Last month, I was wary of NBC's decision to bring Chuck back in October or November. There are reports that NBC is ordering 6 more episodes and bringing the show back in January.
I'm guessing their rationale is that Trauma will finish it's run in January even though NBC ordered 3 additional episodes, and Chuck can fill its spot. NBC will most likely move Heroes back to 8 and put Chuck at 9 which has tougher competition.
This may work since NBC will have more time to promote the show. They'll have at least 2 months to promote the show which is more than the month they would have had. The downside is that less people watch TV during the holiday season. Irregardless (I use that word), with enough promotion, Chuck can at least get its numbers from last season.
Another big problem are the breaks. Chuck picks up momentum and then bam, a preemption and the ratings fall back down. Even if Chuck had enough episodes, there would have to be a mandatory break during the Winter Olympics. NBC is just trying to bridge the end of Trauma to the start of Chuck in March with more episodes of Chuck.
NBC is clearly in big trouble and are trying to climb out of the hole. They may be a step away from truly innovative ideas (AKA wild, untested ideas). Maybe they'll air Chuck in March and extend the season into the summer. Maybe they'll ditch scripted programming completely.
I'm also curious why NBC ordered 6 episodes instead of 9. Three episodes isn't much difference, but 22 seems much more like a full season than 19.