Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Chuck You Tuesday - Episode 61 (Adults Only)


We discuss NIELSEN RATINGS and RewardTV and other things that actually determine whether your favorite show will be renewed or canceled. Will CHUCK survive?! Learn everything you ever needed to know about the process.  Plus we talk about the season.

This episode has ADULT LANGUAGE.  Do not listen if you are sensitive to harsh language.

Please RATE and review this podcast here. You can post anonymously.

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes by clicking this link.

113 comments:

  1. Song used:

    Revis - Caught in the Rain

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  2. Oh man, loved the podcast, but you left out the career path.....that was like the only part I wish you kept (from me), lol. But great podcast! Just finished Archer! ok that is some dark stuff, but I love it!

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  3. Well, that was quite depressing...even if true about the ratings. But lets get back to enjoyable stuff, since you didn't talk much about whats to come this season ahead.
    So, will we see Casey story continue beyond episode 18, also will Sarah family/past be explored more than only in episode 21, when her father comes back...like you know two episodes?

    Also since we know Vivian can kick ass, will we see some good fight scene with her? (preferably against Sarah :) ) .

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  4. Amrit, get a better mic. Your career path stuff sounded like this "wahwahwahhvhhahahahahaha." So, it got cut.

    Harku, I think you can answer all those questions yourself without knowing anything more than you know about this show. :)

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  5. Great podcast, really insightful. Thanks for being real and not sugar-coating anything. I also liked that you took all perspectives and didn't just look at things through your opinions. Really great listen!

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  6. J says ...

    I can't tell you enough how much I thoroughly enjoyed the ratings analysis and the Syndication breakdown :) ( thanks Danger Girl ! )

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  7. Thanks for explaining how ratings work..Sad but we have to accept it if NBC decides to cancel the show due to ratings but im still hoping the NFL thing will not push thru just to get a S5.

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  8. Thanks Magnus, I really enjoyed the ratings analysis. I thought I knew most of it as but the actual demographic breakdown of how the audience of the show has changed over the last year and how the show has dropped in the sunbset of the key demo (that to my mind is the only thing that has kept us going) was very interesting to hear.

    Its interesting that from an informal take that WB seem a little more bullish than NBC. I guess we shall see how that goes after DST and DWTS.

    Maybe WB should introduce Yvonne to all the Comcast execs!

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  9. Loved the podcast, brutally honest (appreciated that) but it kinda broke my heart! A little :) but if it's the count down to the series finale it's been one he'll of a ride! I'm gonna miss it but I want it to go out with a bang. However saying that I would still love a season 5

    Cawildone

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  10. Great podcast about the sad state of affairs with the ratings. Can you expound on why Yvonne and Adam are really optimistic about a season 5 and they will be shocked if they don't get renewed.

    RC

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  11. I don't know if it's that obvious, but it seems the answer is no?

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  12. I think if every house hold had the nielsen box or whatever it's I think the ratings would most likely go up. I know this is really out there and would not happen. I think what is hurting us is our breaks that we have and NBC not giving us a commercial during those breaks which sucks. we need to have commercials or at least one commercial at least once a day at a good time like 3pm or 8pm which will help.

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  13. Optimism requires no facts. It just means you want it to happen so you maintain a positive outlook on it. Ask people on other shows that are getting crap ratings. I bet they are all hopeful, optimistic, or they have faith in their fans. If you ask most of the people working on the show, they are all optimistic.

    But they haven't seen the post daylight savings ratings yet. They don't know that our male 18-34 demo is disappearing. I doubt anyone talks to them about that.

    But like we said, the show could come back under a few scenarios. So, just hope for those... and keep doing those RewardTV surveys and keep writing those letters to NBC... and try to remind Nielsen viewers on Twitter and Facebook (or just say it to the wind) to tune in LIVE.

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  14. And let me add that THE EVENT getting a 1.4 last night, probably helps CHUCK in some small way. Especially if CHUCK comes back next week, even with daylight savings killing its rating, and still stays above that. At least we know there is one more show that CHUCK won't have to compete with for renewal.

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  15. I don't think anyone connected with the network or show would or could say they were in danger at this point. The worst they would say is "on the bubble". It's not good for promoting the show to tell the public you might be canceled. Unless it's a Lost or BSG situation and you can promote it as leading up to a big ending.

    " try to remind Nielsen viewers on Twitter and Facebook (or just say it to the wind) to tune in LIVE. "

    One thing people should do is disperse their communication to other sites.

    Some academic did a study of the relationship between ratings and online buzz and found it wasn't the quantity of mentions that mattered as much as the dispersion of mentions around different places.

    Makes sense, if you think about it.

    Personally, I go to sites for other shows I follow and mention Chuck. There are Chuck fans out there who don't necessarily hang out on Twitter, Facebook and Chuck-related sites.

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  16. Which is why I said "to the wind." ;)

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  17. Hey Magnus...

    First off, THANKS for listing the song...I got sidetracked for 15 minutes learning everything I could about Revis :D Love the song!! And I must've been living under a rock when that song came out!

    Secondly, WOW, probably one my favorite podcasts you have ever done! Brutally honest and I wish that every fan of ANY TV show would listen! Lots of very useful information. I could probably listen to you and Danger Girl talk for hours. Well, maybe not, but I did enjoy it. THANKS for doing this Danger Girl.

    Like I stated in my comment for the last podcast (Eps 60), I'm okay if this is the last season. They've wrapped up the story to a logical stopping point and while it could continue, it's a good stopping point.

    I'm also a lot like DG in that I wish they'd announce it sooner rather than later. Also, like DG, while I've enjoyed S4, I was more invested in the hero journey too.

