Glee Is Probably Returning For Another Season Of Slow Water Torture, Etc.

During The Television Critics Association‘s winter press tour this week, Fox Entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly “expressed confidence” in the future of everybody’s favorite show-you-used-to-like-a-lot, Glee.

Craving a little more time with the new characters whose names I’ve already forgotten? You’ll be pleased as a porcupine to hear that Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk are in talks with Reilly for Season Five, which — thank the stars! — “opens the door for Oxygen’s reality competition The Glee Project to return for a third season.”

Reilly said he’s been enjoying the New York/Lima dual storylines, finding them “seamless,” and not just because they’re paying him to say that. Furthermore:

“I do think if we can continue to follow a broad array of characters, it’s like life: You have relationships, you have friends — they go off, their lives go on, and you get together and maybe you maintain a friendship, maybe you lose distance. I think we can do that within this world of people you followed.

Some of them have moved on to other things or wanted to move on to other things, but they love the show, and this gives them a chance to come back and do an arc. It would be fun to continue that morphing.”

When asked if the series might relocate entirely from an Ohio-themed soundstage in Los Angeles to the set of Friends, Reilly noted that he’d have to “talk to Ryan and see where he’s at right now. I don’t know. I wonder — could it and should it naturally move [to New York]? But we have to talk about it.”

At the TCA Fox All-Star Party, queer questions abounded. According to Afterellen, somebody asked Glee star Lea Michele about the possibility of a romance between her and Quinn Fabray happening onscreen (the storyline currently plays out exclusively in wildly popular fan fiction communities but has yet to break into the network mainstream), to which she responded: “Yeah, that’s so funny. People — I don’t know. They think it’s like a thing. Well, I mean — Rachel’s in New York now with Kurt and stuff like that so….”

Everybody seems to be forgetting about the Metro-North pass!

lea michele at the TCA Fox Party

Naya Rivera also spoke to about whether or not we’d ever see her beautiful face on our television screen again:

“I’ll definitely making up for lost time in the episode we’re currently shooting, and then I’ll be around for the rest of the season. I was excited. I love the new format, I love all of the new kids they’ve brought on to McKinley. It allows the character [Santana] to grow and that’s important.”

Regarding Brittany & Sam, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G-W-A-Y-T-O-O-E-A-R-L-Y, Naya had this to say:

“Obviously Santana doesn’t like when things don’t go her way. Even though she was the one that sort of called it off, I guess, she’s still not happy about that. You’ll get to see how that plays out.

Brittany’s found someone else so I would only hope that Santana has grown as well and maybe see what else is out there. Maybe [she’ll find someone else]. You never know!”

Jane Lynch told AfterEllen that it’d be wise for Santana to shack up with a lady who knows how to spell, and shared her thoughts about Ryan’s intentions with the Brittany storyline:

“I hope she can grow up and have a mature relationship with someone who wants to be with her. The Brittany/Santana thing — I think what Ryan was showing was orientation for some people is fluid, it’s not over in this homosexual category, or this heterosexual category and I like that message. Because there people out there who feel that way as well — that it’s the person they fall in love with. So that was nice to see that, but I do hope that Santana will move on and I bet she will. She’s going to have a grown up relationship. She’s gonna go all lesbo. We just did an episode where she’s gotta decide where her life is going to take her and it’s not cheerleading school in Louisville. It’s elsewhere.”

I really hope that it’s “The Planet.”


i shook the lesbian phone tree and this is what came out

Glee opened Season Four with relatively decent ratingsThe New Rachel snagged 7.41 million U.S. viewers and took first place in the 18-49 demographic, followed by an impressive uptick towards 7.46 million for “Britney 2.0.” Since those first two episodes, however, the show has been vacillating in the 5-to-6 million range, a huge drop from its initial two seasons spent in the 8-to-10 million range. In fact, Glee‘s eight lowest-rated episodes of all time happened this season, with Dynamic Duets bringing up the rear with a depressive 4.62 million viewers.

Many suggest iTunes sales influence renewal decisions — numbers which have possibly also been slipping as of late, with Glee‘s most recent albums failing to crack the Top 20 despite all previous albums never charting below the top ten. But it’s possible that new methods of Billboard rankings, which now account for radio play as well, are responsible for the variance in chart-toppers. 

I endeavor to suggest that Glee’s ongoing existence is directly related to my increasing distaste for the program, which I have an ethical and statistical obligation to recap for this website — as proven by the continued renewal of Showtime’s embarrassing reality program The Real L Word despite general suckage and low ratings, a show I hate recapping even more than I hate recapping Glee.

However, I recognize that the world does not, in fact, revolve around me, and perhaps the show’s renewal is simply due to its relative superiority rather than its absolute superiority. A passionate Glee tumblrer did the math and determined that even with the present ratings, the show still makes good money. Glee still out-performs Fox’s other non-animated scripted shows aside from The New Girl — hell, it out-ranks the final season of The Office on Thursday nights. Plus, the show will soon be up for syndication. Glee has also, obviously, taken on great cultural relevance despite its 567 faults, including but not limited to that Potato and also misogyny.

