Producer McG optimistic about a Chuck pickup

McG, executive producer of NBC's Chuck, told SCI FI Wire that he, like everyone else, is waiting to learn the fate of the series, but that he has high hopes for a pickup.

NBC's cult-favorite show, about the world's most unlikely spy (Zachary Levi), just concluded its sophomore season and is very much on the bubble, as the network has yet to renew it for a third year, though it announced other renewals on Monday. An announcement is expected on May 19.

SCI FI Wire spoke to McG by telephone on Monday as he promoted his latest project, Terminator Salvation, which he directed. Following are edited excerpts from our exclusive interview.

What's the latest on Chuck? Do you think it will be back?

McG: We don't know. We're optimistic. We're going to find out in a week. But the fans have spoken. People really rallied and articulated their love of the show, but it's a cold-hearted numbers business. And I'm happy to report that the people at NBC like the show.

Does it kill you that if the show were on The CW its ratings would be considered fine and that, much like your other show, The CW's Supernatural, Chuck probably would have been renewed already?

McG: I know, but that's a function of network. You know what I mean? Supernatural is coming back, and it's chugging along great. That's a hats-off to [writer, executive producer and show runner] Eric Kripke, who understands the mythology of that show and does such a great job keeping it fresh. The two guys [stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles] are doing a great job, and the whole crew. I'm so proud of that show. That show is so healthy.

Now we've just got to get doggone Chuck to come back. There are so many people out there, like me, who just really appreciate the show and Josh Schwartz's voice and what Zach is doing week in and week out. We've just got to see if we can stay on the air. ... I really love the subtleties and the nuance. There's a whole other show there for people who choose to look more closely.

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