The paternity tests are back and Chuck Bartowski has finally found his daddy.
[Obviously, spoilers to follow…]
“Chuck” creator Josh Schwartz told reporters at a Television Critics Association press tour event that Scott Bakula has signed on to appear in three episodes of the NBC series playing the main character’s long-lost father.
“He left them when they were teenagers and they’ve sort of been forced to raise themselves,” Schwartz explains. “He’s a bit eccentric. He’s a bit paranoid. They think it’s unfounded and Chuck promised Ellie that he would find her for her wedding and he may not necessarily want to be found when they stumble upon him. And he really, really hates the character that Chevy Chase is going to be playing.”
Chase’s casting as Roark Instruments founder Ted Roark was announced earlier this week.
“It’s a guy who he always wanted to be one day, a software billionaire in the Bill Gates or Steve Jobs mold, a real visionary and he’s a guy that Chuck’s dad is convinced has stolen a lot of his best ideas from,” Schwartz says of the Chase role. “They’re bitter rivals.”
Bakula and Chase are just the latest ’80s icons to guest on “Chuck” this season, following an earlier appearance by John Larroquette.
“For [Chris] Fedak and I, we grew up huge fans of ‘Quantum Leap.’ Used to watch it, I think it was on Wednesdays,” Schwartz recalls. “It made me go out and buy ‘The Man of La Mancha.’ Remember when he leapt into ‘The Man of La Mancha,’ like the summer-stock production? I bought the ‘Man of La Mancha’ soundtrack later that day.”
A four-time Emmy nominee for “Leap,” Bakula will begin shooting next week.
“The great thing about Scott, that he did on ‘Quantum Leap’ and that we’re going to ask here, is to be able to do comedy, drama, action, some real pathos,” Schwartz says. “He’s a guy who can really do it all and you believe him as Chuck and Ellie’s dad.”
And how did “Chuck” wrangle Chase for a rare TV appearance?
“Chevy Chase is a guy we all worship on the show,” Schwartz says. “I don’t think a day goes by, especially at the beginning of ‘Chuck,’ where we didn’t talk about ‘Fletch’ or ‘Spies Like Us’… We heard that his kids really dug the show, that he was interested in doing it and we had this part and we’re like, ‘This would be amazing.’ And it worked out. Everyone is very excited.”
“Chuck” will have its 2009 premiere on Monday, Feb. 2.