[03/17/11 - 12:08 AM]
Live at the Paley Festival: FOX's "Glee"
By Jim Halterman (TFC)

Please note: As a courtesy, please do not reproduce these comments to newsgroups, forums or other online places. Links only please.

6:58 PM - Night 12 of the 28th Annual Paley Festival at the Saban Theater in Los Angeles kicks off a few minutes early (which is a good thing with the intense buzz of excitement from all the Gleeks in attendance) with a panel featuring the cast and creative team behind Fox's mega-hit "Glee." No archival clip tonight.

7:01 PM - The Paley Center's Betsy Scolnick welcomes the crowd and says that tonight "we are all Gleeks."

7:03 PM - Betsy welcomes the moderator for tonight's panel, Entertainment Weekly's Tim Stack who proclaims "I'm a fellow Gleek. We can wrestle later who's biggest." After much debate over which episode to screen tonight (there is no new episode ready to show), the popular consensus was the episode that aired Tuesday night, "Original Songs." The crowd seems perfectly happy with that and can't help but scream at certain points in the screening. Yes, fans who love this show, really love this show.

7:50 PM - Post-episode, Tim wastes no time bringing out the "Glee" panel for tonight: Darren Criss (Blaine)! Heather Morris (Brittany)! Naya Rivera (Santana)! Mark Salling (Puck)! Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina)! Kevin McHale (Artie)! Amber Riley (Mercedes)! Chris Colfer (Kurt)! Cory Monteith (Finn)! Jane Lynch (Sue Sylvester)! Matthew Morrison (Will Schuester)! Executive Producer Dante Di Loreto! Executive Producer/Co-Creator Ian Brennan! Executive Producer/Co-Creator Brad Falchuk! Executive Producer/Co-Creator Ryan Murphy! (For the record, Cory Monteith gets the loudest applause and screams.)

7:56 PM - First up is talk of the long-awaited kiss between Blaine (Criss) and Kurt (Colfer) in the episode just screened. "For me," says Ryan, "it was always very important that the Kurt character... has a moment of joy. I wanted that for him." Ryan adds, "I think it's impactful because it's important to so many people." Both Chris and Darren agree that it was the right time for it to happen.

7:58 PM - Ryan teases that Kristen Chenoweth will be back and her new song will be "It's 10 AM and I'm Drunk." He also said April's all-white stage production of "The Wiz" was surprisingly not a success.

8:00 PM - Tim mentions that in the "Original Songs" episode after Santana sings her original song "Trouty Mouth" (about Chord Overstreet's large mouth) she said she had a second verse. What would it be? "'Trouty Mouth' got weirdly sexy and I think that's where it would go," Naya says with a grin.

8:01 PM - On using original songs in this past episode instead of just doing covers like they normally do, Ryan admits, "It was a really long term discussion... it's been percolating for awhile."

8:04 PM - Of the many awful things Sue Sylvester has done, was punching out the drunk woman in the last episode the worst thing? Jane laughs, shaking her head, and says, "My career peaked in that moment that happened!" Jane also chuckles over what she hears from real life teachers about her character of Sue Sylvester - "God, I wish I could say what you say!"

8:08 PM - Of the storyline last season with Kurt's father (played by Mike O'Malley) coming to terms with his son being gay, Brad says, "It's really a father-son relationship. The gay stuff is the complication." The producers give kudos to O'Malley for bringing so much to those scenes. Ryan says that FOX gave zero notes on the gay talk between Kurt's father and Kurt last season.

8:11 PM - Heather had danced with Britney Spears three years before the now-infamous Britney episode last fall. In regards to whether Britney remembered Heather from when they worked together in the past to the present day on the set of Glee, Heather says, "I don't think she put two and two together," which gets big laughs from the audience. Heather quickly adds, "She's smart."

8:15 PM - The big dance sequence in the Gap store (they used the location at The Grove in Los Angeles) was shot just before the Christmas holidays and the staff had to spend the night taking down all the holiday decorations (it was not a holiday-themed episode). How did they choreograph such a big number so fast? Dante says, "We had to figure it out on the day like we do... you just figure it out."

8:19 PM - Speaking of Gwyneth Paltrow's appearances on the show and her character's romance with Will Schuester, Matt's asked what she smells like. He smiles and says, "Sweet summer rain." Gwyneth is back for more episodes in the back six (which start airing April 19).

8:23 PM - Of the Puck/Lauren romance and working with new cast member Ashley Finke, Mark says, "We have a good rapport off camera, too." The producers say that Ashley is an example of someone who was in the background for season one's "Wheels" episode and when Kurt moved off to the Dalton School, she was brought back to fill the gap. Brad says, "She's taken the ball and kinda run with it."

