Chuck Vs. The President?

If Chuck doesn't get renewed for a third season, there may be a new person to blame, according to NBC co-chairman Ben Silverman. But does this particular buck really stop in the White House?

Talking about whether President Barack Obama's televised addresses to the nation affect viewing figures for the network, Silverman told the Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed blog:

Barack Obama knows how to market himself better than anybody in the history of marketing. And he's using the media the way we use and advertisers use the media, and its effect is impressive. It's not helping us get any normal rhythm this year. It hurt the fall. I think it hurt "Chuck" — we had the huge 3-D episode, its highest rating in the year, then it was pre-empted the next Monday with no notice. But he's our president, and whatever he needs we are going to do.

Chuck's ratings this season have been uneven to say the least, and the next episode following the pre-emption showed no bump from the 3D episode at all; in fact, the audience was below that of the episode preceding that one. Whether that can truly be blamed on the pre-emption or just a weird, unpredictable audience who like 3D but not Chuck is less than obvious, but it has to be said: If Chuck doesn't get renewed, there are worse excuses than "I blame the President."

Ben Silverman on Obama, Leno and 'Kings' [THR Live Feed]