“Ev­ery­body now has a chance to be on a show about tal­ented un­der­dogs. We want to be the first in­ter­ac­tive com­edy on TV”

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music -

shipped it around record com­pa­nies looking for a la­bel which could release and pro­mote the songs fea­tured in each episode on a quick turn­around ba­sis. Sony Mu­sic put in the best bid, and it’s no co­in­ci­dence that the ma­jor­ity of the songs used so far are by Sony artists.

For Ryan Mur­phy, the song se­lec­tion is all im­por­tant. “Each episode has a theme at its core,” he says. “Af­ter the script is writ­ten, I will choose the songs that help to move the story along. There has to be a bal­ance be­tween show tunes and chart hits – some­thing for ev­ery­body in each episode.”

Mur­phy says that it would nor­mally cost hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars to pay the li­cens­ing rights to use a big hit in a prime time show, but mu­si­cians (or rather their pub­lish­ing com­pa­nies) are now of­fer­ing the songs for free – know­ing that the sales bounce will more than com­pen­sate them.

The Glee Ef­fect doesn’t end with the mu­sic charts. When Sony came on board, it signed the Glee cast (all pre­vi­ously un­known ac­tors) to “360-de­gree” deals. This means that Sony will co-or­di­nate and share in the prof­its from Glee tours, mer­chan­dis­ing sales, en­dorse­ments, mo­bile ring­tones and pos­si­ble solo al­bums from cast mem­bers.

The first Glee live tour will hit US venues this sum­mer, and you re­ally can’t rule out the cast rolling up at Dublin’s 02 for a se­ries of shows be­fore the end of the year.

It’s per­haps no co­in­ci­dence that when news of the live tour leaked out, there was also an an­nounce­ment by the Fox Net­work that Glee would be hold­ing au­di­tions for three new roles to be in­tro­duced into the sec­ond sea­son of the show. Such is the in­ter­est in th­ese au­di­tions that a multi-part tele­vi­sion

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show about the process will be screened be­fore the sec­ond se­ries be­gins.

This spin-off pro­gramme will only add to the value of the Glee brand. It is still not clear if the au­di­tion TV shows will be opened up to a pub­lic vote (à la X-Fac­tor), but Mur­phy has said “any­body and ev­ery­body now has a chance to be on a show about tal­ented un­der­dogs. We want to be the first in­ter­ac­tive com­edy on TV.”

It is not in­con­ceiv­able that, if the live shows do as well as ex­pected, then the cur­rent cast will stay on the road and be grad­u­ally re­placed by a new bunch of ac­tors in the TV pro­gramme.

With a pres­ence not just on the sin­gles and al­bums charts but soon also on the lu­cra­tive live tour­ing cir­cuit – as well as huge tele­vi­sion view­ing fig­ures – Glee has the po­ten­tial to “multi-plat­form” its way across the en­tire en­ter­tain­ment sec­tor. As Amy says, it sounds “the nuts”.

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