Network picks up back nine episodes
NBC is giving an early vote of confidence to “Chuck,” picking up the back nine episodes of the sophomore skein.Also Wednesday, Peacock renewed summer reality hit “America’s Got Talent” for a fourth season. “Chuck’s” full-season order comes more than a month before the show’s Sept. 29 premiere date. Exec producer Josh Schwartz called the pickup “unexpected.” “It’s an incredible show of faith by NBC and so amazingly nice to get based on the work alone,” Schwartz said. Peacock execs said they were pleased with the first six episodes in “Chuck’s” second season and wanted to keep the momentum going. “This show has really hit its stride and deserves a full-season commitment to carry out the producers’ vision for this unique series,” said Teri Weinberg, exec veep of NBC Entertainment. “Chuck” launched last year but was cut short by the writers strike. Rather than bring it back in the spring, NBC opted to hold the show back and relaunch it this fall. Schwartz and Chris Fedak created “Chuck” and exec produce with McG and Scott Rosenbaum. Zachary Levi stars as Chuck Bartowski, an electronics store clerk who accidentally downloads government secrets into his brain — and must now deal with assassins and terrorists. Adam Baldwin, Yvonne Strahovski, Joshua Gomez, Sarah Lancaster and Ryan McPartlin also star. Warner Bros. TV is behind “Chuck,” along with College Hill Pictures and Wonderland Sound and Vision. “Talent” comes from FremantleMedia North America and Simon Cowell’s Syco shingle. Pickup comes as the show continues to gain viewers — 13 million this summer, up 16% from last year. “The production has stepped up their game creatively, as proven by the strong ratings,” said NBC alternative topper Craig Plestis. Jerry Springer hosts the talent competish, which continues until Oct. 1; David Hasselhoff, Sharon Osbourne and Piers Morgan are judges. Cowell, Cecile Frot-Coutaz, Jason Raff, James Sunderland and Georgie Hurford-Jones are exec producers.