can be very fickle at the best of times.
And the fact that Chuck is in its 4th season doesn't help. It's a pretty easy show to get in, you don't need more than two episodes to be hooked, but very few people would try a show with four seasons, because it feels overwhelming.I don't want to sound too pessimistic, but we need a miracle (or the best viral campaign in History) to get a 5th season. PS: I forgot the last time, but your podcasts are wonderful. My weeks aren't the same when Chuck is preemped or delayed, and I don't have your podcasts either.
Amrit, we can get into this on the podcast on Sunday, but LOST and BSG did what I hope CHUCK does: end on the characters, not the mythology. I don't need answers. I want character closure.
josh, you will get a new episode this week, so that should make you happy. :) Though, it will mostly be about ratings and the potential of a 5th season etc, so it might not be as much fun. Granted, I am sure we will talk about this season.
BTW never seen firefly or BSG.
Oh, I don't care about what it is. You guys are fun! :)I'm sure it'll be interesting.
FIREFLY is easy to watch... it isn't even a full season. It is fun. But nothing like BSG. BSG is epic on top of epic on top of epic.
Been ages since I've commented so thought I'd take a some time to do so.As always, awesome podcast!! Our house loved everything about the eps as well & can't believe what you say people are complaining about! (well, I can, but it still baffles me) Of course, I don't check out any Chuck msg boards or anything like that anymore. Just drove me bonkers :)As far as renewal...eh, you are right on all counts, but of course, you are always right ;)Honestly though, this season has been great and if it doesn't get renewed, I would be okay with it. Of course, I'll be sad but you know, I think this would probably be a logical stopping point, especially as contrasted with previous seasons!If it's renewed, I'm still really happy and of course, I'll watch, but in the end, I don't feel strongly either way.You are very right in saying that there really isn't anything the fans can do anymore, well aside from watching. ;)Anyhow, excited to watch the rest of the season, should be a fun ride!
what exactly are u saying about season4 finale? who is that co-writer? do we have any news about renewal/cancelation?
Someone posted on TNM that you said the show was cancelled. I thought I'd let you know, in case you wanted to go over there and clarify.
Magnus said:So that once they were together, a part of the audience was satisfied and moved on (some probably fully expecting that the writers would split them up again).a family member watches the seasons once they come out on dvd (meaning the last episode she saw was vs the ring part 2), and asked me about season 4 "are chuck and sarah still an item?"
Sigh... I swear, people are amazing. Can you correct them for me? I am too lazy to click over. ;)
Ok off subject here but i just saw Death Race 2. Not a real good movie by the way but the girl who plays Vivian was the bad girl in it. And she looked hot and you got to see her naked. Briefly though
If the show is canceled sometime before May, do you think any announcement will come from NBC? Or will they simply not announce it as being renewed at the upfronts?
I imagine we will know before then but I could see NBC using a renewal or cancellation of CHUCK as a way to make news that day. However, I doubt we will get to that point. I think we will know by the end of April.
I know this is quite off topic for this past episode as well as the cancellation talk but just a quick thought.I was re-watching cat-squad recently and was thinking about the how many people were critical of the sarah/ellie scenes. Now I myself happened to think they felt natural or whatever, but i was trying to understand why people were thinking they were OOC for Sarah. The conclusion I came to (which of course could be wrong) is that people dont understand or seem to allow for growth that is not shown to them onscreen. They assume since Ellie and Sarah hadn't had a scene together in a while that it was forced to throw them together. They dont allow for the fact that the growing friendship we *have* scene on screen carries over to their "lives" off screen. Another example: In masquerade, Chuck when speaking to Morgan says something to the effect of "we'll still have monday game night." We've never seen monday game night, but its reasonable to think that during the theoretical nights like that the characters have become closer with each other or grown themselves. I would assume Monday game night is something that would soften sarah a lot, lets her drop her guard and just relax and have fun but so then when we see a scene in which Sarah is more relaxed and having fun, its not OOC, its just maybe not something we've seen them act out before.I hope that makes sense.
Wait could we get canceled this season. Could our season be canceled before we get to the season finale.
CHUCK will have all of its episodes shown this season. It could be cancelled as in not renewed for next season.marc, I don't think it is far off to say that around 99.9% of time when someone says a character was OOC, it is because the person saying it made little to no effort to understand how it wasn't.
Magnus (a stupid question but one I would really like to know the answer), do you know when they shoot certain scenes if they actually play the music they will potentially use once the final cut is made. I mean do they give the actors a kind of clue as to what tone or sense they want the audience to feel in a scene or does all the actor have is details in the script? I know they cannot do it for every scene because 75%+ of a chuck episode is music but do they play it in special circumstance?I mean at the end of honeymooners if the actors did that scene without music, wow! great acting!