    I'm kind of over how much they show of the Chuck & Sarah romance. They are together and we don't need all the lovey dovey stuff in EVERY episode. I can see why your friend (the 1 Magnus referred to at podcast beginning) checked out of the show now that Chuck & Sarah are together. Less Casey, too much lovey dovey, less emphasis on spy stuff & the spy stuff that is included always goes back to 'the romance'. I do like S4, but can see where it's tiring, and I even find myself not as invested as previous seasons.

    The one thing I have enjoyed in S4 immensely is the RANGE they've given Yvonne. So much Sarah character development has really let Yvonne shine and I look forward to watching her for many more years to come. (in her future projects)

    Question...if/when Chuck is canceled, are you going to do another podcast? Any shows on the horizon that you might tackle? I'm honestly going to miss listening to your podcasts the most when Chuck does go away :(

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  18. I still want to know WHY the ratings have dropped since Gobbler. Why has the number of male viewers in the important age range decreased? If the showrunners knew the reason, maybe they could fix it.

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  19. I am in your older demo, CHUCK is my #1 show always. Don't lump me in with an over 50 person biding my time until Dancing With The Stars comes back. I would think that the advertisers would like the over 50 people watching CHUCK since we are the ones who probably have extra money to spend on products. I bet I have purchased more CHUCK products from the NBC store than most of the age bracket they are going after. I am hopeful for a Season 5 of CHUCK, I see nothing in the description of the new shows that NBC is planning on for the fall that even sound interesting.

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  20. Do we need another podcast where we explain WHY advertisers don't pay for over 50 even though they spend the most money?

    It is because MOST viewers are over 50. So, they expect you to be watching. They are paying for those who they DON'T expect to be watching.

    melwicker, please... with all due respect, stop. THERE IS NO ANSWER.

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  21. Ok, Phase Three got a 1.7 in the ratings. For a while it was the ONLY episode of Season 4 Chuck that got that low. Then the two episodes after it got higher ratings with 4.11 having the highest ratings in the season. Afterwards, for some reason, the ratings dropped to the level that Phase Three got. My question is WHY?

    I would have preferred it if Phase Three was never written or filmed, but I would also have settled for it being the lowest rated episode this season and that it's 1.7 number would be the only 1.7 ratings in the season. However, with other episodes this season getting the same ratings, this worries me.
    The rest of the episodes after 4.11 should at least have gotten a 1.9 or a 2.0 in the ratings. Why didn't they?
    What could make these episodes get the same ratings as Phase Three?

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  22. Does it really matter why? What will that change? Just move on and focus on the future.

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  23. Ok, there is no explainable answer to why the ratings have dropped. But I still don't like the fact that every episode after Gobbler got the same ratings as Phase Three when those episodes deserved higher ratings.

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  24. Deserve has little to do with ratings. It just is or isn't. And we could argue until we are blue in the face about why one episode did better than another, or why the ratings suddenly tanked, but it will never be anything but conjecture (unless we can somehow ask the Nielsen members who tuned out).

    Don't live too long in the past. Look forward into the future. :)

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  25. Coincidence that the finale is on the date of upfronts for NBC? Ha

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  26. On the "over 50/under 50" value, TV pricing is based on supply and demand. The supply is fixed in that once all the slots in a TV show are sold, it's sold out. Only the ratings vary.

    People 50 and over watch way more TV than people under 50. This produces higher ratings/higher supply of ratings to buy.

    While there are some advertisers that target older viewers, there are so many shows that get high ratings for people over 50, that they have many choices...and low prices. The entire CBS network dominates for the 50+.

    NBC already has a few shows that get higher ratings for the 50+ demo than Chuck gets even now.

    Meanwhile, the biggest TV advertisers--the movie companies and fast food advertisers--are targeting younger because that is who their heavy purchasers are.

    In the podcast, the comment about the 50+ and Dancing With the Stars was referring to Chuck increase in that demo since the Fall. It wasn't saying all of Chuck's older viewers were going to leave when DWTS comes back. But, some of them may.

    I don't think 50+ Chuck fans should be offended by it.

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  27. I've looked at the talk about the ratings on the Chuck NBC message boards, and it seems that the Event did poorly last Monday, when Chuck wasn't on. They are speculating that since ALL of NBC's shows are falling in the ratings, and since it isn't just Chuck that is suffering in the ratings, maybe the falling ratings are caused by the Nielsens not liking NBC nowadays and by NBC's poor reputation overall.

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  28. Maybe we should be concerned not only for Chuck's ratings, but for NBC as a whole. NBC seems to be suffering in the ratings game overall.

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  29. melwicker, we have talked about that many times on here and the podcast... and everywhere (including this podcast). NBC is suffering as a whole. But CHUCK is suffering more than in previous years.

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  30. DWTS finale was during Phase Three episode, every show was hit hard during that night, then Leftovers competition was much lighter ... so better ratings. Balcony returned well, probably helped by Cape good numbers at this point...and then next week CBS was in repeats...so Gobbler held the numbers. Than Cape absolutely tanked, full competition was back and numbers got worse.

    Also i wished that The Event return haven't tanked so badly, because maybe if it got decent numbers it would help Chuck increase a bit.

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  31. Harku, how would THE CAPE or THE EVENT tanking affect CHUCK? Also, CHUCK got a 1.7 with no HOUSE and no new HIMYM, going up against a previously tanking HUMAN TARGET (which did well against CHUCK).

    So, where is the correlation? I don't see one.

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  32. Strong show anchoring the night, so at least some viewers stick whole night with the NBC or tune in earlier and catch part of Chuck, but they are still counted?

    And the drop after Gobbler...maybe ppl didn't like that overly angsty ending of that episode? Or maybe just some didn't like that episode...for me it was weakest of the 11-13 arc...and the reason for it was that it rushed through the story at the speed of light...which hurt my impression of it at least.

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  33. Grrr... I deleted my own post. Sigh.

