It's one of the odder TV scheduling experiments I can imagine: Tonight, Fox premieres its new musical dramedy, Glee, after the American Idol performance show. And then . . . it goes away until the Fall, when it reappears on Wednesdays following So You Think You Can Dance.
I have my fingers crossed that it works, because I love the first episode of this quirky little show (which is about what I imagine Freaks and Geeks would have been like with musical numbers and jazz hands). Of course, I'm not the only person pulling for Glee's success: So is creator Ryan Murphy, who admits he was hesitant at first when Fox told him their plans for the show. "I said, 'I like that you believe in it so much, and I like the support that you want to put behind it, but it does bother me that it would be off the air for four months,'" Murphy told me recently. "But as Kevin [Reilly, Fox's entertainment president] explained it to me . . . it's a preview. And I keep saying it’s like having a movie trailer before the movie Titanic."
I suppose it worked for me: I first saw Glee's pilot back in January, and I've certainly been talking about it for the five months since. And Fox is wisely taking some steps to help the buzz spread this Summer, including making the show's music available for download, teasing some of the upcoming musical numbers over the next few months, and putting the pilot online for those who missed it the first time to watch. But I'm sure the network wouldn't mind seeing the show get some decent ratings tonight, and I'll be eager to see how this experiment works.
Will you be checking out Glee's premiere? In the meantime, you can meet the cast and check out a preview clip if you read more.
Photo courtesy of Fox