“Chuck” can’t catch a break.
The premiere date for its fourth and final season has finally arrived and it’s airing on the same night as Game 7 of one of the most closely fought baseball World Series in recent memory.
It’s a perfect storm of elements that could make a deep dent in the potential audience for the “Chuck” premiere and, for that matter, the series premiere of NBC’s “Grimm,” the contemporary, scary take on the old Grimm brothers’ fairytales that seemed like just the right show to premiere on the Friday night of Halloween weekend.
On NBC: The premieres of “Chuck” at 8/7c and “Grimm” at 9/8c. On Fox: Game 7 of the World Series, live from St. Louis, starting at 8/7c.
And it’s not just any World Series. Pitting two teams that are incredibly well-matched — the Texas Rangers and the St. Louis Cardinals — Game 7 is coming off of a Game 6 that was one of the most electrifying post-season baseball games ever played, with the Cardinals coming back from the brink of elimination at least twice to win in the 11th inning.
The game dominated prime-time TV Thursday night, building audience throughout the night (it ended after midnight). For the three hours of prime time — 8-11/7-10c — the game averaged 19.7 million viewers.
Of course, no one can ever predict when a World Series will go to seven games. But in response to this year’s Game 7, CBS made the shrewd decision on Friday to put repeats up against the Series, rather than waste new episodes going up against a baseball game that is sure to dominate TV. (The CBS schedule consists of past episodes of: “A Gifted Man” at 8/7c, “CSI: Miami” at 9/8c and “CSI: NY” at 10/9c).
And ABC is airing two hours of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (from 8 to 10/7-9c) followed by “20/20″ at 10/9c. While those shows draw consistent audiences, they’re not exactly megahits.
And that means that, with CBS airing reruns and ABC airing shows that don’t draw huge audiences, the World Series is poised to dominate the ratings even more on Friday night.