    To sum it up, a show following CHUCK is not going to do much to increase or decrease its ratings. AMERICAN IDOL has enough proof of that (which is why they now leverage shows by having them follow it, not lead it).

    And 4.11 had little angst and lots of awesomeness.

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  34. Well i liked 4x11 a lot and 4x12 had still good numbers...at least for Chuck...i was talking about how 4x12 may have affected the rating...also i personally wished they spend more time on Sarah undercover thing.

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  35. Here are facts:

    Following 3.13, when Chuck and Sarah got together, the show went to its lowest rating and stayed there for pretty much the rest of the season (finding its lowest point in the finale).

    Following 4.11, when many thought Chuck and Sarah had actually gotten engaged, the show found its lowest rating and has stayed there.

    So, angst is the problem? Seems like the lack of it has a bigger negative effect on the show's ratings.

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  36. Correction, 4.12 was 1.9, but it dropped .2 and then another .2 the following week. 4.12 had how much angst? The ending? They played it off so that we knew Sarah was hurting. Where was the angst? In thinking Chuck had a problem with what Sarah had done? And that explains a solid drop of 0.2 for the next month?

    All you have to do is listen to what DangerGirl said about the demographic losses (and gains) to realize nothing in ratings is that simple.

    Story lines don't suddenly turn off viewers in that way. It is usually their interest in something else. So, something became more interesting to them following 4.11 and then 4.12. What was it? THE BACHELOR? Or could it be one of those History Channel shows? Their ratings have been going up.

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  37. If i remember correctly it dropped 0.12, from 2.06 to 1.94 and the viewers numbers actually went up :p .

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  38. Rounding wise, it is recorded as a 2.1 and a 1.9, so a 0.2 drop. Total viewer numbers are meaningless when discussing demographic numbers, and you know it, so why bring it up?

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  39. I'm sure that for NBC exact ratings are important, not rounded up that websites report.

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  40. Week in week our on TV By the numbers you see people using the total viewership numbers for shows like Harry's Law even though it's demo is still sub 2.0. The basic point that advertisers are most interested in the 18-49 demo (and sun divisions) as opposed to older viewers and thats what they will pay for, just doesn't seem to stick.

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  41. Harku, except that was not your argument. You were arguing CAUSE of ratings drop. Now you are suddenly arguing what NBC will look at when deciding on renewal or cancellation. Changing ones argument in mid stream to make it sound like you are winning?

    BANNED FOR LIFE!

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  42. eaglemomomomo, you are reading fan comments on TVBTN. The experts would never support that notion. Demographic rules over total viewers by far. HARRY'S LAW is in a better position than CHUCK right now because it has better ratings where it counts.

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  43. Magnus good job on the pod cast. i agree with chuck hitting its lowest ratings after 3.13. keep this in mind though. s3 opened at 3.0 by 3.13 the rating was 2.1 a drop of .9. the drop to its low of 1.8 at the finale is a drop of .3. The largest drop was between 3.01 and 3.13. the biggest drop was between the beard and the tic tac when they dropped from 2.3 to 1.9. they went up to 2.1 during 3.12 3.13 and 3.14. then they fell like you said.

    so if i had to pick out the biggest drop it was between 3.01 at 3.0 and 3.10 at 1.9 or a drop of 1.1. by most accounts this is the part of the season many fans did not like. i did not watch s3 because i was out of the country and tv was not available where i was. i can't say if it was good or bad.

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  44. This is typical analysis by ignorance. You can't count the 3.0 (or 2.9). That was the premiere, was not on a Monday, and had TONS of promotion. I believe the first Monday rating was a 2.6 and it dropped steadily from that point. It picked up following the Olympics and then died again.

    What fans say online about a season isn't to be taken as a qualifying reason for why Nielsen viewers stopped watching. The biggest drop that you mention came after DAYLIGHT SAVINGS. So, your analysis is missing the most important factors for high and low ratings.

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  45. Thanks for the podcast. Very informative. Although, now you've apparently opened yourself up to many circular conversations.

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  46. Sue, so true. Someone just asked me why I don't just delete the repetitive comments since they seem so annoying. I probably should... but I want to give people the chance to say something. What bugs me is when they say the same thing someone just said that has already been shown to be incorrect.

    Why don't they just listen to the podcast or read what has already been said? Come on. Then they get mad at me for getting mad at them. Oh well.

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  47. Magnus, Thanks for the great podcast. Last season around this time, there were rumors that certain writers were leaving Chuck for new shows(new pilots) because of Chuck's uncertainty. Are you aware of any writers currently planning on leaving Chuck, because of NBC waiting to decide Chuck's future?

    RM77

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  48. My point is that if showrunners and network executives figure out what causes a ratings drop for a show, they can possibly use that information to figure out how to prevent ratings drops in the future.
    So far, NBC isn't doing that. They are just simply watching the ratings on their Monday night shows fail. Trying to restart "The Event" like they did last Monday didn't help that show's ratings like they thought it would. Instead, the Event's ratings tanked. Clearly, something has gone horribly wrong with NBC's plan to jump-start "The Event."

    And I will never get mad at you for getting mad at me.

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  49. Magnus, I'm curious about something:

    I listened to the podcast discussion of ratings, and maybe I missed it if you did mention this, but I don't remember you discussing how NBC also considers ratings numbers seven days out from live broadcast, as well as DVR numbers and streaming from sites like Hulu and NBC.com.

    Is there any particular reason why you didn't mention that?

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  50. Matt, you just touched on something we SHOULD have talked about but I think we forgot because we consider it something everyone should know. That was my mistake. Live+7 is essentially as meaningless as total number of viewers.

    Hulu and NBC.com streaming is TINY when compared to television viewing. It barely brings in enough revenue to talk about (and CHUCK is nowhere near as popular this season as it was previous seasons in online viewing or purchasing).

    The only thing that matters is C3 ratings (that is Live+3 days of DVR viewing). Advertisers don't really care about what happens after that. I suppose we should do another ratings podcast during the next break (after 4.19) where we can go into that stuff some more.

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  51. melwicker, well, it is too late to do anything about it now. Most of the season is in the can with the final two episodes being written. Nothing is changing now. Plus, they have their own internal discussions about that. So, if they renew and think hot sex will increase ratings next season, then HOT SEX it will be. ;)

    And NBC is certainly not just sitting around doing nothing. There isn't much they can do. They need a big hit show or two to help boost their overall ratings. They just don't have it.

    RM77, I would not be surprised if we lose ALL of our new writers before a decision about season 5 is made by NBC.

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  52. Everything I've read about the internal system NBC uses to gauge viewership of its shows (TAMi, I believe it's called) seems to indicate that while day-of-broadcast Nielsen ratings are the biggest single factor NBC looks at while making renewal decisions, they do also take streaming views and DVR viewing up to 7 days out into consideration.

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  53. Matt, NBC may take TAMI into account, but it only matters what the ADVERTISERS take into account since they pay NBC for ad time.

    Mind you, CHUCK has not been doing well in +7 this season either, so... you may be a season too late with that argument. ;)

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  54. HOLY CRAP !! I saw a Chuck promo during the the second hour of the Biggest Loser . Maybe now NBC has accepted the EVENT is doomed and will take their promo budget and give some of it to chuck . hopefully :)

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  55. Just when I thought we talked a long, long time in the podcast, there are still some topics we didn't cover.

    What ratings count:
    There are four key types of ratings for the NBC telecast of Chuck. A "rating" represents the number of people who watch the average minute of the telecast.

    Live: Watching the average minute without timeshifting. (Important: 60% of households DO NOT have a DVR)
    Live + Same Day: Live viewers plus anyone who watches by 3AM. These are the published ratings and the ones we were discussing.
    Live + 7 Days: Live viewers plus anyone who watches within 7 days (used by the product placement advertisers)
    C3: What the advertisers use. It counts only the minutes that have ads in them(C=commercial) and only if watched within 3 days. Rarely published.

    The C3 rating is usually slightly lower than the Live + Same Day rating, but higher than the Live rating. Its rises and falls are closely aligned with the Live + Same day ratings we were discussing. If the Live + SD rating went down, so did the C3.

    The number of people who watch Chuck by timeshifting is much steadier than the number who watch Live. It's the live rating that drives the ups and downs more than the DVR owners timeshifting. But, there has been a small slippage lately in timeshifters too.

    TAMI
    This report shows that NBC does keep track of other streams. Keep in mind, though, that Hulu and NBC.com do not carry nearly the number of advertisements, and, thus, don't have the revenue equivalence of the over-the-air telecast. Also, note that other shows like Community and The Office get way more online viewers than Chuck does.

    The TV viewer totals in the TAMI are greatly exaggerated. Instead of counting AVERAGE minute viewers, they are counting CUMULATIVE viewers. This means that if someone watched Chuck for just five minutes, they are being counted just as much as someone who watched the whole show. If the show aired twice in a week, they add the two together.

    That's not how advertisers pay for the show.

    It's a report that proves that other streams are indeed being monitored, but you have to understand the value of each from a revenue standpoint. You also have to compare Chuck to other shows.

    Dangergirl

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  56. Thanks, Dangergirl. Unfortunately, 5 people will read that. The rest will just post about how "NBC TAKES INTO ACCOUNT ALL RATINGS!"

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  57. In the end it may end up being the pilots that help make the final decision for Chuck if the ratings don't fall off a cliff. A 1.2 next week would be a disaster for it. 1.5 or 1.6 may keep it on life support considering DST and DWTS. We then have a 3 week break with hopefully repeats airing on the 4th and 11th leading into the return of The Volkoffs. So much of the decision may be already made. But the final judge may hinge on how they see their pilots. They should all or most be in by then. Every other bubble show for NBC is a 9/10pm show. They need to fill 3 8pm slots if you include friday. So depending on how they see the new shows there may be a slight influence on the decision if there is nothing they see that fits that timeslot better.

    There is always a possibility of a mid-season return as well with a potential Comcast deal helping fund that. Personally I think we will have a better idea after the next 2 weeks and I think your chances at 40% are probably close but my optimistic side thinks we still have a chance to raise that.

    BTW I did read that DangerGirl and it was very informative. Thank you for all that.

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  58. I read what Dangergirl wrote so I guess I am 1 of the 5. Anyways the real reason I am writing is that we all know Chuck and Sarah are getting married some point in this season but don't you think it would be funny if Morgan and Alex got married the same day sort of like a bromine wedding because you the whole Chuck and Morgan thing.

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  59. I hear people saw a promo for Chuck in Biggest Loser last night. That's decent news. I wonder if the promo people at NBC listened to your podcast. :-)

    I guess the combo of The Event crash and burn and that very little on NBC this week is new helped Chuck rise on the priority list.

    The entire Thursday night line-up this week is repeats. They won't be getting very high ratings.

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  60. dkd, EVERYONE who is anyone listens to the podcast. :)

    Greg, after some thought, I feel that one wedding is enough. Plus, I still don't buy the Morgan and Alex relationship. They need to sell me on it some more.

    uplink, I know everyone expects it to be used as a mid-season replacement, but my source says differently. If it comes back, it will probably come back in the fall where it has historically held its best ratings.

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  61. Thanks Magnus, that is what I think we all would prefer but I'll admit to a little grasping at straws. I believe there is one great season of stories left that I'd like to see told and TBH put one more season between where it ends up storywise and where it unfortunately went at one point. I need a little more salve on that wound.

    Time will tell but at least we are getting a few promos. I know of 3 airings. The Event, Jimmy Fallon and TBL which is much better than most weeks where we don't see any till thursday if at all. I realize that is also because of repeats for other shows but I'll take it. A 1.6 or better is what I'm hoping for in reality on monday with maybe an uptic for the next week. Maybe too much to ask but I am an optimistic guy at heart.

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  62. Optimism and pessimism exist in the same prison of hope.

    The person who confronts you with the truth is your liberator.

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  63. Thanks, Magnus, for this comprehensive podcast about ratings. Very instructive.

    I've always hear of people being scared of the dark, but now we Chuck fans must be afraid of more hours of light, with the daylight saving :)

    By the way, you are aware that if there is a miracle and Chuck gets a fifth season, some people are going to think that it's something they did and you will be labeled as the "pessimistic," "gloomy" or "bad" fan, aren't you?

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  64. josh, of course. I have talked about that a few times. In fact, I would posit that the ONLY REASON people are putting on these worthless "save Chuck" campaigns is so they can take credit for "saving" the show if it is renewed.

    As someone recently said, this fandom is full of people who want to be recognized as having been instrumental in keeping it going, even if their true impact is no more than a dozen people strong.

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  65. This may be a stupid question but when i DVR a show it is stuck on that channel how does the ratings know that i am not watching it live maybe i am and i am taping it to watch it again. I love chuck but i do see a huge change from previous seasons i do miss the nerd from the first season but i understand characters have to grow even though I think it would be funny if Sara and chuck played splinter cell and sara kicked his but. I am glad they are getting married but it does seem like they already are and it is missing that spark and anticipation of what is to come it really feels like they are an old married couple. Funny when its winter you want summer and visa versa. it is the same with this you want them together but you miss it when they were apart trying to get together..I can see why being a writer is tough. LONG LIVE CHUCK

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  66. Magnus, I think there is an element of the fanbase that just wants to do something even if its meaningless. It makes them feel better if nothing else. It also gives them a connection to the show and that is never a bad thing until it becomes a feeling of being entitled. So I have no real problem with it. But I hope they accept that it probably means nothing and they should be ok with that before getting involved. I just hope it doesn't take time away from things that actually may have a small impact like the RewardTV site.

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  67. uplink, I don't have any issue with people wanting to do something. I have issue with those who pretend what they are doing will help the show and then enlist others in their pointless campaign... and then later take credit for having done something meaningful when they didn't.

    Illusions are best kept within the confines of ones own mind, not infected onto the well meaning. There are things fans can do that are helpful. And creating more pointless fan campaigns isn't one of them.

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  68. Fair enough. The desire for taking credit is something that is very alien to me so I disregard it as coming from those with a weak ego looking for attention.

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  69. "This may be a stupid question but when i DVR a show it is stuck on that channel how does the ratings know that i am not watching it live maybe i am and i am taping it to watch it again."

    Nielsen's meter detects when you are playing something and what time you are watching it. If you are watching it at the time it airs, it counts as live.

    If you watch it live and then again on a delayed basis, you will count twice.

    If you record it, but don't watch within 7 days, it doesn't count at all.

    DG

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  70. I think the only reason sometimes fans felt any major entitlement about the show was when season 3 stared and they decided not to put chuck and sarah together. To be honest I am not a shipper or a huge fan of chuck and sarah, I watch because of casey, due to the fact that actors who can deliver dead pan delivery makes me laugh until I cry. That is why I love ron swanson, dr cox, michael bluth, etc. but even I thought when honeymooners aired....wow this is something I never thought I would say, I really enjoyed the chuck and sarah dynamic, it was fun, sexy and awesome and I finally understood what fans were so upset about. Even critics like mo ryan and sepinwall defended the show until they saw honeymooners and then changed their tune and started saying that season 3.0 was a huge misfire, it is human nature for people to do that. Now even an element of angst between chuck and sarah and sepinwall craps on an episode.....

    I think fans forget that for show creators like fedak and schwartz this show is their opportunity to create something that lasts the ages like lost or the wire. A big part may also be that they have to write material they think will keep the fans invested so that they can keep the show on air and keep people employed but I think they also wanted to tell more stories of chuck's heroes journey and that is why I am or never would critisize them for the decisions they made and do not feel that some of these fans or even critics demand that they tell a story they only want to see, it is unfair.

    In short I think fedak and schwartz paid a heavy price last season for using shaw and that is really unfair considering in the fans and critics eyes they are still paying that price. To be honest the price is too high.

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  71. John, pretty much right on. People inflate the quality of some seasons and deflate others depending on what they think is popular to say. And of course everyone thinks they are "free thinkers" who aren't influenced by what others say, but that is just what people who can't be honest with themselves think.

    We are all influenced by our environments, be they real or be they virtual. And once we allow something to bother us, we make a conscious effort to let it bother us more or less as time goes on. It is all about choice, and some people choose to be negative about the things they claim to love and others choose to be positive. The rest is just reactionary.

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  72. It is amusing the almost PTSD-like phenomenon season 3 induced in some fans. The writers are in a no win situation at this point because of the over-corrections they've made. They seem to be alienating a good portion of the male demo because of the now overly fluffy romantic comedy aspect of the show and yet if they pull back they rattle the crazies' cages.

    The thing that kills me is some people are blaming season 3 for the season 4 ratings. If people are that freaking fragile that they would need to flip off the show at the first sign of angst then maybe they should flip it on over to the disney channel and be done with it.

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  73. I think think that the reason Season 3 ratings dropped has little to do with Chuck and Sarah not getting together.

