Josh Schwartz, executive producer and co-creator of NBC's spy comedy/drama Chuck, told reporters that the upcoming second-season finale will change the game for the show in a way that will satisfy viewers whether the show is picked up for a third season or not.
"Let me figure out how to parse this answer," Schwartz said in a group interview at WonderCon in San Francisco on Sunday. "It will end in a way that's going to launch the show into season three with a real—it's a game-changer. I think that it'll be immensely satisfying in its own right, but it also really, really launches the show in a way that, you know, we're already breaking season three stories and can't wait to start telling them."
Schwartz maintains a positive attitude about a third-season pickup for the series, which has won critical praise but has seen lackluster ratings. "The network has been incredibly supportive of the show, and there's a lot of internal support for the show," Schwartz said. "Creatively, they're really happy with the show. They recognize the challenges of the time period we're in and all of the sort of hiatus impediments that have been thrown in our way. So I think, you know, on that level it's very positive. But, you know, we still have several more months to go, and ... it's very competitive, [up against ABC's] Dancing With the Stars this year. Will Jewel out-dance Denise Richards? I know that I can't wait. And Jewel's husband also, go with the soft shoe, he's in there. Yeah, yeah. So, um, so you know, I think we feel very, very optimistic, and we feel really, really good about the show creatively, and I think you know, everything that we can control, we feel very good about."
Is there a ratings number the show has to hit in the final episodes of the season? "If there is a threshold number, we have not heard it yet," Schwartz said, adding: "NBC's been very good about [renewing] the shows that they love based on creativity alone."
As for the show's season finale, Schwartz said: "This is our finale. This would be our finale whether we knew we were picked up, whether ... we were picked up for next year or five years. This is what we've been wanting to do for a while, and we've had this planned since the beginning of season one."
One positive sign for Chuck fans: Schwartz and co-creator and executive producer Chris Fedak will be pitching season-three stories to NBC this week. "They can't wait to hear what the new adventures of Chuck will be," Schwartz said. Chuck airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT.