The 2-hour Chuck Season 3 premiere last night did astoundingly well for NBC — bringing in preliminary numbers of 7.7 million viewers, according to reports confirmed by show creator Josh Schwartz.
These numbers don’t actually include TiVo viewers since (if I’m not mistaken) those are delayed about a week. And of course the numbers on Hulu are notable, but I’m not sure how they factor into the prime time decision making. The point is, Chuck put eyeballs on the screen that the show hasn’t done since the first season.
“Thank you for all you have done to help get us to this moment. This season is for you!” said Schwartz on his Twitter feed moments before the episode hit the air.
From what I can tell, everyone involved seems willing to go the distance to make this show stick around. First, it was stars Zachary Levi and Adam Baldwin making sandwiches for hardcore fans. This push apparently worked as Subway agreed to some nontraditional advertising that got the show a third season. [Read: NBC’s Chuck Saved By Sandwiches, Not Fans] Then, just months ago NBC announced it was ordering an additional six episodes — bringing the total to 19.
But more importantly, the fans have pushed through to give Chuck one of its highest ratings ever, which is perhaps the greatest way to keep it around.
Also, remember that Chuck returns to its regular time of (Monday nights at 7/8 EST) tonight with a brand new episode. Set those TiVo folks!