    1.) The ratings at the beginning of the season were inflated by the heavy promotion NBC gave it. They were higher than the end of the previous season. I don't think a lot of these newer viewers were heavily invested in the Chuck and Sarah relationship.
    2.) If you watch the promos NBC ran, the emphasis was on how cool Chuck would be with his new abilities. That's what attracted the new viewers.
    3.) I think the "coolness" of the new Intersect kinda of wore off. Plus, they made it so the Intersect was not consistent and Chuck wasn't as cool as he appeared in the promos.
    4.) There was a drop off from the first airing (first two episodes), but that's not unusual when promotion drives in new viewers. After that, the ratings were pretty consistent for a while. Neither The Mask or Fake Name caused a big drop. It was DST that caused the big drop. After that, the ratings more or less followed how many people were watching TV.

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  74. dkd, right... and if one wanted to play the game some ignorant fans love, we could say that once Chuck made the decision to dump Hannah and pursue Sarah only, the ratings tanked. So, obviously the audience hated Chuck and Sarah being together.

    But that wouldn't be true. It is just easy for people to take some drop in ratings and apply it to whatever they WANT it to mean.

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  75. Sue, like I just said, they are applying whatever they didn't like as a way to blame for the ratings drop. That is how we got the "Moonlighting rule." Even though ratings didn't drop when the romantic leads got together, when they did drop, people retroactively, over a season later, applied the overall ratings drop to it.

    Clearly, some nutjobs are doing that to CHUCK now... but blaming it on an arc from the previous season that actually had some of the best ratings of the last two seasons.

    Go figure.

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  76. I think that from the moment the writers had to EXPLAIN THEMSELVES to the overreacting fans and almost beg for forgiveness (I still read "fans" asking for Fedak and Schwartz to apologize, for God's shake) and assure Chuck and Sarah were going to be together to never break up again even before it happened, there isn't much space to maneouvre in the creative area. And I think that what they have (and with the budget) they write and shoot some amazing episodes.

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  77. sorry, "with what the can do (and the budget they have) they write some amazing episodes."

    josh-oi-squirol

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  78. Well we could go round and round on this discussion as I and many have but the only thing that we know for sure is that there was not one reason for the drop in ratings. There were many factors and all played a part. As you said saying that putting Chuck and Sarah together caused it all is just as ridiculous as saying Sham caused it all. DST was certainly a significant factor but it wasn't the only one. People watch this and any show for different reasons and once you don't like those reasons you move on. This happens all the time and TPTB need to figure out a way to keep the majority of your audience and try to bring in new viewers to replace those that leave for any number of reasons.

    I am one who thinks TPTB deserved much of the criticism they got because even though I understand what they were trying to do, though I didn't agree with it, the problem was they didn't do it well. They were both too timid to commit to it and it seemed like they really didn't have a clear vision of what that was. It was a mish mash of poor execution and yes I'll say it, bad stunt casting. But let's not go down that road of discussion again.

    Now we are sitting in a difficult situation that I do hope gets resolved positively and still has a decent chance of that. But it is a numbers game and we just need to sit and wait for that to play out.

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  79. As I understand it, getting Chuck and Sarah together was planned even before the outcry. The writers accelerated the story because they thought the show was ending.

    I think Magnus has said this many times.

    If this show had the ratings Bones had and was never in danger of being canceled, Chuck and Sarah still might not be together. They might be like the couple on that show.

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  80. Josh, I agree the writers have done a good job keeping it interesting considering the box they (willingly) put themselves in. But I do kind of hate that they pandered as much as they did. I want the writers version of the show, for better or worse. I can always watch something else if it doesn't suit me. I don't want shipper's fanfiction brought to life with the word Charah being bandied about, which is essentially what some people seem to be yearning for.

    Thankfully they've stradled the line between awesome and twee pretty well so far considering.

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  81. dkd, Chuck and Sarah getting together by 3.13 was the plan all along, even before season 2 ended (I think the original plan had them going out on a real date in 3.11, which was later changed to the mission date for the red test).

    uplink, the powers that be deserve criticism, but so do the fans who crapped all over them for every little thing and made it into a sport to see who could find something to dislike first and most. As Ali Adler said, calm down and enjoy the show you love. :)

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  82. Uplink, I think that it wasn't bad writing on the showrunners part that caused the ratings drop after 4.11. The storylines for Gobbler and Push Mix weren't all that bad, even though Gobbler ended on a sad note.
    4.11 had the highest ratings in this season so far. But the ratings plummeted to 1.7 afterwards and stayed there. The episodes were of very high quality though.

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  83. Magnus I agree that many went way overboard. Some still do. I myself still get a little heated in this discussion at times but this is part of the double edged sword that asking for help from fans can bring. Some will feel entitled and go overboard. And we saw a lot of that I agree. But the PR campaign TPTB waged was handled in many ways just as badly as parts of the season. They came off as arrogant and out of touch with what the core audience was reacting to in the show.

    Tthe problem for me with what Ali said was I wasn't enjoying it anymore. The fun was gone and what was left was loosing what I thought made it great and what I loved about it. Now I stuck it out certainly and am very glad for it because they brought me Honeymooners. From that point on it has been a great ride and I am back really enjoying the show I love. I just hope the ride isn't coming to an end too soon.

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  84. I think in a way what is so disappointing is not that the fans over reacted, that is to be expected, it is that the media in it's moral corruption jumped on it and hightened that disappointment. I mean only one crazy fan considered boycotting the show yet the media lumped anyone disappointed with the show into that category. The media also stopped backing the show as well, all the reviews started down the line that this is 100% a chuck and sarah show and TPTB are doing this wrong and that wrong and within 7 episodes or 4 weeks (the first 3 episodes ran in one week) the show went from being totally loved by everyone to one that was a joke for everyone including the media to take a shot at.

