'Chuck': Brandon Routh's role is top-secret

brandonrouth_290.jpgTwo-plus seasons of writing a show about spies has rubbed off on "Chuck" co-creator Chris Fedak. He's very good at keeping secrets.

For instance, it was next to impossible to get Fedak to give up details about what "Superman Returns" star Brandon Routh will be doing in his guest role on "Chuck" this season. We know he's playing a character named Daniel Shaw in multiple episodes, beginning with the season's fourth show, and that he'll be part of Chuck's (Zachary Levi) spy world, but other than that? Not much -- not even the exact number of episodes Routh will do.

"You won't get it out of me," Fedak says.

Fedak did say, though, that Shaw will be a key to this season's spy arc. "This year the evil organization Chuck and our gang are battling is called The Ring," he says, "and Shaw is an expert on The Ring."

And how might his presence affect the dynamic between Chuck, Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) and Casey (Adam Baldwin)? "If it's OK with you, I want to kind of stay a little murky," Fedak says. "I'm a little hesitant to say much more about the Shaw character. We've got some really cool surprises, and I don't want to show my hand too much."

Fedak was more willing to talk about why he's happy to have Routh on "Chuck," and it's not just because the actor played Superman. (Although Fedak admits that "I was a little bit giddy when I finally met him.")

"What's exciting about it is that Brandon not only offers a great kind of leading-man, hero type of character, but he's also super funny," Fedak says. "It's really important to the 'Chuck' show that he has comic chops."

"Chuck" is filming its second episode now, Fedak says, so Routh should be starting work on the show in the next couple of weeks. The show is scheduled to return to NBC in March.

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