Against all the odds, again, Chuck has been renewed for a fifth season by NBC. The order is for 13 episodes, but a "back nine" could be required if ratings are great (unlikely) or the rest of NBC's schedule is a disaster zone (likely.) Chuck only managed an average of 5.6 million viewers this past season, and I'm not alone in believing the show (one of the all-time underdogs) has hit a creative low.
The mass exodus of its best writers didn't help matters, but I still maintain that Chuck's simply exhausted itself now. It's no longer fresh, and it's had to evolve to a place that's less interesting and entertaining as a result. I don't even blame the writers for ruining the show, because this is exactly what happens when a show like Chuck managed four seasons -- especially one where the writers are never sure of their future from one finale to the next, and often get asked to write an additional nine episodes at the eleventh hour.
What will season 5 entail? We don't know yet, but the show generally gets mileage from its character's family connections, so expect to see Sarah's mother and maybe evem the pitter-patter of a baby Chuck. I just hope the writers devise a plot arc that's more entertaining than the Mary Bartowski/Alexei Volkoff one, and NBC don't ask for more when the 13 episodes are nearly done. Or if they do, give the writers an earlier heads-up, please.
I know we discuss this most weeks, as Chuck's future has in many ways become more interesting to talk about than its actual output these days, but... are you please, angry, or surprised it's coming back? Can anything kill this show? As I tweeted, if Subway sponsored Al Qaeda there's a good chance Osama Bin Laden would still be alive today.