It was a marriage of kitchen sink drama frustration and a healthy fear of Jack Bauer that ultimately resulted in the birth of NBC's almost-SF ("He has a computer... in his brain!") Chuck, according to the show's creators at the 2008 Paley Convention. On a panel moderated by Lost's Carlton Cuse, the show's writers and stars talked about where the show came from and what to expect in its second year.
The show - which almost went by the even-more-underwhelming title of "Section 5," due to co-creator Chris Fedak's feeling that Chuck was "the worst most terrible name in the world" - came about due to a combination of Josh Schwartz's nerd detournment of the slice of life genre ("I always wanted to do a show about guys in their 20s figuring out their life. That's always tough to do. But if the guy is being attacked by a ninja ...") and Fedak realizing how horrific 24 would be in real life:
[Just think about] how terrifying it would be if Jack Bauer came into your office, because you just know somebody is going to get tortured.
As to what's coming up when the show returns in the fall? More of the same, by design:
The idea is to reset the show [next season] and remind viewers where we left off, what they've missed, and take it up a notch.
Taking it up a notch for Chuck, of course, probably just means yet another subplot about Morgan being nerdy-yet-lovable. When do we get more of the exploding and Adam Baldwin trying to kill Chuck?
Chuck vs. The Paley Festival [Hollywood Reporter]