When the fall season kicks off, networks roll out brand new shows along with new episodes of established favorites. The 2007-2008 television season saw the release of two programs for the nerds in all of us, The Big Bang Theory and Chuck. While the former went on to become a highly popular ratings juggernaut with mass appeal, Chuck humbly wrapped up its television run after five seasons this past Friday.
The show pulled in less than stellar ratings but carved itself a place in television history by making it a remarkable 91 episodes on the sheer will-power and determination of its loyal fanbase. After having its first season cut short by the WGA strike in the 2007-2008 television year and a full second season order, it was unclear as to whether or not the show would return. And it was at that point that the alarm sounded for nerds everywhere. Through the utilization of social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook, fans launched the “Save Chuck” Campaign. It wasn’t long before organized letter writing campaigns to NBC began, but it was one fan’s organized campaign, inspired by product placement in the second season, to purchase footlong Subway sandwiches on the day of the second season finale. Not only did the campaign garner support of the shows cast members, but it garnered national press and media coverage. Chuck was eventually renewed for a third season. With the future of further Chuck season always an uncertainty, campaigns continued year after year ultimately leading to the end of its 91 episode run.
While both The Big Bang Theory and Chuck are shows about “nerds” and “nerd” culture, it was Chuck that ultimately embrased laughed with the nerds instead of at them. I can’t begin to express the enjoyment I experienced from this show, but I urge anyone and everyone who hasn’t heard of it to find some means to go back and give it a shot. While ratings help lure in advertisers, it is important to remember that at the end of the day that a ratings point is just a number. The legacy of Chuck is that it’s not the amount of fans a show has that matter, but the passion they have for it.