Exclusive: ‘Glee’ May Get Early Greenlight

Would give the Fox machine time to think about what’s next for the show

Last Updated: January 8, 2010 @ 3:40 PM

Fans of "Glee" have reason to sing: Fox is seriously mulling the idea of giving Ryan Murphy’s musical masterpiece an early season two renewal.

While not quite the no-brainer that renewing "American Idol" would be, it’s been clear for weeks that "Glee" is on track to return for a second season. Its ratings are strong, the buzz is huge — and it hasn’t even moved behind "Idol" yet.

What’s newsworthy here is that Fox is might greenlight "Glee" up much earlier than usual in the normal network timetable. Most shows don’t get the nod for a second season until May, just before upfronts. Every so often, if a show’s a big hit, networks might greenlight a second season in February or March.

January pickups of new shows, however, don’t happen too often. One big exception came back in 2007, when then-NBC Entertainment boss Kevin Reilly — looking to claim some Nielsen momentum — gave a January pickup to its then-hot "Heroes" during the TV Critics Assn. press tour. (Reilly now heads Fox Entertainment).

There’d be plenty of benefits from Fox showing its love for "Glee" earlier than usual.

For one thing, it would give Murphy time to start planning season two as soon as he can (part two of season one is just beginning production). And the entire Fox machine, from marketing to media relations, would be able to begin thinking about what’s next for the show.

Fox meets reporters at this year’s TCA Monday. That would be the natural time for such a pickup to be revealed, but people familiar with the situation said it’s not at all certain there’ll be any news by then– and caution that networks often change their minds at the last second before press tour.

Us? We’ve already pre-ordered "Glee: Season Two — Sue Sylvester Strikes Back" on Amazon.

Meanwhile, we’re also quietly hoping ABC decides it makes sense to give props to its Wednesday comedy lineup of "Modern Family," "Cougar Town" and "The Middle" by giving them season two orders next week at its portion of TCA.