Can Twitter and Subway save “Chuck”?
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Josh Schwartz, co-creator of NBC’s ‘Chuck,’ is hoping that the show’s small but loyal audience can keep the sci-fi/romantic dramedy alive for a third* season. The show, which has garnered lots of critical praise, has not seen that translate into ratings success.
In an interview at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas, Schwartz said he had a good meeting with NBC about ‘Chuck’s’ future, but he would not speculate on whether the show would survive. NBC, which is stripping Jay Leno across the 10 p.m. time period five nights a week, does not have a lot of real estate for shows like Schwartz’s that are on the bubble.
In the meantime, ‘Chuck’ fans are taking matters into their own hands. According to Schwartz, there is a push on the Internet to get fans to go to Subway on Monday before the season finale to buy sandwiches in support of the show. Why Subway? Because the sandwich shop was featured prominently in a recent episode. So much for product placement turning off viewers. ‘It shows a real sophistication on the part of the viewer,’ Schwartz said.
Then there is the group of rabid ‘Chuck’ fans who are constantly Twittering support for the show on the social networking site. It has merited so much attention that even NPR did a piece about the efforts to save ‘Chuck.’
But will some tweets and eats be enough to buy ‘Chuck’ a new life? ‘All grass-roots movements have to start somewhere,’ Schwartz cracked.
As for his latest TV project, a spinoff of CW drama ‘Gossip Girl,’ his other show currently on the air, Schwartz says there has definitely been a crackdown on spending this pilot season. ‘There is a ceiling on talent deals,’ Schwartz said.
– Joe Flint
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story said that ‘Chuck’ was seeking a second season. It is currently in its second season, and a renewal would bring it back for a third.