There's good news for Chuck fans, somehow, miraculously again. Despite all reason pointing towards cancellation, word on the street is that NBC is near a deal to expand the current season's 13-episode order to a full 22. Entertainment Weekly says the contract is all but done, with just a few signatures in goat's blood needed here and there.
But does Chuck really deserve the pickup? A look at the ratings would seem to say no. Last week's episode drew 5.3 million viewers and a 1.9 rating among 18-49 year olds. Only the dismal Chase (1.5 rating) and the CW pair of 90210 and Gossip Girl (0.9 rating each) did poorer on that night on the major networks (yeah it's a stretch to call The CW a major network, but it is).
So why does Chuck continue to survive? Right now it's a case of survival by attrition. Network shows are all taking a beating, yet Chuck has remained steady, for the most part, this season. The love affair with new shows is wearing off as the numbers of those shows are plummeting, yet here's this one show that's putting up consistent--albeit disappointing--stats each week.
If you're NBC and you're crunching numbers, Chuck seems like the most reasonable investment. And with Undercovers and Chase making their cases to be the next NBC shows canceled, the heat is off Chuck.
Chuck fans, count your blessings and keep watching!
Do you think Chuck should get a full season? Do you think NBC will renew it for a fifth season?
Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom