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Fox at TCA: Glee Panel

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The Premise:
An optimistic thirtysomething new teacher (Matthew Morrison) attempts to transform a group of misfits and outcasts in the high school glee club into serious competitors.  The cast includes Lea Michele, Jayma Mays, Cory Monteith and Dianna Agron.  
 
Lead-in:
So You Think You Can Dance

Competition:
Modern Family and Cougar Town (ABC), Criminal Minds (ABC), Law & Order: SVU (NBC), The Beautiful Life (CW)
 
Who Was on the Panel:
Matthew Morrison, Cory Monteith, Lea Michele, Jane Lynch, Kevin McHale, Chris Colfer, Amber Riley, Jenna Ushkowitz, Jessalyn Gilsig, Jayma Mays, Dianna Agron, Mark Salling; executive producers Dante Di Loreto and Brad Falchuk; and co-executive producer Ian Brennan.
 
Glee compared to Disney Channel’s wildly popular High School Musical franchise:
“Before coming with up the idea and breaking the pilot story, envisioning the pilot story, none of us had ever really seen High School Musical,” said Brad Falchuk. “And so obviously High School Musical is great, but this is a little bit edgier, a little more adult. Obviously it’s something you can watch with your kids, but the idea is to keep things a little more adult than High School Musical is. So I wouldn’t say we’re trying to cash in on it.”
 
“The form follows the content — it’s not like we’re throwing music onto a show,” explained Ian Brennan.  “It’s about a glee club, the music comes out of it, which is great. We’re able to take advantage of the theatrical format. It’s not about lawyers singing or doctors singing. It’s like the music is in there. We just kind of let it breathe.”
 
The Reality:
Previewing out of American Idol for one episode on Tuesday, May 19, Glee was sampled by 9.62 million viewers with a 3.9 rating/10 share among adults 18-49, according to the final nationals from Nielsen Media Research.  But it finished third in the 9 p.m. time period in total viewers (behind the season finales of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars and CBS’ The Mentalist) and second in the demo. And the retention out of American Idol was just 40 percent in total viewers and 45 percent among adults 18-49. In other words, the initial results were disappointing.  
 
Putting the initial ratings aside, Glee could work if lead-in So You Think You Can Dance holds up and the competing Criminal Minds and relocated Law & Order: SVU hurt each other competing for the same viewers. But given the lack of success historically of dramas with musical interludes (Fame was canceled on NBC after less than two seasons, then picked-up in first-run syndication) and no track record of So You Think You Can Dance working outside of the summer, Glee may face an uphill battle.
 
Chance of Survival for Glee (Based on a scale of 1-1 to 10-1):
6-1
 
Did You Know?
Short-lived musical dramas historically includes Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (CBS: 1982), Rags to Riches (NBC: 1987), Cop Rock (ABC: 1990) and the recent Viva Laughlin on CBS in 2007.

To see Marc and Alan's predictions for Fox's fall season, click below: