TV ratings: 'Chuck' improves slightly, CBS wins a quiet Friday

Fast National ratings for Friday, Dec. 23, 2011Friday night was, as you might expect of a Friday right before Christmas, rather uneventful in the Nielsen ratings. "Chuck" was the only original scripted program on broadcast TV, and it was up a tick over last week.CBS also improved some on its numbers from a week ago, leading the night with 6.7 million viewers and a 4.4 rating/8 share in households. ABC (4.2 million, 2.4/4) finished second, beating out NBC's 3.15 million viewers and 2.0/4. FOX (1.9 million, 1.3/2) held off The CW (1.4 million, 0.8/2) for fourth place.Thanks to a batch of holiday specials, ABC led the adults 18-49 demographic with a 1.1 rating, edging out CBS' 1.0 and NBC's 0.9. FOX drew a 0.6 and The CW a 0.4....

A Chuck Christmas: The Return of Daniel Shaw, the "Muahaha" Bad Guy

Have Chuck and Sarah been naughty this year? On Friday's Chuck (8/7c, NBC), it looks like Santa is bringing them something far worse than a lump of coal: their old nemesis Daniel Shaw! "We wanted to do a Christmas story, and Christmas is such a holiday that's haunted, like in the Charles Dickens tradition," Chuck co-creator Chris Fedak tells reporters during a December set visit. "We thought, 'Let's bring a monster from our past.' At the end of Season 3, Brandon [Routh] was such a good 'muahaha' bad guy. I was like, I've got to bring back the 'muahaha.'"

'Chuck' (and Stan Lee) get into the Christmas spirit

Thanks to the teasers at the end of last week's "Chuck," we already know about the bad guy this week. (If you've avoided them, however, you should probably skip the next paragraph.)We're not sure how we feel about Brandon Routh's return as Shaw -- or rather, how we feel about knowing about it in advance. We know we're in the minority in not having minded the character the first time around, but his comeback is a reveal we would've preferred not to see ahead of time.Anyway, the confrontation isn't the only thing happening in "Chuck vs. the Santa Suit," as you can see in the two clips below. Chuck (Zachary Levi) is accompanying Gen. Beckman (Bonita Fredericy) to a CIA Christmas party, presumably in an attempt to find out who's been pulling the agency strings, and he finds out that none other than comic-book legend Stan Lee is an operative -- one who, incidentally, has...

First Look at Sarah's Mom on Chuck

As NBC's spy caper Chuck heads toward the series finale, the final batch of shows will focus on Chuck and Sarah's past. On the emotional December 30 flashback episode, we'll finally be introduced to Sarah's mother, Emma, played by former Charlie's Angels star ....