In a huge vote of confidence for the zeitgeist-cracking drama, Fox has ordered a third season of Glee from Ryan Murphy Television and 20th Century Fox TV, EW has learned exclusively.
Season-to-date, Glee is the No. 1 new scripted series among adults 18-49 and adults 18-34, and has averaged 9.4 million total viewers. During its spring telecasts, the musical dramedy, starring Jane Lynch, Matthew Morrison, and Lea Michele, averaged a 5.6/14 among 18-49 and 13.3 million viewers. It wraps its first season on Tuesday, June 8. “In just one year, Glee has transcended the television landscape and emerged as a global pop culture phenomenon,” said Peter Rice, the Fox Networks Group Entertainment Chairman, in a statement.
Added Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly, “Everything about Glee – from the concept to the characters to the marketing – has been innovative and risky, but with [series creator] Ryan Murphy tapping into the zeitgeist, the risk has paid off with this truly remarkable series. Glee has one of the most active, devoted fan bases I’ve ever seen, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to give Gleeks a third season of their favorite show.”
Murphy also released the following statement: “It’s been a whirlwind year – from shooting the pilot to performing at the White House to the concert tour that began last week – and yet we all feel like we’ve just begun this amazing musical journey. We think our Gleeks worldwide are going to love what we’ll have in store for them in seasons two and three.”
Along with the positive message it sends about the network’s commitment to the show, there are numerous financial benefits to giving a series like Glee a two-year pickup. Not only does it help cut production costs over the long haul, it allows Murphy and his writers a chance to plan ahead (if not breathe a much-needed sigh of relief). Most important, it gives the studio a head start in taking the episodes out into the syndication marketplace. Promising new dramas like NCIS: LA and The Mentalist, for example, sold in syndication in their first and second years, respectively.
In the next original episode, airing on May 25, Glee will feature the music of Lady Gaga when Will (Morrison) encourages the glee club members to express themselves using the pop superstar’s music. Meanwhile, Rachel (Michele) has a life-changing encounter, and Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) embraces her inner goth.
The second season of Glee, which has already earned a Peabody, a Golden Globe, and a Screen Actors Guild award, will kick off this fall on Tuesdays at 8 p.m.