January 27, 2011

The Half-Billion Dollar Business Named GLEE

This week's edition of The Hollywood Reporter has a fascinating story on the business of GLEE.  This show, which was one of the biggest risks the FOX network took when it premiered back in 2008, has become a half-billion dollar business for the network second only to their American Idol franchise.  And it is that rare thing in television these days....a cross-generational hit with everyone from 8 year olds to 80 year olds singing along to the showtunes.  Nearly 14 million people each episode!

There are many interesting details in his piece about how the show is put together as well as the high cost of each episode, nearly 4 million dollars.  Though GLEE certainly has it's ups and downs in terms of storyline, the show remains a remarkable thing for television....a weekly musical!  Of course, there were who thought this idea was crazy, including Universal Music which turned down the licensing for the music.  That went to Columbia which is now raking it in due to all the hit songs the show has spawned.

The question is can creator Ryan Murphy keep up with the crazy pace of production on this show?  Even he has his doubts. It's a lengthy article but worth the read if, like me, you love the GLEE.

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