Chuck is an action-comedy television program from the United States created by Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak. The series is about an "average computer-whiz-next-door" who receives an encoded e-mail from an old college friend now working in the CIA; the message embeds the only remaining copy of the world's greatest spy secrets into Chuck's brain.
Produced by College Hill Pictures, Wonderland Sound and Vision and Warner Bros. Television, the series premiered on September 24, 2007, on NBC, airing on Monday nights at 8:00 pm ET leading into Heroes. Despite receiving a full season pickup, the first season contained only thirteen episodes; production was stalled due to the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike. The second season started on September 29, 2008, with a full 22-episode season order. NBC released the first episode of season two a week before its air date via multiple online distribution methods, and cable on demand
After a two-month "Save Chuck" campaign mounted by fans, Chuck was renewed for a third season with a thirteen-episode order. A major sponsorship deal between NBC and the Subway restaurant chain was also announced to help cover costs of the third season. The third season was tentatively scheduled to begin airing in March 2010, but with NBC ordering six more episodes of Chuck and not ordering any more episodes of Trauma (another Monday night show), the consensus view of industry observers and reporters is that the series will likely be returning in January
Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi) is a twenty-something in Burbank, CA who works as a computer expert at the Nerd Herd at his local Buy More (a parody of Best Buy's Geek Squad), a large retail consumer-electronics chain, with his best friend, Morgan Grimes (Joshua Gomez). Chuck's sister Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) is a doctor who is constantly encouraging him to make progress in his professional and romantic life. Also joining the cast is Ellie's now-husband, Devon "Captain Awesome" Woodcomb (Ryan McPartlin), also a doctor looking out for Chuck's social life. On the night of his birthday party, Chuck receives an e-mail from Bryce Larkin (Matthew Bomer), his former Stanford University roommate, who is now a "rogue" Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agent. When he opens it, the entire database of all the US government's secret information—a neural supercomputer called The Intersect—is subliminally embedded into his brain. Both the National Security Agency (NSA) and the CIA want the intelligence returned to them and dispatch agents of their own—Major John Casey (Adam Baldwin) and Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski)—to retrieve the data
Since the information was stolen by Bryce and the government's copy destroyed in his attempted escape, and since Chuck experiences "flashes" of information from the database activated by certain triggers around him (such as faces, voices, in-context keywords, and various objects), he must use the knowledge he now possesses to help the government thwart assassins and international terrorists — upending his previously uneventful life. In order to preserve their safety, Chuck must keep his newfound occupation a secret from his family and friends, forcing Casey and Walker to establish an uneasy alliance and secret identities; Walker poses as Chuck's girlfriend and takes a cover job at the local restaurant next to the Buy More (formerly Wienerlicious, currently Orange Orange) while Casey gets a job at the Buy More, with the shared goal of protecting Chuck at all costs.
In the meantime, the government attempts to rebuild the Intersect computer. As it nears completion, Casey is ordered to kill Chuck as soon as the new Intersect is ready. However, in the premiere of season 2, it is sabotaged, keeping Chuck alive.
As the series progresses, it is revealed that Bryce is still alive and that a rogue spy agency called "Fulcrum" is searching for the Intersect, which they believe to still be in the possession of Bryce, not Chuck. Several Fulcrum agents have independently discovered that Chuck actually is the Intersect, but all have been apprehended or killed before they could pass the information on.
It is also revealed that Fulcrum is attempting to build its own Intersect, and that Fulcrum believes the CIA has stopped trying to rebuild its own. In the episode "Chuck Versus the Suburbs" (February 16, 2009), the collection of all secrets from Fulcrum's own Intersect testbed project was implanted into Chuck's head. Eventually, (presumably) all of the Intersect information is removed by Chuck's father and the Intersect's chief inventor, Steven Bartowski (a.k.a. "Orion"); however, in the second season finale "Chuck Versus the Ring" (April 27, 2009), Chuck voluntarily uploads the newest version of the Intersect into himself which allows him to flash on other skills à la The Matrix, rather than just the raw information and computation of the earlier Intersect.