Leia, I mean Sarah, and Chuck

Tonight at 8 p.m. two good shows return after strong seasons last year. One everyone watches (“House”) and the other (“Chuck”) very few watch and is frequently threatened with cancellation.

Most likely people are watching the other Monday night juggernauts like “House” and “How I Met Your Mother,” or reality crap “Dancing with the Stars,” and thusly not watching “Chuck.”

Sadly, I feel, despite being a deserving critic’s darling and one of the best network shows, “Chuck” is not long for this world. Viewers are extremely fickle with their TV schedules and generally watch something easy to jump in if they’ve seen it once or twice, like “House.”

About a regular guy whose brain was involuntarily downloaded with a super computer, “Chuck” isn’t a complex spy series that requires you to see every episode--bad guys do bad things, reluctant Chuck (Zachery Levi) and his buddies stop them.

But, to fully enjoy the action-comedy’s campy romp (and obviously the larger plotlines) it's best to be well versed in the world of Chuck, Sarah, Captain Awesome, Casey and the Buy More.

Hopefully the underrated “Chuck” can get a ratings boost from the well-known guest stars coming this season--Linda Hamilton (“Terminator”), Dolph Lungren (“Rocky IV”), Timothy Dalton (James Bond films) and surely a few more.

Both premieres pick up shortly after the end of last season with “House” ending on somewhat of a cliffhanger. House (Hugh Laurie) and his on-again, off-again romance Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) finally make a go of it. Oh, and a medical mystery is solved, again.

Some new horizons are promised for Chuck. He’s no longer the badass spy from last season, just his regular self looking for a regular job while his sexy spy girlfriend, Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski), heads off on secret missions with her partner Casey (a wonderful Adam Baldwin). Except, Chuck has decided to undergo his own secret mission--finding his long lost spy mom played by Hamilton.

I enjoyed both premieres, but if I’ve got to watch one it’s going to be "Chuck." It’s pure fun and an often hilarious show with smart writing and nice action sequences. And, this season’s story arc looks intriguing with the menacing Hamilton.

While anyone could jump in to both premieres tonight without knowing much about the shows, give “Chuck” a shot and I bet you’ll get hooked. Or, you could just watch “Dancing with the Stars”--I hear they got the “Dirty Dancing” girl, but you can’t recognize her because she got a nose-job.

The undisputed heavyweight champion of the world: "House" 8 p.m. on Fox 2.5 stars

The challenger: "Chuck" 8 p.m. on NBC 3.5 stars