Lessons Gleaned From the Success of GLEE


Think different.
GLEE may have its fair share of criminal minds (see: Future TO CATCH A PREDATOR STAR star Sandy Ryerson), drug dealers (see: Terri Schuester’s short-lived stint as the school’s highly unqualified nurse) and blatant scene stealers (see: Guilty-as-charged Jane Lynch) — but kidding aside, there is very little law and practically no order to be found. Which is one of the primary reasons, well aside from the ludicrously talented cast, whip-smart dialogue and awe-inspiring musical numbers, why GLEE has quickly become the very definition of must see TV.

Big name actors need not apply.
While veteran stars such as Kelsey Grammer, Courteney Cox and Christian Slater may give upstart shows a leg up in terms of big headlines out of the gate, there are also big tradeoffs. For instance, the Hollywood neophytes that are were these plucked-from-obscurity Glee-clubbers have been only too willing to allow FOX to parade them to malls across both the United States and Australia to promote the show. A seemingly never-ending promotional tour we can’t imagine established actors would be all-a-twitter about (Literally, you can follow virtually the entire cast on twitter, see list) Plus, the money one saves on big name salary can be funnelled back into the production (or at the very-least carbon offsets for the midwest auto opening we hear the cast is cutting a ribbon for next week!)

A hit TV series is the gift that keeps on giving.
Even though NBC’s current schedule might have you assuming that the only way to make money in television is to cut costs, a hit show such as GLEE has something THE JAY LENO SHOW never will: Ancillary revenue. Sure, GLEE’s hefty 3 million dollar per episode price tag sounds expensive, but when you factor in the parade of revenue streams that come from consistently being in the iTunes Top 10, an upcoming CD release, DVD revenue, a rumoured concert tour, and the inevitable Broadway Musical adaptation, it will be the FOX bean counters who will be singing all the way to the bank.

Casting Jane Lynch never hurts.
Seriously, there is nothing this future Emmy winner says that we don’t end up rolling on the floor howling over. We love her, and apparently, we’re not alone

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  • TVFan

    Wonder if NBC is reading this?

  • grumpyoldman

    I would add a codicil to that last rule….use her sparingly. Last week was an overdose.

  • http://tvtimepodcast.com/ Tim

    great post. love glee. leno will be selling his cars long before long. give or take a few years. lol joking.

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  • http://www.thetvaddict.com theTVaddict


    if you like your Jane Lynch in small doses, I fear you’re not going to enjoy tonight’s episode :)

  • Ace

    And grumpy, make sure you never watch Party Down ;-).

  • http://umberhaven.blogspot.com Todd W in NC

    I have to partially agree with GrumpyOldMan, especially after seeing this week’s episode.

    I don’t know if Jane Lynch’s character should be used more sparingly, but I do think she should be dialed back a bit in intensity. She comes off as being *too* evil, and her obsession with glee club seems misplaced.

  • Nick

    OMG, that episode was HIGH-larious. Less Jane? No way, man….she makes the show. She IS the show. Her dialogue and expressions could not have BEEN any funnier.

  • Kelly

    I hope other networks look at “Glee” and think, yes, we can do something DIFFERENT and actually funny and people will watch it! And even though it gets flack for relegating the minorities to the background (see last night’s episode for how they made fun of that themselves), at least they EXIST, which is more to say for 95% of shows on the air today.