Today's cuppa: PG Tips tea

Glee_13-glee-kids-stairs_1819_lyv1 I heard about this show for months, then did two set visits and a couple of blog posts, and wrote a syndicated feature story.

At long last, "Glee" is here!

The high-school musical show premieres tonight on Fox, seeking that post-"American Idol" bump, then disappears until returning on Wednesdays this fall after the "So You Think You Can Dance" results show.

So a dancer gets ditched, then we get "Glee"! Mood swing evening…

Anyway, I got a big kick out of the "Glee" pilot and had good fun on set. Check it out…

Fox hopes ‘Idol’ can

bring ‘Glee’ to America


By Kate O’Hare



As demonstrated by the YouTube megapopularity of dowdy

Scotswoman Susan Boyle’s surprising audition for “Britain's Got Talent," a beautiful

voice has incredible power to stir strong emotions, from the deepest longing to

the most explosive joy — or even glee.

Three days after the video’s release, a writer on the new

Fox musical-comedy-drama “Glee” watches the clip on his laptop between takes on

the show about high-school glee club misfits who find joy and freedom in song.

To complete the circle, one of the "Britain's Got Talent" judges, Simon Cowell, is a judge on Fox’s “American Idol,” and Fox is

betting on that show’s big audience to help “Glee” make a big impression.

The “Glee” pilot airs after the Tuesday, May 19, episode of

“Idol,” then doesn’t return to the schedule until fall.

“It’s rare to get that many people watching their television

sets at the same time,” executive producer Dante Di Loreto says, “so to have

the opportunity to show the audience this show, which we feel is special and

different and stands alone — it feels right to be doing it in a special and

different way.

“Honestly, it plays as much like a one-hour movie as it does

a single episode of a TV series, so it captures the special-event quality of

what this show is. There’s nothing else like it on television.”

Set at the fictional William McKinley High School in Lima, Ohio, “Glee” is the creation of executive producer Ryan

Murphy (“Popular,” “Nip/Tuck”), who went to high school and college in Indiana.

Broadway star Matthew Morrison stars as Will Schuester, a

McKinley Spanish teacher who, driven by his secret past (no, nothing illegal),

takes over the school’s moribund glee club.

Once a championship show choir — which combines singing,

choreography and costumes — the club has turned into a haven for outcasts who

sit at the bottom of McKinley’s social hierarchy.

Will’s plan to revive the club includes recruiting handsome

quarterback Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith), who’s paired onstage with high-energy

perfectionist Rachel Berry (Lea Michele).

Rounding out the group are dramatic, high-voiced Kurt (Chris

Colfer), diva Mercedes (Amber Riley), awkward stutterer Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz)

and guitarist Artie (Kevin McHale), who doesn’t let his wheelchair slow him


Also starring are Jayma Mays, Jane Lynch, Dianna Agron, Mark

Salling and Jessalyn Gilsig.

For those who saw Morrison in “Hairspray,” fear not; you get

more than acting from him in “Glee.”

“The acting is great,” Morrison says, “but when I get to

shine and sing and dance, I’m at my most comfortable.

“I’d like to say this was a big stretch for me, but this

character is me, if I didn’t move to New York and have the success I did there."

When not on location at Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo High School in Long Beach, Calif., (the school’s

steel-drum band is in the pilot), “Glee” shoots at historic Paramount Studios

in Hollywood.

Monteith — who admits hanging out in the audio-visual lab in

high school in Victoria, Canada — is thrilled to be at Paramount, but he never really had musical

theater aspirations.

“It never crossed my mind,” he says on the set during a

break from dance rehearsals, “that I would do anything with it or sing in front

of people in any capacity whatsoever.

“The dancing is even tougher for me. I hope that doesn’t

show in the series.”

Riley has her knee in a brace, and she has Murphy to thank

for it. Her first TV role came in one of his pilots, and then he got to

discover she could sing (and now, dance) when she auditioned for “Glee.”

“It’s like my career is starting all over,” she says. “I

stopped acting; I started singing. Now … it started with him, and it’s starting

over with him, too.”

For stage and TV veteran Ushkowitz, playing Tina is a chance

to not be who she was in her performing arts high school.

“I was class president,” she says, “outgoing personality. I

was more of a Rachel Berry, personally. I exhausted myself.”

As for McHale, he says, “I grew up singing … and dancing,

not that that matters in this case. It was cool, because it was a different

character, obviously in a wheelchair, so that’s new for me.

“I don’t play guitar, so that’s been new for me.”

For Di Loreto, it’s about showing that happy isn’t out of


“I hope that we’re catching the time and place today in America," he

says, “that no matter how depressing the news or the economy, the fact that

kids want to sing and dance and perform and fulfill their potential is joyful

and uplifting and fun to watch.”


Posted by:Kate O'Hare