After a wildly successful first season, capped off by 19 Emmy nominations, ‘Glee‘ is back in production for its second season, set to premiere September 21st at 9pm ET on Fox.
Creator/executive producer Ryan Murphy shared at a Fox Television Critics Association panel that they “mapped out the first four years of the show” and jokingly said he’d decided to hold the character of Brittany back every year.
After some of the epic episodes in Season 1 (like the much-hyped “Madonna” episode), some expected the show to go even bigger and bolder in the upcoming season, but Murphy has other plans. “We found out when we took the cast on tour that so many of our secondary characters have huge fan bases. So we’re dwelling on a lot of these supporting characters: Brittany, Santana, Mike Chang and Tina. We’re scaling it back a bit and concentrating on the stories. We will usually only do five songs/numbers per episode or so.”
There will be two “tribute” episodes this season however – one tied to Britney Spears that will be done in a “different” way and then one that will take place during the post-Super Bowl episode. Murphy said he is still negotiating for that artist. (Hmm, maybe Michael Jackson??)
Other tidbits from the panel:
*The first episode of the season is called “Auditions.”
*The third episode of the season is called “Faith” and Murphy says it’s the most controversial episode they’ve done yet and it focuses on what God means to the kids.
*They will be doing a Christmas episode and Murphy is hopeful to have Susan Boyle for it.
*Cheyenne Jackson will play the new director of Vocal Adrenaline, and Kristen Chenoweth will return. In addition, Joss Whedon would like to direct another episode, and this could happen in the later batch of episodes of Season 2.
*’So You Think You Can Dance’ judge Adam Shankman will direct one of the first 10 episodes.
*Paul McCartney recently sent a note to Murphy that was hand-written with two CDs that said, “Hi Ryan, I hope you would consider some of these shows for ‘Glee'” Needless to say, there will be some McCartney numbers coming up this season.