Hit proof: One of the biggest and most influential new hour-long shows to come along in recent years.
Why it shouldn’t work: There hadn’t been a hit scripted TV musical series in decades (1982’s Fame, best I can find, was the last), and there’s been a few attempts (Viva Laughlin, Cop Rock, Hull High).
Why it does work: Two crucial decisions: Using popular songs that viewers already like (instead of original songs, like on Cop Rock) and the high-school glee-club setting (which, like Fame, gives a musical context to the story rather than, say, courtroom lawyers breaking out into song). Disney Channel’s High School Musical movies paved the way, but Glee added a snarky wit and more heart that made it work as a weekly show.
9 TV hits that should be flops
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