Executives at NBC must have had some very pleasant Thanksgivings, because they certainly are in the giving mood the week after the holiday. The Peacock's suits announced yesterday that they have picked up a pair of its new shows for full seasons, the first such pickups for the network this season.
Nine more episodes of newcomers Chuck and Life have been ordered by NBC, which brings the first-season tallies to 22 total episodes. Of course, this is all contingent on a successful resolution to the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike. Chuck is still in production with an unknown number of episodes already written, and Life is currently shut down, according to Variety.
It appears as if the strike may have been a good thing for both shows. With the next round of pilots crippled by the writers strike, networks have let shows stick around longer than normal before making final decisions, which has allowed both Life and Chuck to develop audiences. Chuck is averaging 8.4 million viewers this season, and Life is averaging 8.0 million, according to NBC.
"With the pitch-perfect Damian Lewis at the center of a brilliant cast, each week this show has quietly built since its premiere into the little engine that could," Universal Media Studios president Katherine Pope said of Life.
"Both shows are hitting their stride creatively, have developed loyal audiences, and offer unlimited potential to grow throughout the season," said NBC Entertainment cochairman Ben Silverman.
Chuck stars Zachary Levi as the title character, a geeky computer pro who works at a Best Buy clone. After opening an e-mail from his former college roommate who moonlighted as an elite spy, Chuck has government secrets uploaded into his brain and suddenly becomes a boon to national security and the country's most valuable spy. Chuck, from producers Josh Schwartz and McG, mixes action and comedy, given that Chuck must juggle both of his jobs. The show also stars Aussie actress Yvonne Strzechowski and Firefly's Adam Baldwin as government agents.
Life stars Damian Lewis (Band of Brothers) as Charlie Crews, a Los Angeles detective recently released from prison after serving 12 years for a crime he did not commit. Back on the beat, Crews must adapt to life outside of the pen, use his untraditional methods to solve crime, and decipher the mystery of who framed him more than a decade ago. Life also stars Sarah Shahi and Brooke Langton as Crews' partner and lawyer, respectively.
Chuck is on Monday nights at 8 p.m., and Life airs Wednesday nights at 10 p.m.