In a significant multiplatform deal, Columbia Records will be the official music partner of Twentieth Century Fox Television’s eagerly anticipated new comedy musical series “Glee.” As part of the deal, Columbia will release music from the show – as both single tracks and soundtracks – on iTunes and other digital platforms as well as in retail outlets.
From Ryan Murphy, creator of “Nip/Tuck,” “Glee” features an amazingly talented and diverse cast from the worlds of stage and screen and a soundtrack of hit music from past to present. Each episode of the series features an eclectic selection of hits from genres spanning pop, R&B, hip-hop, country, Broadway and rock and roll, reinterpreted through the lens of Murphy’s modern sensibility and razor-sharp wit. The Los Angeles Times calls it “a lighthearted satire with a deep emotional center that is often reflected in its wide-ranging songbook,” and Entertainment Weekly raves that “it’s witty and high-spirited – a canny mix of ‘American Idol’ with scripted punchlines and excellent acting.”
Commented Ryan Murphy, “Glee is about a passion for music and how it can inspire people to great heights. Anything goes in the musical world of McKinley High. All kinds of people and all kinds of music come together to change people’s lives. There are no borders, no boundaries, no formats –just great songs and the joy that performing and experiencing them can produce.”
“Glee is a smart and challenging yet totally mainstream platform for the most innovative use of classic and contemporary pop seen on television,” said Rob Stringer, Chairman Columbia/Epic Label Group. “We are thrilled we have the opportunity to be partners on the show’s musical journey!” Steve Barnett, Chairman of Columbia Records, added “Glee will be a key focus for the Columbia A&R, Marketing and Sales teams. We have a unique opportunity to build a great musical franchise with Glee.”
“Finding the right music partner for this series was key, and our head of music, Geoff Bywater, did a fantastic job of bringing Columbia Records to the table,” remarked Twentieth Century Fox Television Chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman. “Rob’s energy and passion for what we believe will be an exciting and long-lasting music brand was incredibly impressive. Columbia is a worldwide music powerhouse, and we couldn’t ask for better collaborators on the musical extensions of this series.”
In a broadcast first, a special preview of “Glee” will air Tuesday, May 19 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) following “American Idol” on FOX. Cast performances of “Rehab” and “Don’t Stop Believin'” will be available for purchase on iTunes starting May 19 and throughout the summer leading up to the show’s premiere. Additional bonus preview tracks of future songs from the series are scheduled for a late summer release. The first soundtrack album will be released this Fall (TBA).
“Glee” follows an optimistic high school teacher, WILL SCHUESTER (Matthew Morrison), as he tries to refuel his own passion while reinventing the high school’s glee club and challenge a group of outcasts to realize their star potential. It’s not an easy task when the pitch-imperfect club includes MERCEDES (Amber Riley), a forceful diva-in-training; ARTY (Kevin McHale), a geeky guitarist; KURT (Chris Colfer), a dramatic soprano; TINA (Jenna Ushkowitz), a punk rocker; and self-proclaimed “star” RACHEL (Lea Michele), a perfectionist firecracker.
McKinley’s cruel high school caste system prevents the glee club from flourishing, so Will recruits FINN (Cory Monteith), the quarterback with movie star looks, to join the group even though he wants to protect his reputation with his holier-than-thou girlfriend, QUINN (Dianna Agron), and his arrogant teammate, PUCK (Mark Salling). With harsh criticism from everyone including Will’s tough-as-nails wife TERRI (Jessalyn Gilsig) and McKinley’s egotistical cheerleading coach SUE SYLVESTER (Jane Lynch), he is determined to prove them all wrong and lead the glee club to the greatest competition of them all: Nationals.