August 10, 2010 at 12:00 PM EDT

Chuck is giving General Beckman the equivalent of a 21-gun salute: a promotion to series regular!

Exec producers Chris Fedak and Josh Schwartz confirm to me exclusively that Bonita Friedericy—whose stern taskmistress has guided Team Bartowski for the past three seasons—has been bumped up to a full-time cast member.

“She’s an incredibly important part of the show,” says Fedak. “She’s like the Charlie to Charlie’s Angels.”

The upgrade means that viewers will see more of Beckman—literally and figuratively—in season 4. “We’ll see her legs in the first episode,” Fedak reveals with a chuckle. “She gets to walk around.”

Speaking of fraktacular Chuck developments, NBC has released the first promo of the new season—and it features a first look at Linda Hamilton as Ma Bartowski. Even better: It’s embedded below!

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