So many Glee goodies, so little time.
We just caught up with Glee creator Ryan Murphy at the Hollywood Radio and Television Society Hitmakers luncheon for a one-on-one interview, and he was kind enough to answer our questions about the future of the beloved musical hit. Murphy revealed to us that he never expected the Puck-Rachel phenomenon, but that the fandom has not gone unnoticed by the producers and the sparks between those two characters will be revisited!
Here's what we learned about how the overwhelming fan response to the "Puckleberry" coupling took Glee bosses off guard, plus deets on the upcoming Madonna-palooza episode and plans for a couple of "top secret" guest stars...
Did you expect the fan response that you've gotten to Glee?
I thought Glee was good, and I thought Glee was original, but when you do those things on TV, half the time it doesn't work, so I was always startled by how much Fox got behind it. They really put the muscle to it and launched it correctly and creatively, so people found it and loved it.
Where in the process did you find Lea Michele, and how hard did you cry when you realized what she could do?
I knew Lea Michele because I did a pilot between Nip/Tuck and Glee called Pretty Handsome about transsexuals, and that was with Jonathan Groff, who was in Spring Awakening in New York with Lea. So when I sold the Glee pilot and started to write down the part, I said there's only one girl who can play this. But no one would give her a deal, because she had never done anything other than Broadway, so I told her, "I want you for this, but you're going to have to go through the whole cattle-call audition process," and she was just great. We never found anybody else, and then you do [the studio and network tests], and you're supposed to bring 10 people in, and I said she's the only one, and then she opened her mouth [and sang] and all the guys were crying, and they hired her, literally on the spot, in the room.
Did you have any idea fans would respond so strongly to Rachel and Puck's brief fling?
No, I thought that was very strange and bizarre. I had no idea. I thought that people would not like them together. I thought people would root for her to be with Finn (Cory Monteith). But because people have weighed in, we have some plans to give the people what they want. There's a lot of love stuff going on for [Rachel Berry] in the show in the next episodes: Jonathan [Groff]...Finn...Puck (Mark Salling).
On a related note, is Quinn (Dianna Agron) having the baby something you'd wrap up before the end of the season, or would that go on longer?
It'll happen before the end of the season.
Does she go into labor as New Directions goes onstage to sing at regionals?
Everyone keeps asking me that, [but] probably not, because you've seen that before. We have to get rid of that baby and have her give birth some other way.
Part one of the season was "the road to sectionals," and part two of the season is presumably "the road to regionals." Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) has been the primary antagonist so far, but is she going to have to take a step back because in the second half of the season we're going to be worried about Vocal Adrenaline instead?
Sue will never take a backseat on the show, ever, because Jane [Lynch] is so fantastic, and we write so heavily toward her. I think Sue will probably get in cahoots with Vocal Adrenaline. She has a Pinky and the Brain kind of thing going on. No, Jane has really broken out on the show and people love her, and we're writing to that. If you thought she was bad in the first 13, she'll be doubly wicked and funny and vulnerable in the back nine.
What are you most excited for fans to see about the back half of the season?
I think what I'm most excited about—and we're prepping it right now—is the Madonna episode, which is huge.
How many songs are you going to get?
We have 10 Madonna songs in that episode. Huge songs, huge production numbers. I'm really excited about that. I'm really excited about Kristin Chenoweth coming back. She is just a doll, and I love writing for her. I love pitching songs that she's never sung. She'd never sung "Maybe This Time" before, and she did it on Glee, and now she uses it as her opening number. And then we have a couple of really big top-secret guest stars who I really can't say [who they are yet].
Is one of them Madonna?
No, Madonna's not going to be on the show. I wouldn't buy Madonna going to Ohio.
OK, that's your cue to describe how you would get Madonna to Ohio to sing with New Directions, and/or weigh in about other elements of Glee in the comments below!
Check out our winter premiere-dates calendar to find out when your fave series return after the holidays!