8:27 PM - Naya brings a serious note to the panel by talking of the e-mails she gets due to the show's attention to Santana's sexuality, especially from kids who are going through hard times because of their coming out.

8:28 PM - Jenna is asked about working with (the absent) Harry Shum Jr., who plays Tina's boyfriend, Mike Chang. "His abs are great!" she gushes.

8:29 PM - Chris has spent most of season two away from the rest of the cast since Kurt is now attending the Dalton Academy. How does Chris like that? He jokes, "It's wonderful... there's no estrogen." More serious, he states, "I felt exactly what Kurt was feeling." He says that both he and Kurt were missing their friends but glad to be making new ones, too. Chris lets it slip that Kurt is going to end up back at New Directions but soon realizes that perhaps he said too much.

8:31 PM - Cheyenne Jackson will be returning in the new episodes as Dustin Goolsby, the head of the choir competitor Vocal Adrenaline. (Ah, the power of Twitter. After tweeting this bit of news during the panel, Cheyenne Jackson himself - @cheyguynyc - tweets back to @thefutoncritic "Its true. Goolsby is bringing it.")

8:35 PM - Other storylines that we'll see in the back-six, according to Ryan - there will be more of the bullying storyline in the "Born This Way" episode. Also, the Finn/Quinn/Rachel triangle is going to be a big part as the kids move towards nationals. More of the Brittany/Santana relationship and, of course, more Blaine and Kurt.

8:36 PM - Tim asks what the appeal is for Will with Emma (the absent Jayma Mays) and it's easy to see that Tim doesn't get it. Matt explains, "There's something that's so right about that relationship. I want it, too, for Will... I hope it happens." He jokes it might not be until season 15 but that's what he'd like to see.

8:39 PM - The upcoming "Glee" tour will happen this summer. Ryan says they were pleased with a lot of what the first season tour was like but this tour would feature music that is 80% from the second season and 20% from the first season. The kids will probably be in character again during the stage show.

8:41 PM - Tim opens up the floor to questions from audience members and a young boy asks if we'll be seeing more of Charice, the powerhouse internet sensation who was seen early in the season but not since. Ryan confirms she'll be coming back now that Vocal Adrenaline and the nationals are going to be a part of the back six.

8:42 PM - Anyone out there know Julie Andrews? Chris really wants her to guest on the show.

8:43PM - "I love you guys but you're crazy!" says Brad about all the Twitter followers who are way too passionate about Finn and Rachel getting back together. Ryan admits to being afraid to join Twitter. "You'd fight back," says Brad.

8:44 PM - A fan remembers Ryan's earlier series "Popular," which was also set in high school. While Ryan doesn't think he'd bring back any characters from that show for "Glee," he could see Mary Cherry (played by Leslie Grossman) guesting. Let's see it!

8:46 PM - Of the censors over at FOX, Ryan says, "It's a healthy relationship with FOX... we work with them [and] they have great points of view." He also adds that when "Glee" became an 8 o'clock show that one of the concessions was that they wouldn't have to change the show because of its earlier airing.

8:50 PM - Will Brad the pianist ever speak? Not sure about that but Ryan says that when Brad was in the pilot he asked how he should play his role. Ryan gave the following direction - "All you have to play is that you hate these kids." So when you see Brad sneer from now on, you'll know why.

8:52 PM - While the show is known for it's artist tributes, Ryan wants to do a show built around one album, like Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours," which is going to get an episode treatment coming up.

8:53 PM - Will Mercedes ever get a real love interest? Ryan mentions the Glee reality show that will air this summer on Oxygen and Amber says she's ready to help in any way that she can. Brad says because Mercedes is such a big personality, it's going to be "tricky" to find someone to keep up with her.

8:57 PM - Asked how she'd like to see Britana end up, Naya first jokes "I'd probably get her pregnant." However she adds that she would personally like to see Brittany and Santana end up together. The audience applause shows that they feel the same way.

8:59 PM - Now that the Warblers are out of the Nationals competition, will we still see them? Yes! A Warblers album is coming, Ryan says, and since the Blaine/Kurt relationship is just starting, we'll still be seeing them... until Blaine tries out for New Directions in Season three, Ryan teases.

9:00 PM - That's a wrap for tonight's panel. Brian will be covering the final PaleyFest panel of 2011 tomorrow with the crew from FOX's "Raising Hope."

And for more PaleyFest coverage - past and present - visit our Paley Center topic page.

  [march 2011]  


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