When Glee came on the scene in 2009, it ushered in a new TV business model, one predicated on mega iTunes, merchandise, and concert ticket sales. During the initial media blitz Fox said it hoped to keep the show’s original, quirky feel, and four seasons later it’s easy to see how that turned out. When the shiny parts recede into the background, when we snap out of Blaine Warbler’s entrancing rendition of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” it’s difficult to defend what the show’s become (empty, sloppy, and just way too big).
That said, Dexter’s recent late-in-the game surge reminded us it’s not impossible to turn things around, and in Glee’s defense it’s markedly improved from last season. Last week’s “Break Up” showed guts and delivered an emotionally satisfying conclusion to some pretty big story arcs. The show’s clearly made some positive changes, and if it can tighten up, remember some fundamentals from its incredible first season, and still move forward, we think it could get its mojo back. Below we’ve outlined some ideas to save the once beloved (and great) show, because as Mr. Schue taught us from day one, Glee Club is all about reinvention.
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1. In case you missed Breaking Bad creator/executive producer Vince Gilligan on The Colbert Report last night, here’s the interview. While he refuses to reveal to Colbert how the show will end, their “meth off” alone makes this clip a must-see.
2. Apparently Julian Fellowes is thinking about doing a Downton Abbey prequel… Read More
Glee, whose fourth season premieres tonight, is at a crossroads. At this point, the once-revolutionary musical comedy-drama has alienated most of the critics (and, judging by its falling ratings, some of the viewers) who once rallied around its quirky storylines and underdog characters. Perhaps that’s why, during May’s upfronts, creator Ryan Murphy announced that the show will be a bit different this year, splitting its focus to both remain at William McKinley High and follow some newly graduated characters to performing arts school in New York. Whatever the cause behind the change turns out to be, the show is clearly experiencing some growing pains. So, while we hope Glee will get it together in Season 4, we think it’s only fair to provide viewers with a (spoiler-filled) guide to spotting a teen TV show that has exceeded its expiration date.
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Each September brings a flood of new shows, the best of which let us inside the world of unique and fascinating characters. But before we meet such memorable casts as those that populate Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and Lost, the actors who play those iconic roles have to convince casting agents and producers that they’re the best women and men for the job. Although far too few audition tapes are made public, we’ve tracked down some of the most interesting ones out there, each telling in its own way. Now, if only we could get AMC to give us Jon Hamm’s Don Draper casting video, we’d be totally set.
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Last week, we took a look at some of Hollywood’s most mind-blowing behind-the-scenes movie photos, and that post left us wondering whether those images might have equally impressive TV equivalents. Good news: they do. Despite the fact that film budgets tend to run higher than their small-screen counterparts, television has plenty of its own magic that’s ripe for elucidating (or, you know, ruining). After the jump, we collect 25 behind-the-scenes TV photos that are sure to change how you see your favorite shows. Find out how Breaking Bad gets its famously crazy point-of-view shots, witness True Blood vampires on set in broad daylight, learn what those Mad Men are really smoking, peek into the not-so-intimate bedroom of Friday Night Lights’ Mr. and Mrs. Coach, and watch living characters hang out with dead ones (or just their pint-size doppelgängers) in our gallery.
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If you’re anything like us, you sometimes have trouble coming to terms with the fact that your favorite TV shows’ characters and plot lines were nothing until a group of writerly folks sat around a big table and wrote them into existence. It’s like — Ron Swanson is a real person, you know? That being said, writers’ rooms are where the magic happens, so we’re always eager to sneak peeks inside such sacred creative quarters. Inspired (and ever so excited) by Ron Howard’s recently tweeted photo of the new Arrested Development writers’ room, we’ve gathered photos and videos of other popular TV shows’ writing hubs after the jump.
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Is it just us, or have the past few weeks of network television renewals, cancellations, and new series pickups been particularly dramatic? More than any other previous year, the anticipation and anxiety surrounding upfronts has been at fever pitch, with fans of imperiled cult favorites glued to their Twitter feeds for news and a slew of new shows that already have critics and readers talking. The onslaught of announcements has been so intense that even those of us who follow pop culture for a living have had trouble keeping up — so, for the sake of our sanity and yours, we’ve dug through the reports to compile a list of the biggest and most interesting news about the 2012-13 TV season, including trailers for some of the most talked about new series.
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1. If you haven’t seen the cover of this week’s Newsweek, which features a cover story by Andrew Sullivan on Barack Obama as the country’s first gay president — complete with a rainbow halo — here it is.
2. Jay-Z is curating and headlining the first-ever Budweiser Made in America music festival,… Read More
With all the vainglory and self-promotion festering on the Twitter frontier, we gotta say it’s refreshing when people use their 140 characters for humble purposes (notwithstanding the fact that the existence of a singular selfless tweet has yet to be confirmed). A fine example of this would be last weekend’s cavalcade of TV showrunner remorse, incited by Damon Lindelof’s, “The weather in LA this week has been as consistent as the third season of LOST.” Bill Lawrence stepped up next, tweeting, “Many, many episodes of Scrubs sucked balls” and “Cougar Town’s first six eps made me sad.” Then Shonda Rhimes came forth, confessing that Seasons 4 and 5 of Grey’s Anatomy make her “want to hide in a dark cave and maybe change my name.” Which actually had us feeling bad as one can for famous rich people, and then scouring for other confessionals like these. Click through to see what we found, and please join in to add your favorite showrunner regrets in the comments!
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1. Forbes has released its Fictional 15, an annual list of fiction’s wealthiest characters. This year’s winner is Smaug, the dragon from The Hobbit, whose “personal fortune jumped 16% from last year to $62 billion after wyrm watchers crafted a more detailed analysis of his massive hoard of coins, jewels and antiques.”
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