Jane, if that ever happens, it happens very rarely. And I don't just mean on CHUCK, I mean on any show or movie. And by rarely, I mean almost never.
@marc I assumed the same thing. It's been shown before that there are gaps between episodes, unless its a cliffhanger. I thought it was pretty unreasonable for people to just assume that the whole time Chuck and Sarah have been together, especially with Sarah living in the condo, that Sarah and Ellie hadn't had a conversation since the end of Season 3. Or think about it this way: we didn't get a Christmas episode this year, so should we just assume then because we never saw it on screen, that they didn't see each other over the holidays? That seems unlikely considering the emphasis Chuck and Ellie usually put on spending holidays together.-OPD
At what episode in this season did the ratings start to decline? What exactly can we blame the bad ratings on? The time slot? the lack of promotion? Or the writing from the newer writers? Could we blame the bad ratings on the Intersectless arc (Especially on the episodes that first got the 1.9 to 1.7 ratings in this season during that arc) or the plot holes in the writing? My point is, that we need to know where in this season we started to lose viewers this badly, and exactly why we got to this point.So what and who is to blame for the loss in ratings?
I know right? The show has alluded to off screen missions before and that the characters lives are not stationary. The passage of large blocks of time is always referenced when they do time jumps and S4 has had several jumps of several weeks or even months at certain points. I always took it as implied that Sarah and Ellie are friends and that they spend time with each other occasionally and it's not seen as desperately important to show them going for a coffee and what not.
Nothing really stands out other than the near-proposal. Perhaps people thought the season ended. But there is no way for us to know for sure.
Well people really haven't left the show that much as overall audience has remained relative stable and actually increased at times but its the younger demo that is no longer showing up as much. But that isn't limited to Chuck. Younger demos are leaving regular TV faster than any age group. They have more alternatives. How many 24 year old guys do you know who watch network TV at 8pm? They may watch Chuck but they are watching it on Hulu, NBC.com, iTunes or their DVR days later.Unfortunately advertisers still look at that demo as the holy grail when they probably should be focusing on 25-54 as they are watching TV and have more money to spend on their products. Peoples viewing habits for TV and those watching the networks are changing more rapidly than the the ad guys, network execs and Nielsen folks realize and can keep up with. No one knows where it will be a year from now let alone 5 years. But as far as Chuck goes its audience is basically stable, its just getting older.
Which specific episode in this season first suffered the drop to 1.7 in ratings? Has the Intersectless story arc ("Fear of Death" to "Leftovers") played a part in the ratings drop, or have the ratings only dropped since Gobbler and Push Mix? And why would the ratings drop to 1.7 only late in this season when most of the episodes in this season (and the seasons before it) have been of very high quality? Does the quality or storyline of an episode affect ratings? Where have the rest of the viewers gone?
One more important question about ratings..Do video piracy and illegal downloading and streaming of episodes from unauthorized sources hurt ratings numbers? Nielsen viewers aren't the type of people who do illegal viewing of episodes from unauthorized sources, and I'm not sure if they are even allowed to do so.
I'm dying here.... need spoilers....help
Magnus,I have some questions/comments about 4.19Are you planning to have a 4.19 page this week?TS
I am pretty sure I will post 4.19 spoilers.Melwicker, of course illegal viewing hurts ratings. How much they do we have no idea. It could be minimal or a lot. Shrug. Even legal viewing hurts ratings, since some might put off watching the show LIVE to watch it on Hulu the next day. So, if people aren't watching LIVE and not skipping commercials, and not changing channels while commercials are on, then it hurts ratings.The ratings dipped for what seems to be good following 4.11. There is no way of knowing why people tune out unless you ask the Nielsen viewers who stopped watching.
J says ...When 4.11 aired on January 17 it was the first week of ALL NEW programming Mon-Fri On NBC . There was a lot of promotion for most of their shows thanks to the NFL playoffs the week before and the Golden Globes the night before . Also that Monday was the Cape's first episode in it's regular time slot and the premier of Harry's Law . All of NBC's programming was up that week which led into " comedy night done right all night " which started very well , then since declined significantly .Some notables from that week ..Chuck went from 2.1 to 1.7 Cape 2.2 to 1.2 Harry's Law 2.2 to 1.7 Community 2.2 to 1.8Perfect Couples 1.8 to 1.4 The Office 4.5 to 3.2Parks&Rec 3.2 to 2.4 30 Rock and Outsourced are down as well .It's not just Chuck that has lost ratings , practically all of NBC is down across the board in the ratings . Some of those shows can afford to lose ratings on a given night , Chuck just isn't one of them . When the promotion stops coming , so do the ratings . Or some 49 year old Nielsen viewers turned 50 before the end of January . On a sarcastic note, how much you want to bet that NBC doesn't air a CHUCK promo tonight ? Any takers ? Anyone ? Lol
Did they actually tune out though? The demo metric has gone down but the actual viewer number I don't think has changed all that much has it, even though that's a dodgy estimate itself. Given that the demo is an extrapolated percentage of households against total viewers available I guess we'd have to sort through the ratings data for everything that else that has been on over the last few weeks.
