On Friday, NBC treated a packed audience of 1,000+ attendees of Comic-Con International in San Diego to a screening of the pilot episode of Chuck, a show about the adventures of a hapless nerd with a brain packed full of classified government "secrets."
The pilot introduced the audience to Chuck, a manager of the Nerd Herd (an obvious riff on Best Buy's Geek Squad) who has no luck with women. His ex-roommate from college, a rogue CIA agent, sends Chuck an e-mail that imprints Chucks brain with the secret intelligence of the CIA and NSA, making Chuck a target -- then a reluctant ally -- of those organizations.
The show provided big laughs (due in large part to Chuck's buddy Morgan, played by Joshua Gomez), big action, nerdy charm, sex appeal (thanks to co-star Yvonne Strahovski, who plays a multi-talented CIA field agent), and heart, and the audience reacted enthusiastically, applauding at all three breaks (and at the first several appearances of Adam Baldwin on screen) and offering a standing ovation upon the screening's conclusion.
Following the screening, the crowd continued to cheer and applaud as cast and crew took the stage, including stars Zachary Levi, Strahovski and Gomez, writers Chris Fedak and Josh Schwartz, and director McG. The announcement that Adam Baldwin would not be attending due to a conflict with a shooting schedule was met with a loud, "Awwwwwww!" by the audience.
The cast and crew received the audience's approval exuberantly, cracking jokes, sharing stories (Levi got fourteen stitches in his hand after putting it through a ceiling light fixture while playing Wii tennis), and generally being hams. Levi and Gomez sang the notes of an Iron Maiden song while demonstrating the Guitar Hero keystrokes. Then, directed by McG, they climbed onto the panelist table to recreate a compromising position from the show.
Regarding the casting of Levi in the main role, Fedak said they wanted "someone who was a social outcast but could still get the girl." Explaining what attracted him to the role, Levi said, "I'm a big video gamer. So getting to play a character who gets to play video games is pretty bad-ass." Zach said that he brought his Xbox 360 to the set, and McG would have to drag them away from Gears of War to film their scenes.
Schwartz said that the show's influences include The Goonies and WarGames. Levi called it, "The Bourne Identity meets The 40-Year-Old Virgin."