It might have been those massive support campaigns like the Subway 5 buck foot-long blast, or just the fact that David E. Kelley's big budget drama Legally Mad was criminally bad, but whatever the reason, Chuck's back for 13 episodes on NBC.
The network denies a link between Mad's rejection and Chuck's resurrection. We're sure it's just a coincidence that both come from the same studio, Warner Bros., and Mad came with a $2 million penalty if NBC didn't pick it up. We're thinking that some amicable financial consideration played into the decision.
But whatever. It's just good to have Chuck back for another season, even if only a guaranteed 13 episodes.
When last we saw Chuck, he had a significant upgrade from spy nerd to 007 ass kicker. He's out of Buy More and into being a full-on action hero. While there's bound to be plenty of debates on how that impacts season three, right now we're looking at NBC's reported edict that Chuck's nerd herd needs to be culled to save some bucks.
So who will stay, and who will go? Since Chuck and Morgan have both bailed on Buy More, that opens up the prospective casualty lists to include everyone employed there.
The only thing for sure is that Chuck and Sarah will be back and there's probably already a "Save Casey" brigade out there, and maybe even a grassroots campaign for Morgan to return from the Big Pineapple.
Here's our list for the top candidates to get left behind. Read it and weep. We're already a little teary.
5. Emmett (Tony Hale): Emmett looks like an easy cut, although not without a little bit of pain. Tony wormed his way into our heart back in his Arrested Development days, and he's got mad comic skills. But who needs a store manager when the store might go all Circuit City shut-down? Just another recession loss.
4. Jeff (Scott Krinsky) and Lester (Vik Sahay) : Like peanut butter and jelly, you just can't imagine one without the other. Maybe Jeff will just wander into his toilet stall for his daily nap and never come back. That way, if the budget gets plumped out later, he doesn't have to be permanently flushed. As for Lester, maybe he'll just land a lounge gig at Bennigans, and Chuck can hang out there when he's in between save-the-world missions.
3. Morgan and Anna (Julia Ling): The two have fled Buy More for Hawaii, but where would Chuck be without his best bud? Morgan makes Chuck whole, and besides, every super hero needs a sidekick. But what to do with Anna Wu? She's a hoot, but it's time for her to shuffle along. We'd love to see her in a spinoff with the entire Buy More crew, but unless Chuck can pick up some substantial viewer steam, we'll just be happy to keep Chuck afloat.
2. Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) and Captain Awesome (Ryan McPartlin): She's the doting, worrying sister. He's her husband, who just recently discovered that geek guy is an international spy. There's a lot of worrying going on here, and not quite enough comedy action. We'd hate to see them go, but maybe they can just pop in for family get-togethers with Chuck.
1. Casey (Adam Baldwin): Back off people. It could happen. While the other actors getting cut loose would save some cash, removing Casey as a regular character would make a major financial impact. Casey has given us some of the funniest, and most touching, moments on the show. We'd hate to see you go Casey, but war is hell and downsizing isn't much better.