Chuck Renewed, But There's Less Of It

NBC's newly-upgraded superspy series Chuck will return for a third season... but on a much smaller scale. The network has only ordered 13 episodes, and for a smaller budget than before.

The Hollywood Reporter wrote yesterday that what was preventing an earlier announcement of a renewal was the same thing that plagued Dollhouse - concerns about budget:

The network had asked for significant budget reductions on top of the cuts producing studio Warner Bros. TV had already made going into the second season. After weeks of back-and-forth, the two sides are said to be very close to a compromise that would bring the karate-enhanced intercept back next season.

Soon after that story went live, the site's Live Feed blog confirmed the news:

he network picked up 13 episodes of the series from Warner Bros., which made some budget concessions to secure the show a renewal.

Here's a cost-saving idea: Lose half the BuyMore cast (Big Mike, Jeff, Lester and Emmett, for example). Controversial, perhaps, but undoubtedly cheaper than having to keep buying fans Subway sandwiches in order to ward off the cancellation threat (Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello says that one cast member and two writers will be lost to budget cuts).