For years, music and television have gone hand in hand in the U.S. Even in a time when music videos are readily available online, television audiences still tune in to music-focused shows such as American Idol, and High School Musical was one of the most successful television films to hit the small screen. Glee, the new television series on Fox, takes this appeal to the next logical step—a musical television series.
Glee follows the lives of students and teachers at William McKinley High School, focusing on Spanish teacher and glee club director Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison), as well as members of the school’s “New Directions” glee club—Rachel Berry (Lea Michele), Quinn Fabray (Dianna Agron), Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith), and others, telling its story in a series of episodes that includes musical numbers both in and out of the club’s performances. Each episode features a number of unique musical arrangements of top-chart pop songs and classic show tunes that are available for purchase and download from online services such as iTunes.
The show’s first season ran from May 2009 to June 2010 and has garnered a significant fan base. The series has won four Emmy awards, as well as a Peabody Award, a People’s Choice Award, and a Golden Globe. The Glee cast had 25 singles on the Billboard Top 100 chart in 2009 and the cast performance of “Don’t Stop Believin’” went gold with more than 500,000 digital sales. Capitalizing on this strong fan base (called “gleeks”, a portmanteau of “geek” and “glee”), Fox Licensing & Merchandising has signed a number of licensees for the show, which is about to start season two.
Awake will be producing a full line of tops and T-shirts for the Glee brand, available at Macy’s stores nationwide.
Little Brown Books:
Little Brown Books will be publishing a new series of original novels based on the characters of Glee. The first book is Glee: The Beginning.
Starlite has created a Glee-themed CDG Karaoke System, featuring imagery based on the style of the television show.
Claire’s has created a line of jewelry and accessories featuring images, themes, and characters from Glee.
Konami Digital Entertainment:
Konami Digital Entertainment will introduce Glee Karaoke Revolution, a new version of its Karaoke Revolution series featuring music and video from the Glee television series.
Franco & Sons:
The Franco & Sons line of Glee room décor features themes and imagery based on the style of the series as well as the show’s characters.