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Adam Baldwin - 2009 USA Today Save Our Shows: The fans’ choice is ’Chuck’

Friday 1 May 2009, by Webmaster

Fans don’t want NBC to chuck Chuck.

The spy series was the top pick among 21 "on the bubble" between renewal and cancellation in USA TODAY’s 12th annual Save Our Shows poll; 54% favored a third season.

CBS’ Cold Case and Without a Trace scored second and third, typical for long-running series, with 45% and 41% of voters wanting to keep the series. But the most startling show of support came for ABC’s Castle, which premiered last month to modest ratings: 39% want it back, fourth in the poll.

All told, more than 43,000 fans cast their votes during the 10-day online poll, up sharply from last year, when the strike-shortened season sparked renewals of many borderline series.

Chuck’s poll popularity is consistent with previous support for genre shows. It has "everything your inner geek needs to survive," says fan Phil Rayser of Columbia, S.C. "There’s just the right mix of action, comedy (and) romance."

But though Chuck has gained supporters within NBC, its return is far from certain. Despite a fan-led campaign on Twitter and at sponsor Subway sandwich shops — "it’s the show that people have rallied behind this year," says executive producer Josh Schwartz — Monday’s season finale got no ratings lift, scoring a modest 6 million viewers.

Some fans’ picks reflect troubled times. "I especially enjoy shows like Castle and Chuck because they are lighthearted and interesting enough to take me out of my own worries," says Angie Meck of Carlisle, Pa. "I can’t watch heavy dramas and sleep soundly."

ABC’s Scrubs, which has a "series finale" set to air in May, is again in contention, especially if star Zach Braff agrees to return for some episodes; a third of poll respondents want it back. But cost will have a much bigger impact on survival chances for Scrubs and My Name Is Earl, among others.