    How does a creative team respond to that? I mean it is one thing to write of fan reaction.....lost producers did that all the time....but once the media makes your show into a targetted punch bag you really are in hot water. As I said before shaw was really the only mistake they made and the price was way too high and chris fedak (as much as I love mo ryan) did not deserve the bashing that he got! I can understand fans who say that they would have rather of wathched chuck and sarah together if that was the last 13 episodes ever and why did they have to put her most scenes for 7 episodes but come on they have now given you 23 straight episodes of nothing but chuck and sarah scenes, is it not time to forgive them and call a truce?

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  85. The drop in young male viewers 18-34 can be easily attributed to three things:
    1-The marriage plot line. Young men do not want to think about such things and relate to a single Chuck much better than to a married one. It is what it is. Dudes fear commitment. Duh. They would rather have Sarah as a GF than as a MILF because baby Chucky is probably a given in the season 5 finale.
    2- I don't think we need to get all Freudian about the Mom subplot, but I'm guessing it is an unpopular or uninteresting subject to that particular demographic. Dudes having Mom issues and not wanting to deal with them is common. And a hot-ass spy Mom? Not going there.
    3- Baby Awesome- Nuff said...
    I personally have NO complaints with the storyline. CHUCK will get renewed because NBC has jack-sh*t to put on Mondays. They'll just cut the budget. Again.

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  86. I stand corrected. Thanks for that info.

    Personally, whatever number of eps we have left, I'm going to just enjoy them.

    On that note, NBC is actually running promos in Primetime!

    I just saw one on L&O:SVU and I hear they had another earlier in the evening. They re-edited the original one slightly and changed the VO a little bit. It's a slight improvement over the first version.

    Next week's episode looks pretty good.

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  87. J says ..

    I am so looking forward to 4.18 . The brief promo looks really good . Not to mention Chuck's flash has something to do with Russia , so that could maybe lead into the return of Volkoff down the line .

    Also it's Phil Klemmer's first episode since his return to the show ! :)

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  88. I hear 4.18 is a damn good episode.

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  89. Magnus, do you agree with Ken Mars? I don't quite agree with him.

    Ken, why would the writers do these story lines if they knew that it would turn away young male viewers?
    The writers really wanted to write these stories, they were planning on introducing Chuck's mom and having Chuck propose to Sarah. And Baby Awesome was just a natural outcome of Ellie and Captain Awesome's marriage. Give the writers a break with this. They did not want to have the ratings drop.

    Besides, the ratings dropped during 4.12, Chuck vs the Gobbler, and only happened to stay down through Push Mix. The Push Mix episode was the one that actually had the proposal and the birth, and those two events actually happened during the end of the episode, not during the beginning and middle. However, the ratings still stayed low.
    4.12 was the episode that had Sarah defenestrate Casey, and IT was the one that had ratings drop. So I wouldn't blame the drop on the engagement or the birth when the drop actually happened before then.
    The Mom storyline actually started before the season premiere during the last few minutes of the third season finale, yet the ratings drop didn't occur until after the highest rated episode aired. Before 4.12 and 4.11 even aired, Phase Three was the only episode that even got as low as a 1.7 this season.
    And before Phase Three aired, Chuck actually held steady around 1.9 to 2.0 in the ratings, yet the story lines that Ken was talking about were still there, inevitably heading towards a proposal.
    In fact, Cubic Z was an early episode in this season that even hinted that there would be a proposal.
    So story lines aren't the sole cause of the drop.

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  90. Ken Mars wasn't saying that they INTENDED to have the loss of viewers, just that the result is the loss of viewers. I have heard these points from a few people before and I don't know how accurate that analysis is. BUT they are far more reasonable than some of the arguments for what caused a ratings drop. Based on what I know of many males, this could be why they were turned off by later parts of this season.

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  91. Oh and Ken Mars, there isn't much left to cut. They cut so much of the budget already that WB took breakfast away from the crew. Some lowly paid lead actor decided to pick up that tab on his own while taking a crap salary on a 4th season network show. But I am not saying who it is.

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  92. Now, I'm not defending the episode storylines of "Fear of Death" and "Phase Three", since I hated those storylines.
    However, I am wholeheartedly defending the overall storylines of the rest of season 4: The Frost-Volkoff arc, the proposal-wedding arc, and the baby Awesome storyline. The Frost-Volkoff arc is firmly tied into the Bartowski family legacy.
    The Frost arc is a major milestone in the Hero's Journey of Chuck Bartowski in following his parent's legacy of spying, and eventually taking on his father's mantle of Orion and becoming a heroic spy in his own right.

    Chuck has to rescue his mom because this is an important part of the Hero's Journey and because he needs to do it for his own sake in getting answers, and for his family's sake.

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  93. All that matters is that you are enjoying it. At this point, whether CHUCK is renewed or canceled is virtually out of our hands. So, enjoy what is to come. If you are loving this season, then you are winning. Those who are not but are still watching, well, they are unhappy and I feel sorry for them.

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  94. How big are crews for a one hour show like chuck? I know from the two and a half men fallout that they have said that like 500 people are connected to that show. So if said actor is picking up the tab that is very, very, very, very generous on their part consider the crew can be massive!

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  95. I love Zachary Levi.....talking about enjoying this show before it gets cancelled....putting aside all the numbers and facts and everything else, remember reading your comment section for your fake name podcast and people saying the exact same thing! They said oh this is the reason why the show is failing in the ratings and that is the reason and you replying that the show could be cancelled so enjoy the rest of season 3....deja vu! how eerie!

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  96. Yep. And we didn't do anything to save the show and it got picked up. So, stop freaking out. :)

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  97. The lead of no ordinary family has joined another pilot and the sets are being taken down. If chuck continues in the near future (I hope) I really hope that Ali Adler comes back even if it is for like an episode or two, that would be awesome!

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  98. Magnus, this is probably a stupid question, but I think that it wasn't discussed yet: how much non-US viewers can affect the chances of a renewal? You mentioned in your podcast that NBC gives a % of possibilities for a renewal, and WB a different % (I can't remember exactly how much, maybe for 40% NBC and 70% for WB?). Obviously non-US viewers don't affect the ratings, so they are not important for NBC, but the huge fanbase worldwide might represent possible customers for WB, as licensing, dvd, etc... Or the numbers are so small that they are not even worth considering it...?

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  99. Going back to your episode 36, your team said that if they had a wedding episode they could have shaw and all the people that chuck put in jail come and crash the wedding....do you still think that would be a great idea or was it just something you guy's threw out not expecting a wedding? Personally I think it would be awesome because of all the history between the characters, lol. I actually still laugh out loud when lou said that maybe they could do a john woo face off and transplant shaw into an actor who can actually act, lol. GO CYT!

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  100. Henry, as far as I know (and maybe DangerGirl knows differently), the overseas market is a complex animal that is too volatile for me to speculate on, and I doubt it has such massive support for CHUCK that WB considers it as an important factor in dropping the license fee further.

    James, I bet once we see the finale, we will be able to say that podcast 36 was prescient on some level. ;)

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  101. Well yeah if I remember the podcast.....looks like wendy got her roan back (along with her hope that it will connect with beckman), lou and prez got carina back, you and baby girl are going to get your papa burton back. I think they have written episodes like the back 6 of season 3 (as per your recommendation and the whole they "sucked the love we had for the show") too bad people have not come back. There was a jail break episode. One thing that your predicted that they have not dealt with is the consequences of chuck not being able to kill, because that inability caused the death of his dad, I guess it does not haunt him....but yeah looks like you were on form.....

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  102. James, they have dealt with Chuck's issues with killing since then. I mean, he wouldn't kill Volkoff. He didn't want his mom to kill two henchmen. So, we see examples of this moral problem for him in this season. Chuck using a tranq-gun has become a big part of the last season and half.

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  103. "Magnus, this is probably a stupid question, but I think that it wasn't discussed yet: how much non-US viewers can affect the chances of a renewal?"

    Every country has a ratings system. In fact, Nielsen does ratings in other countries.

    Chuck seems to be playing in many countries, but I don't have any real sense of how its doing. If it's a huge hit overseas, WB can charge more for those license fees, but I don't know. Someone in these other countries needs to start telling us what the ratings are there.

    I've always found it interesting, for instance, that the show seems to have Canadian fans, but no one there ever tells us what the Canadian ratings are.

    DG

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  104. I get the feeling that CHUCK is a bubble show all over the world.

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  105. I am a huge justified fans and love the vernacular when they talk about being killed. Lines like:

    1) I had to put him down it was justified
    2) I had to draw because that is my code
    3) He had to go down it was justified.

    etc, etc, etc, and loads of other cool lines.

    What I was hinting at and I thought fedak in his interview with sepinwall at the end of season 3 suggested that chuck should not have a problem with killing now because sarah is now ok with it in a way....as long as it is justified. Chuck as a more badass gunslinger would be cool and certainly raise the tension, lol.

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  106. James, but for it to have any real power, Chuck should have to kill someone to "justify" that whole setup. :)

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  107. As raylan givens does every episode he manouvers a perp into the postion where it is always justified. So for example when casey is getting the crap beaten out of him by sarah, chuck should just flash and take out the whole room, he is saving his friends/family members life! But yeah I know that this is not that show and never will be and that is fine with me. I was just joking around, it is fun, thank you for entertaing my notion for just one second, lol!

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  108. @John

    Not to beleaguer this discussion as it has moved overnight onto a better, more appropriate area, but I have to respond to one point you made. I completely disagree with your assessment of the Mo Ryan interview. I thought it was respectful but direct. I completely agreed with the points she was trying to make and I thought it was one of the most honest interviews done with TPTB.

    Critics are not paid to promote the show. That isn't their job. They are also not paid to suck up to people they are interviewing. They are paid to ask tough questions that the audience wants to know. As long as they are respectful I have no problem with that type of interview. However some out there especially in the online world are so afraid of losing access to the show and the principals behind it that they ask softball, timid questions just to maintain their access. I also don't think it is coincidence that it took almost a year for Mo to get another interview with them.

    I respect her a great deal for asking those questions and have absolutely no problem with how pointed they were. That's her job and why I like reading her stuff.She asked the questions I wanted answered. But you are right they have tried to make amends with the shippers and maybe it is time to move on but forgiveness is hard and takes some time when it relates to something you love and see the potential for such greatness in.

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  109. I live in South Africa, and am a huge Chuck fan, however there are real mixed reviews of the show when I speak to people. They have either loved it from the beginning or not really bothered watching beyond season 1. I always feel sorry for those people that haven't given it a shot cos some people have missed out on a gem! Ratings aren't a big hype here, that's why ratings angst is a fairly new concept for me (4 years of chuck = 4 years of angst) We get all the shows and they run all the seasons. We are currently on midway S4 of Chuck, with pretty big named advertisers advertising during chuck! Not sure if this helps answer your international ratings a little

    Cawildone

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  110. IRISH FOLK ROCK????????

    its scotland you canadian idiot (hey feel my pain)

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  111. No one is Canadian around here.

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  112. Harry's Law has a very old, demographically unfavorable fan base, Chuck's dip with the male 19-34 audience began more or less the night harry's law premiered (Jan 17) when chuck countered with the balcony ep, demo has held steady since around 1.7M. Although not anything like 100% carryover, I do think the shows with you on a night do matter, the event, cape, and H Law aren't doing chuck's numbers any favors, except maybe to serve as bear bait.

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No flaming, baiting, trolling, expletives, or racism allowed. And NO DISCUSSIONS of the actor's personal lives ever.