[07/27/09 - 11:40 AM]
Live at the San Diego Comic-Con: "Chuck"
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

Please note: As a courtesy, please do not reproduce these comments to newsgroups, forums or other online places. Links only please.

Highlights from the "Chuck" press room:

Chris Fedak on the show's overall status: "Well, right now we have an order for 13 episodes. There's always the [chance] NBC could extend that order like they did last season. And they put us after the Winter Olympics, we could go longer. And there's always a chance because schedules aren't written in stone that they could actually move us up and have us go on earlier... We do have a hurry-up offense, yes. We start production in a week and a half so we're getting close."

Chris Fedak on their plans for this season: "Like last year, when we sat down to talk about 2.2, our season finale for the second season, we knew our ending. I know my ending for the third season as well. So in some ways we go back and we build to that point where we want to be... so we kind of know where we're going. And so we're right now, the writers are halfway through the season from a script-writing prospective. And then production will start, we'll slow down... It's really a season about Chuck now has these abilities: how does he master them? It's like, he didn't come with a manual. Maybe it did, we haven't seen it yet. And he has Sarah and Casey, not only there to protect him but also in some ways to be the sensei to help him master these skills. It's like the superhero story told in a little bit of slow motion."

Chris Fedak on the status of the Buy More: "Well I'll say this, the Buy More will still be an integral part of the 'Chuck' story. We're not losing the Buy More, it's our most expensive set... but yeah, we'll definitely be going back there. We've always found that our cast is wonderful and we want to see Chuck in [that] world almost as much as we want to him in the spy world."

Chris Fedak on if Tony Hale will be back: "Tony Hale is going to be a part of season three... that's all I'll say."

Chris Fedak on this season's guest stars: "We're just getting into the initial stages of that. Last year when we started thinking about guest stars, thinking about the Michael Clark Duncan's, you know, there was a lot of like crazy names out there. So this year we're got more of this list of all the people we love, all of our favorite actors. And so we'll go through it and figure [it] out. We haven't cast anybody yet, but we're circling the block. It's not 'Love Boat,' but still."

Chris Fedak on his dream guest star: "My 'Star Trek' nerdiness really means I'd love [William] Shatner on the show, I'd think that would be fantastic."

Chris Fedak on how season three will be different from previous seasons: "It's not going to so much veer away, I think it's going to evolve. I think for a story about a guy like Chuck, you want to watch him get better at being a spy. You want to watch him master some skills, not just be the guy who's waiting in the car. I think that that's very much where the show is going."

Chris Fedak on telling Zachary Levi he's going to learn kung fu: "Zach has been looking forward to kicking ass for quite some time. I remember on the pilot explaining to him, 'It's like, you know you don't get to carry the gun right?' He was like quite upset.... So he was super excited to actually have those abilities."

Josh Schwartz on if they'll post some Jeffster videos on NBC.com: "Basically everything that people asked for today we will now deliver: Jeffster on the web, musical episode, clearly Casey and Ellie can never even look at each other, Sarah and Chuck can never have any emotional issues, it can only be flowers and daisies and rainbows. But yeah, coming here this early in the season for us, we were sort of joking about taking ideas from people but it was actually great to see what everybody sort of responds to and what the no-nos are... The things that people don't like you to do are sometimes the most fun things to do because it makes people really go crazy. I'm not committing one way to anything here, I'm just saying expect the unexpected."

Josh Schwartz on if he still reads comments from fans online: "I definitely like know what's going on but I don't like live in it like I used to. I don't get like mad and want to create a fake username and like fight back and you know."

Josh Schwartz on how he hopes to increase the show's ratings: "We went into this last year, we had the writers' strike and we only go through 13 episodes and we were really building our momentum, then we had to go off the air for like an incredibly long period of time. And we sort of reset the show in a way that hopefully didn't feel redundant for viewers from season one but at the same time allowed you to kind of [check into] the show if you hadn't. And we will do the same here but obviously we just pushed the show forward in a big way this season and next season we'll start as a direct pickup from 'I know kung fu.' So we will pick up from there hopefully in a way that isn't confusing to new viewers. And look for something like this, we're just hoping for word of mouth, that it continues to spread and the show grew throughout last year and all we can hope for is the same."

Josh Schwartz on how Chuck's new abilities changes the show: "The biggest thing that the new powers does for us is it allows us to take advantage of Zach Levi's gifts. Obviously you saw him do the kung fu so he's clearly, he can move, he's a very physical actor but he's also great at the physical comedy. So there's opportunities for these things to go awry and push him into a Steve Martin 'All of Me' place, you know, where it's like suddenly he doesn't have control over his body in the same way. And that's something we're really excited about as well."

Josh Schwartz on if we've seen the last of Bryce Larkin: "Well, he was pretty dead. You did literally see him expire this time but I guess you do never know. It's all going to depend on how [Matthew Bomer's] show does on USA."

Josh Schwartz on if he hoped to get "Parenthood's" slot after its production was delayed: "No because we start so late, we haven't even started shooting yet. And our episodes take a little while to make because the post-production so it wasn't even possible that we could make that early start date."

Josh Schwartz on if we'll see any web components to tide over fans waiting for season three: "Absolutely, I mean that's one of the things we've talked about is how can we create little episodes or vignettes or seeing somebody privately that at least will allow you to keep these characters alive. And then if we want to see some storylines too. It's like all of a sudden we've been given this great toy the play with and I think that we're always looking for ways to kind of build out on the show, especially if we're not going to be on [until] November, January [etc.] so we want to keep people invested and connected to the show."

Josh Schwartz on if they'll account for the show's long absence on screen: "I sort of, I talked about a volatile Chuck and Sarah situation coming into this year and something's going to have happened between them that we pick up in real time and then we jump forward, that there's an expectation between them that is not fulfilled and that's going to create a major, that will keep you watching!"

Vik Sahay on his dream Jeffster cover: "Yeah, 'Don't Stop Believin,'' although all of this, I would have to sing this stuff and that is a nightmare for myself and everybody listening. So it's impossible for me to pick songs. Although I did pick this one."

Vik Sahay on the origins of Jeffster: "I think it's my rock star vibe that gave the idea to the writers. We were approached, we jumped, we bit. I was afraid."

Adam Baldwin on what's ahead for Casey: "Casey's looking for a way out I think. But now that Chuck has extra skills he might be even more of an asset so he can use that. Although there will be a rebooting period of lactic acid build up and slumping. You know what it's like. He's going to be sore."

Adam Baldwin on what he wants to see for his character: "I really want to meet Casey's mom. I want to know who she is. Now it's either a Mindy Sterling type and I keep pushing that name because I love Mindy Sterling... love her. Either that or the woman who played the Trunchbull in 'Matilda' would be a great Casey mom."

  [july 2009]  


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