Great analysis J and it goes to my point. Chuck's opverall numbers are relatively stable but either younger viewers are not watching as much or Nielsen is having trouble getting that demo in their data. Could be a bit of both. So we should not look at numbers as absolutes. A 1.7 show would have gotten canceled last season but it might not this year. But I think the schedule for Chuck will be very interesting and I believe it makes the next 2 episodes critical.I think they are backloading the season with 4.20 airing on April 18th. So we get 18 and 19 on the 14th and 21st then 3 weeks off. So they may have made their decision before we come back April 18th. Hard to tell if they will wait to see the results from 4.20, 4.21 or 4.22 before making the decision so I think that much of Chuck's fate will rest on 4.18 and 4.19 if the decision hasn't even been made yet. With DST and DWTS on the 14th it will be very very interesting to see numbers on the 15th.
"Or some 49 year old Nielsen viewers turned 50 before the end of January." The decline in 18-49 ratings is concentrated in the Male 18-34 segment, not the 35-49 segment.If people can figure out why young men, in particular, turned against the show, and what could bring them back, please tell Chris Fedak. Quickly.Putting Yvonne in leather cat suits and skimpy outfits doesn't seem to be enough. It does seem to be keeping older men viewing, though.
I'm finding it a bit odd that NBC hasn't released the synopsis for 419 yet. Usually they are out by Friday and it's the "end of business" Monday right now.TV Guide has the synopsis for The Event that night, but not Chuck.Maybe someone just forgot to release it.
Maybe they cancelled it!
Or maybe they decided to reschedule Chuck and take it on break after episode 18. Look at it, on 21 of march DWTS premiere, than they had to had a break on 28 anyway and at the 4 of april there is NCAA basketball finale. So they may hold on episode 19 until april 11 and then run Chuck uninterupted until it's intended finale date?
I thought that ratings dropped during the "Phase Three" episode and the Intersectless arc. I didn't know that ratings dropped to 1.7 on episode 4.11 instead. Is it the hiatus in December that is partially responsible for the ratings drop? Basically it seems that the huge gap between the airing of 4.10 and the airing of 4.11 might have confused some viewers. If it wasn't the December hiatus, and if it wasn't the Intersectless arc, then was it the bad endings of Gobbler and the episode before it that turned some viewers away?
.... 4.11 had the highest rating. The ratings began to drop after that. So, after December, the show returned to its best rating. Then it dropped. So, no to every single question you have had or will have.
Here are the CHUCK ratings, so you don't have any more confusion, starting from latest to the first episode (so, the first you see is the most recent, and the last you see is the first episode):1.7 (1.7) (1.7) (1.7) (1.7) (1.9) (2.1)(2.0) (1.7) (1.8) (2.0) (1.9) (1.9) (1.9) (1.9) (2.0) (2.0)
Yvonne and Adam have come out and said the are pretty optimistic about a season 5, maybe they know something no one else knows?
Jake, actors know no more than we do... maybe even less.
Hmm. It seems that if 4.11 got the highest rating.... then from your table it seems that both 4.08 and 4.09 got low ratings (1.8 and 1.7 respectively) even before the recent drop, unless I'm reading the table wrong. And unless I'm wrong, it seems that the only 1.7 the show got this season before 4.11 aired was on 4.09, while the rest of the episodes before that were either a 2.0 or a 1.9. What ratings did "Phase Three" and "Fear of Death" get?
Why are you asking me what Phase Three got when you just said "it seems that the only 1.7 the show got this season before 4.11 aired was on 4.09"?It got a 1.7. Fear of Death got a 1.8.
J says ...Phase Three was up against the finale of DWTS and I'm pretty sure the viewership was under 5 million . Now DST this Monday and DWTS the following Monday , then a 3 week break . NOT GOOD , NOT GOOD !
No flaming, baiting, trolling, expletives, or racism allowed. And NO DISCUSSIONS of the actor's personal lives ever.