So apparently I’m not the only one who’s been saying CBS‘ new spy-tacular action-drama looks like Chuck without the humor and ubiquitous geek references. I mean, both shows do focus on a protagonist with a secret government computer in his melon–kinda hard NOT to call shenanigans.
Well, Intelligence producers Tripp Vinson and Michael Seitzman are now assuring us that not only is their show in no way “inspired” by the beloved NBC action-comedy, but neither of them has ever even seen Chuck. (more after the jump)
The producers were interviewed as part of the TCA press tour, and had this to say when the subject of Chuck–and whether any voluntary or involuntary plagiarism took place–was broached (courtesy of Zap2It):
Vinson: We’re embarrassed to say that neither of us watched [‘Chuck’], so obviously it wasn’t an influence for us because we hadn’t seen it. We did a lot of research about how [technology] like this could exist and work — like Google Glass was in the news quite a bit. so that was more of an influence.
Seitzman: You don’t want to steal anyone’s idea so it’s actually a good thing that we stayed away. It’s better for us if we keep our distance.
Of course, “We haven’t seen it” is not the same thing as “We’ve never heard of it”. You only need to know the basic concept of a work of fiction in order to rip it off…not that they DID–but insisting that they’ve never watched the show doesn’t really prove anything.
In any case, Intelligence is an entirely different take on the subject: It’s played totally straight and focuses pretty strictly on the action and intrigue aspects of the concept. While Chuck was more about how an average joe would deal with finding out someone stuck an omniscient espionage computer in his head. It was often broad in its humor, and clearly enjoyed making fun of itself and the spy genre on occasion.
Turns out Intelligence star Josh Holloway (Lost) IS a Chuck fan, and pointed out what he sees as the crucial difference between the two shows:
Chuck could download things and learn to do things and [my character] can’t do that
Meh. I’m still seeing Chuck minus everything that made it fun to watch here–but that’s just me.