This week's cover: Why America is falling for 'Glee'

1073-glee_lThis season’s most unexpected success story, Glee is snarky, theatrical, totally addictive — and a cult phenomenon on its way to becoming a national obsession. The comedy is currently averaging a steady 8 million viewers a week, and the people watching are enviably young: Five million of its viewers are in the desirable 18–49 demo. (It’s little wonder that in September, Fox made Glee the first new fall series to be given a full 22-episode pickup.) Meanwhile, fans are staying engaged even after the episodes are over by downloading the cast’s newest cover tunes. More than 1.7 million Glee songs have been sold since May, and that’s after only seven episodes. “I thought it would be a huge project, but I didn’t know it would be this big,” says Rob Stringer, chairman of Columbia/Epic, Glee’s label. “The public appetite for this music is incredibly intense.” Adds the comedy’s co-creator Ryan Murphy (Nip/Tuck), “It seems to have transcended just being a television show to moving into other cultural areas.”

The number of die-hard Glee fans — or “Gleeks,” as they call themselves — is bound to grow early next year, when episodes will follow American Idol. The young cast of newcomers is already beginning to see the effects of Glee mania. “I was at Disneyland yesterday — big mistake,” says Chris Colfer, who plays gay fashionista Kurt. “I might as well have walked around with a target on my shirt, because those are our fans. I stopped and took pictures probably 40 times in between rides. This one lady got a picture of me on the Tower of Terror and had me sign it.” Says co-creator Brad Falchuk, “I keep getting e-mails and phone calls and running into people at parties just telling me the show makes them feel happy.”

For more on
Glee — including scoop on upcoming episodes, a spotlight on the hilarious Jane Lynch (Coach Sue), and an inside look at Glee’s budding musical empire—pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands Friday, October 23.

[ewbrightcove “45599795001”, “45620743001”, “525”, “365”]

Comments (109 total) Add your comment
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  • Shamrock

    I find myself liking more than I should.

  • mscisluv

    So glad Glee got a cover, but man, is that cover ugly! What one earth has been going on with your covers lately, EW? They’re either lazy or downright hideous!

    • Fran Anderson

      What is EW doing in general lately?

      EW is my favorite non-gaming magazine, yet they really have taken a step down in quality lately and their incessant coverage of shows from the CW has me questioning their credibility.

      Nothing like overdone corporate synergy can sully a once great magazine.

      I am glad to see them covering such a popular show though- I just wish they would quit always using close-up shot covers with a ton of negative space.

      • Brian

        Hahahahahaha — “non gaming magazine.” Oh, Fran, you’re hilarious.

      • bootsycolumbia

        Glee is on FOX, not the CW.

      • Fran Anderson

        I was talking about the cover, the CW thing is an additional gripe.

    • Ellen

      The hour does go by quickly and I find myself re-watching each episode a couple of times because there are so many great throwaway moments you miss out the first time around. I’m turned off by the Teri pregnancy storyline, they need to wrap that up fast because the Schuster household scenes are a drag. Kurt needs to get his own solo ASAP.

      Glee does make feel incredibly happy. Jane Lynch is brilliant, especially in last week’s episode, her performance was amazing.

      mscisluv–I agree, the cover is terrible. What are they holding? White balls? And why is Rachel biting her finger and looking sideways? This cover is conceptually bad and ugly indeed. They deserve a better cover!

      • Fran Anderson

        I think you nailed it! The pregnancy story really does drag the whole thing down. Maybe we will come back after it is over and catch up on the shows we missed later!

    • RP

      *shrug* I think the cover is cute.

  • Fran Anderson

    My wife and I gave up on Glee. It was a good show, but an hour long? Really?
    That show has 30 minutes of a good show, and 30 minutes of boring and unfunny filler.

    • Jackie

      I’m loving this show! For me, the hour goes by WAY too quickly.

      And just remember, you’re only getting about 40 minutes of show, so that’s 30 minutes of a good show, 10 minutes of what you call filler, and 20 minutes of commercials.

      Is it just me, or do there seem to be more and more commercials every week?

      • Cait

        I felt like there were a million commercials last night.

      • Fran Anderson

        If it is not filler, then what do you call it?

      • MeMyself&I

        I think Fran’s problem shows with the fact that he mentioned gaming magazines.Short Attention Span! Know wonder an hour seems like such a long time

      • MeMyself&I

        Oops, I used the wrong form of “No” in my last comment. “no” not “know”

      • gleek

        the hour passes to quickly for me too!! i like the Puck and Rachel twist! and i LOOOOOOOOOVE the songs! i count the days till the next episode im super addicted to it!!

    • jack hart


      • Jackie

        Fran, what you consider to be filler is just stuff that doesn’t happen to appeal to you. To the rest of us who enjoy all aspects of the show, it’s just something else to smile at.

      • BlackIrish4094


      • Fran Anderson

        It is awesome how Jack assumes to know my taste in shows… AND HIS CAPS BUTTON IS STUCK.

