NBC Picks Up 'Chuck,' 'Life'
Freshman series will stick around for full season
The network has picked up the two shows for a full season. They're the first two NBC series to earn full-season pickups this fall and the second and third to earn extra episodes since the start of the writers' strike earlier this month. ABC picked up "Dirty Sexy Money" last week.
"'Chuck' and 'Life' stand out in a crowded TV landscape because they are smart, well-produced series with incredibly talented casts," NBC co-chairman Ben Silverman says. "Both shows are hitting their stride creatively, have developed loyal audiences and offer unlimited potential to grow throughout the season."
Just what constitutes a "full season" this year is still a little unclear. "Chuck" and "Life" will produce up to nine additional episodes, or as many as can be done whenever writers go back to work. Both received orders for extra scripts last month, which could help them get up and running quickly after a settlement.
Talks between the Writers Guild of American and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers resumed Monday, and though the two sides agreed to a news blackout, there were notes of cautious optimism after the day's session, according to various reports.
"Chuck," which stars Zachary Levi as an unwilling repository of government secrets, is averaging about 8.4 million viewers per week and a 3.4 rating among adults 18-49. It airs in the competitive 8 p.m. Monday timeslot and is usually in the mix for second place in the demo race, behind ABC's behemoth "Dancing with the Stars."
"Life" stars Damian Lewis as a detective who returns to the LAPD after wrongfully spending a dozen years in prison. It has held relatively steady in recent weeks, even as its lead-in, "Bionic Woman," has wilted in the ratings. The show averages 8 million viewers and a 3.0 rating among adults 18-49.
NBC hasn't made a decision yet on "Bionic Woman" or its other new series, "Journeyman."