Many have been comparing the new CBS drama “Intelligence” to NBC’s cult favorite spy series “Chuck.” Makes sense: Both have a main character with upgraded artificial intelligence implanted in their brains that help them save the world, one spy mission at a time.
Of course, the differences between the two shows are pretty major: “Intelligence” is a serious drama, while “Chuck” had all the makings of a quirky romantic comedy. But the similarities couldn’t be ignored during the TCA winter press tour panel for “Intelligence” on Wednesday (Jan. 15), and executive producers Tripp Vinson, Michael Seitzman and Barry Schindel addressed the inevitable elephant in the room: Did “Chuck” influence “Intelligence” in any way?
According to Vinson, not at all. “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,” Vinson says of himself and Seitzman. “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 was quick to add that while they weren’t “Chuck” viewers themselves, they’d definitely welcome that fandom with open arms. “‘Chuck’ has this amazing fanbase that is enviable,” Seitzman says. “We keep hearing from them online. They definitely have an invitation to our party, let’s put it that way. They’re an amazing group of fans and we’d love to have them.”
The “Intelligence” showrunners actually think it’s better that they never watched “Chuck” to begin with, lest they accidentally plagiarize any story lines at four in the morning when a deadline is quickly approaching. “You don’t want to steal anyone’s idea so it’s actually a good thing that we stayed away,” Seitzman says. “It’s better for us if we keep our distance.”
That doesn’t mean, however, that the actors didn’t watch. “I’ve seen ‘Chuck’ and I liked ‘Chuck,'” “Intelligence” star Josh Holloway says. “The difference [between the two shows] is Chuck could download things and learn to do things and [my character] can’t do that.”
“Intelligence” airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on CBS.