      • sara

        Well, apparently it is National Capslock Day. That has to be the reason he chose ALL CAPS.

  • Mike

    I’m glad the show is getting more attention – but the more attention it gets, the more attention the show’s faults will get. And while I really enjoy the show, it isn’t without faults. The singing is often WAY overproduced (last night was particularly glaring) and the story structure is weak. There are usually four or five stories with only a couple getting any breathing room and the rest playing like highlights of a story. And character consistency – getting better, but still finding it’s way. AND stuff is moving way too fast in terms of relationships. I’m just afraid of more eyes means more bad reviews which means less eyes in the long run.

    • Carey

      Excellent comment. I agree with some of these points, esp. character consistency. I increasingly find myself wondering, “Really? He/she just did/said that? That sure doesn’t seem like something they’d do/say…” Case in point: Mercedes falling for Kurt several episodes ago? Come. On.

      Also, as for the overproduction of the songs. I find myself terribly distracted watching the lip syncing. And can’t they tweak the sound to better match singing in an open room? Despite all of these little flaws I’m still really enjoying the season. Sometimes it gets a little TOO ridiculous (football players’ “Single Ladies” comes quickly to mind), but I’m usually able to suspend my disbelief for the whole hour.

  • Via

    It’s a feel good show that manages to not take itself too seriously and serves up plenty of snarkiness. Point blank, Glee makes me happy.. I was practically bouncing in my seat last night while grinning like an idiot. I am a Gleek and proud of it.

  • JM

    Glee is now the highlight of my TV week. Brad Falchuk said it best…the show just makes me feel happy.

  • Sara

    Let’s be honest – Glee isn’t an unexpected success story. Fox pushed it really hard – premiering it after American Idol last spring, making the songs available for download, sending the cast on a mini-tour this summer. The whole “cult” thing was manufactured by Fox. Freaks & Geeks was a cult classic because no one watched it, there was no advertising, and it was only after it was canceled that everyone discovered it and fell in love.
    I like Glee, but the relentless adulation – which ignores some of the significant problems with the show – is turning me off.

    • BlackIrish4094

      A show that is this out of the ordinary and becomes widely embraced is still an unexpected success story. Do you believe every show that is marketed succeeds? Hardly. This show is like nothing else currently on television.

      • Psac

        Agreed. So many shows get pushed really hard and just tank. Fox did a great job making everyone aware of the show, but the show needed to deliver, and it has.

      • Jennifer

        Considering all I heard back in the spring was how Glee was the new show to watch– by critics– and the relentless promotion by Fox, it is not an unexpected success. In fact, I would have been shocked if it wasn’t picked up for a full season. You can say it’s not like anything else on TV, which it isn’t, but that doesn’t have anything to do with expectations about it before it aired.

    • kahuna

      Other shows have been promoed to death only to die a quick and miserable death. I’m thinking that show with Ray Liotta and Virginia Madsen a few years back, that was promoed to death only to air a few times before being cancelled. There was also a major network show with Jeff Goldblum a couple of years ago that was heavily promoted only to die a quick and agonizing death. I think the difference with Glee is that the promos they aired actually made you anxious to watch vs. the promos of the aforementioned programs. The promotion of Glee should be a textbook example of how to do it right.

  • Anne

    I didn’t really like the first few episodes, but I had so many friends encouraging me to stick with it, so I kept watching. I’m glad I did! The songs keep getting better, and the in-between banter and (messy) relationships have become more interesting, funny, and engaging. I now am a total Gleek!

  • JJ

    I LOVE WEDNESDAYS!! SYTYCD and then Glee. What a combo. I hope Glee stays around for a long time.

  • jfms777

    Why isn’t Jane Lynch on the cover? She is the No. 1 reason people watch.

    • crispy

      Sorry, no. The reason people watch is the music. She is a great bonus though.

      • Chris

        I am all about Jane Lynch — she is the best part of the show for me. The music is a close 2nd.

    • Larralu

      I like Jane Lynch but her character is becoming totally annoying, I find myself more drawn to Matt Morrison then anyone or anything else.

      • Robin

        Matthew Morrison is the reason I watch.Will/Emma story. The music is the other reason I watch. Great. fun show.

    • dyionne

      I watch for Kurt :)

  • Amy

    I heart Glee!!!!

  • kate

    where is Jane Lynch?

  • jason.

    My only concern here is, if it becomes an international sensation (Canadians love it, too!), then when season two starts, almost nothing will be “good enough” in the minds of half the fan base.

    “Oh, Season Two isn’t as good as Season One…this show sucks now, blah, blah, blah…”

    And yes, I totally agree that Jane Lynch should be on the cover, too.
    Sue Sylvester is probably the greatest Antagonist in prime time right now.

  • Iris

    <—— Proud 56 yr old Gleek!

  • elle

    I am so gleek! I love watching the show and listening to the music. The great combination of humor and music just makes me so happy.

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