Chuck Arrives on Netflix

chuck-comic-conJust a week before he heads back to U.S. theaters as Fandral in Thor: The Dark World, fan-favorite Tangled star Zachary Levi made his way to Netflix this week with his NBC spy dramedy Chuck.

No, sadly it's not new episodes--but it's been almost ten months since a deal was announced to bring Chuck, Fringe and others to the popular streaming rental service, and some fans had begun to wonder whether the announcement was made in error.

The series, produced by Warner Bros. Television and run on NBC for five seasons, is an interesting look at the interactive nature of modern television.  An hour-long action/adventure series with great production value, Chuck was pretty expensive, and after the first season it never quite made the kind of numbers that would justify that budget.  What it did have was a passionate fan base who reached out directly to advertisers, delivering the kind of value that ratings are meant to promise.

A fan campaign to inundate Subway's comment boxes with "Chuck sent me" notes worked like a charm and, for the next three seasons, the sandwich chain was known as the show's "savior," and had plenty of on-screen time to show for it.

When NBC finally gave up on trying to make Chuck work, the studios gave the show a full season's notice to wrap up dangling plot threads and decide on their finale--something that seems to be standard operating procedure for Warner Bros. Television, who did the same for Fringe the following season. The result was a final season that was more highly-rated than the one before it and a critically-praised finale that dangled the possibility of a movie--something that Levi is still hoping to make happen.