Can Glee Be Saved?
As regular Remote Patrolled readers will know, I gave up on Glee a few weeks ago, after realizing that the current third series of the show simply wasn’t going to get any better.
Though I’d been a fan of Glee for it’s first two years I eventually felt so exhausted by the character inconsistencies, tiresome romances (yes that would be you Finn and Rachel) and Sue Sylvester, the most cartoonish character on TV, that I just had to bail.
But last week I gave Glee a brief second chance. Having followed The Glee Project over the summer I was interested to see how one of the winners, Damian, would fit into the show. But after just a few minutes the same old problems surfaced once again and I was out.
And it seems I’m not the only one. Since the third series began Glee’s ratings have fallen every single week. The season 3 premiere pulled in 9.21 million (down substantially from the 11.80 million who watched the season 2 finale), then hit 8.60 million, then 8.42 million and last week 7.47 million. By comparison the first five episodes of season 2 were all above the 11 million mark. Not exactly a hard trend to follow is it?
So does this mean Glee is in terminal decline? Can a once hot show ever bounce back and reclaim its lost viewers?
Honestly, I don’t think so. TV shows tend to go one of two ways. They either build over time – often following a reasonably successful launch – as is the case with most of today’s biggest hits like Modern Family and True Blood. Or they start big and fall fast (Pan Am would be the most recent example of this trend)
Interestingly Glee wasn’t a huge hit when it launched back in 2009 – in fact it was almost on the verge of cancelation following middling numbers for its post American Idol premiere. But strong sales for the show’s first single, Don’t Stop Believing, convinced Fox execs to give the show a try as a regular series. From then the show muddled along for its first few months, building its audience and its buzz, before exploding in the second half of its first season, boosted by its Idol lead in.
In a nutshell Glee burned through its ‘cult’ phase and its ‘popular’ phase far too quickly, leading to a sudden backlash and a huge drop in viewers. Many people have commented that the show is the new Ugly Betty – or the new Heroes – two fellow shows that hit it big initially and then went into death spirals. And that’s the problem for Glee. When you go into a dive it’s virtually impossible to pull out.
The fact is there are so many entertainment options out there that there’s not many viewers who are willing to give a show a second chance. ABC thoughts audiences would flock back to Desperate Housewives in its final season – but they haven’t, and why would they? Once you give up on a show you give up.
I’m sure over the next few months the Glee producers will try everything they can to boost ratings for the show – adding controversy, stunt casting and tribute episodes – all tactics that have been employed by shows in the past. But I doubt they will work. Glee used to be cool – and quite simply it’s not anymore. And rebuilding buzz is terribly hard to do.
The best Glee can hope for is that they’ll be able to stem the tide of ratings declines. The aforementioned Desperate Housewives managed that in its fourth season with the inclusion of Dana Delaney’s Katherine Mayfair, which actually built on the season 3 audience. But the gains didn’t last. They never do.
The problem for Glee is that it doesn’t have much room to fall. 7.47 million is already a pretty low figure for a re-energized Fox (The X Factor has been a big help for the network’s Fall figures). Sure Fox have basically committed to another year of the show due to the renewal of The Glee Project on Oxygen but at what point will the ratings bottom out. When does Glee just become an embarrassment… I have a feeling we may soon find out…
But what do you think? Do you think Glee has any chance of making a comeback – or is the show fatally wounded? Comment away…
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about 2 years ago - 5 comments
Sorry Glee – we’re breaking up! Yep, after 2 full seasons, The Glee Project and a whole load of downloads I’ve finally decided that Glee has gone from must see TV to totally un-essential viewing. As regular Remote Patrolled viewers will know I’ve been up and down on the quality of Glee for quite some…
about 2 years ago - No comments
Obviously Glee is not overexposed in the least at the moment… and the show’s cast clearly need all the publicity they can get! So it’s not surprising to see the Glee kids have been named as the official spokespeople for Anna Wintour’s Fashion’s Night Out – an annual event that encourages people to shop with…
about 2 years ago - 1 comment
Hmm, not sure how I feel about this one! If you watched last night’s season finale of The Glee Project you’ll know that the results are in and ultimately – everyone was a winner! Yep it was gold stars all round as Ryan Murphy gave all four of the finalists a chunk of Glee screen…
about 3 years ago - 3 comments
Hey everyone! It’s time for a new feature here on the site. This one’s called Remote Patrolled Predicts and is my chance to predict the future for some of today’s veteran shows – and just how many more seasons they have left in them! To kick us off we’ve a show I’ve talked about a…
about 3 years ago - No comments
When Does It Start: Sunday June 12th at 9pm EST on Oxygen In A Nutshell: 12 budding singing stars compete for a 7-episode guest-starring arc on the next season of Glee. What’s It About: To be honest there’s not much I can add to the description above – the format is still under wraps! What…
about 3 years ago - 5 comments
We’re into the second half of Glee’s second season and Fox’s high school musical is still riding high in the ratings – and the music charts. But with competition on the way -NBC’s Smash from the producers of Hairspray and ABC’s Grace, set in the world of professional dance – can Glee stay on top?…
about 3 years ago - 2 comments
Check out Glee star Lea Michele BEFORE she was famous in this recently unearthed interview clip from MTV’s The Seven.
about 3 years ago - No comments
You know him best as whiny, wheelchair bound Artie Abrams on Glee (probably my least favorite character on the Fox show)
But you may or may not know that actor Kevin McHale had a whole OTHER musical career before his Glee days.
Kevin used to be part of a boyband called NLT (which stands for Not Like Them) a fairly unsuccessful outfit that also featured the Perez Hilton protege Travis Garland.
NLT released four singles in total and they pretty much all bombed. But the videos still live on online and show a whole other side of McHale that’s pretty much never seen on the Fox high school musical…
Personally I can kind of see why the songs never took off – they’re totally forgettable and generic – and the first video is a pure N*Sync rip off. But what do you think? Bland boy band pop – or do you see something special?
Start weighing in all you Gleeks…!
about 3 years ago - No comments
Of course we all knew Matthew had a musical past – he was once in a boy band called LMNT which he described as ‘the worst year of my life’, before hitting it big on Broadway and transitioning over to guest roles on shows such as Ghost Whisperer and CSI Miami… and then came Glee!
This video is part of a series of instructional tapes – and is actually available to buy from Amazon for just $9.99 (on VHS!!!!)… well now you know what to get your loved ones for Christmas – if they still have a VCR of course! I love the 90′s haircuts and clothes, the ‘moody’ black and white look and juddery cuts and the 90′s fonts… ah, what a decade!
Anyway – enjoy Matt in action – I have a feeling this video is going to be EVERYWHERE very soon!
about 3 years ago - 7 comments
Glee is back!
Yes, everyone’s favorite High School Musical is back for a second season, aiming to build on the success of the standout first series – both in the ratings AND in the music charts.
As regular Remote Patrolled readers know I’m a big Glee fan and very excited by the return of the show. At its best Glee is hugely original, sharp, moving and above all fantastic fun.
But I’ve also been quite a critic of the show over the last few months. I’ve questioned the wisdom of adding too many guest stars (Glee-Full), the character of Kurt (Glee’s Gay Problem) and the show’s general writing standards (Going Gaga For Glee). I also think an inevitable Glee backlash is brewing this season. All the more reason for Executive Producer Ryan Murphy and his team to get the show on track NOW.