McG: Chuck's big debut bodes well for more

Sunday's high-rated premiere of NBC's Chuck made at least one big fan happy: executive producer McG, who says the good showing bodes well for the show's continued success.

Yes, that McG: the director of Terminator Salvation, who leads a double life as producer of such TV series as Chuck, Supernatural and the upcoming Human Target on Fox.

"I'm happy," McG said in a group interview Monday in Pasadena, Calif., where he was promoting Human Target. "I just believe in that show, and we actually got rewarded last night. Peter Roth seems really happy with the numbers. We're happy with what it did, so hopefully it'll keep on trucking." Roth is president of Warner Brothers Television, which makes the show for NBC.

The first hour of Sunday's third-season premiere of Chuck garnered an audience of 7.7 million viewers and a healthy 3.0 preliminary rating among adults 18-49, with the second drawing 7.2 million and a 2.9 rating. That was where the show needs to be for Warner Brothers, McG said. (McG spoke about the numbers based on the first report of ratings as high as 3.4.)

"We were mid-3s, and that was above [expectations]," McG continued. "They wanted to have a 3 in front of it, so we were right around a 3.4 with the men 18-49, and I think they're really happy with that, especially because I think the football game got a really good number on the other network and led into a big, strong Simpsons/Fox night."

McG added: "I haven't talked to NBC yet this morning, but we're all on the same e-mail chain," McG said. "[Executives] are very personally vested in the show. They really want it to work out. They're all like children to all of us. That show was on the edge of extinction, and the fans spoke, and people were really passionate about it. It doesn't hurt to have Jon Stewart as a fan and Howard Stern as a fan and people like that touting the Chuck of it all."

The premiere revealed marked changes to Chuck's (Zachary Levi) character, who has all sorts of new skills after having downloaded Intersect 2.0. "We changed his hair, we did it all," McG said. "It was to show that emotional pivot in the character. Plus, he's ready for it. He's a talented guy, Zach, and he's capable of a lot, so if you ask it of him he's able to do it."

Chuck airs Monday nights at 8 p.m. on NBC.

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