I also recognize that if cancellation didn’t free me from recapping Glee, I’d probably be really upset about it, if only because I still enjoy the musical numbers even when the plot often inspires me to get off the couch and lock myself in the bathroom until it’s over.

Perhaps Fox could hear the people sing? After all, low ratings haven’t tarnished fan enthusiasm — last night, Lea Michele and Chris Colfer snagged People’s Choice Awards for Best Comedic TV Actress and Actor.


In his acceptance speech, Colfer thanked the fans and noted that being handed an award by Ellen DeGeneres is “just incredible.”

Lea thanked the Gleeks and, kindly, everybody who voted for her. “What you guys can do together, it’s unbelievable,” Lea noted.

I’d like to end on these notes, from Ryan Murphy’s twitter:

Ah yes. Pregnancy plots are clearly what this show does best. Also, this:

In other words: “Don’t stop believing, hold on to that feeling.”

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3179 articles for us.


  1. I haven’t watched this show since it moved to the same time slot as Grey’s Anatomy so I haven’t seen any of this season and I’m glad because this train wreck of a show is just getting worse.

  2. I wish that when I shook the lesbian phone tree the “Un-Holy Trinity” fell out. But no. All I get is granola recipes and bike repair shop recommendations. (which are still pretty great)

  3. I love that people keep asking Lea Michele about Faberry and that every time she has to answer, her answers get increasingly awkward. It’s just funny. A little mean maybe, but entertaining.

    • The fan backlash to this is horrible and makes me hate everything. Like, what do people expect her to say?

      • I haven’t followed much of the reaction to her words, but the few people I’ve read said that it’s just silly that she used to play up to Faberry and the shippers (as Dianna did) and now she speaks like it’s an alien concept to her. I agree that it’s a bit odd.

        • I’d just like for Lea to stop being wishy washy about Faberry. Either act like it’s an interesting insight into their characters, or just outright say “Rachel isn’t going to go in that direction.” But her response comes off as incredibly condescending when compiled with her pathetic Finchel rallying last season.

  4. What is a ‘Wemma’?

    I have so much more confusion about so many Glee-related things, but I think that is the only question that might actually be answerable.

  5. The most important part of this article is the quote from Jane Lynch. Especially this part: “We just did an episode where she’s [Santana] gotta decide where her life is going to take her and it’s not cheerleading school in Louisville. It’s elsewhere.”

    I have said this a million times but please for the love of all that is holy SEND SANTANA TO NEW YORK. I just need her to have scenes with Rachel I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

      • So you might have kicked the habit of watching the show but I’m sensing separation issues if you’re still reading glee related articles on here. Although at least going from heroin to methadone is on the right path so as a full on masochistic, hate-myself-but-can’t-stop-watching user, I applaud your strength.

        GAA (Glee Addicts Anonymous). Pronounced gay. Obviously.

        • You’ve got me pegged. And I must say, I’m tempted to start back up again if only for admittance as a member of GAA. Love. It.

    • I watched the episode where Brittana and Klaine break up and I was like “Yes! I’m free!” and I’ve never gone back for even a moment.

      If there was a chance of some real lesbian action with Santana and a new gf or Brittany I might watch those episodes, but c’mon, what’s the chance of that?

  6. I love that Chris outed himself as reading fanfics about his own character in that speech. That’s all I have to say.

  7. If you don’t like the show, quit watching it and stop doing recaps, etc rather than just griping and making fun through the whole thing.

    • Considering the very, very small amount of queer-related programming on TV and the even smaller amount that deals directly with queer women, I think it’s important that we as a community be able to examine that media, especially when we’re being portrayed in offensive or stereotypical ways. If we just ignore these sorts of portrayals, there are a couple of problems: first, it denies queer women an opportunity to discuss and learn about representation in the media that they might not have elsewhere. If a young gay lady feels “weird” about something she saw on glee, but all her straight friends don’t see a problem with it, she learns to be quiet about problems in the media – which is a serious issue. And second, we as a community don’t have a super strong voice, but it’s much stronger when we speak out together about problematic things.

        • ^this. (To both your comments. the first one was put better than I ever could, i’m glad to see my feelings expressed so clearly in writing so i can sort them out myself.) Glee kept on disappointing me, and then it would have one or two fantastic moments and I would crawl back for more. No amount of hinting will lure me back. I am DONE.

    • Oh come on. It’s one thing to say that to someone whining about that on Facebook, but on Autostraddle? I think it’s kind of important that queer websites be reviewing any shows with queer content, even the bad ones, in order to help keep shows accountable. Plus, there are a lot of readers who still watch the show who depend on the reviews here. I know I definitely wouldn’t have been able to tolerate Glee when I still watched if it weren’t for Riese and others’ hilarious recaps (along with the ones at AfterEllen and the A.V. Club as well).

      • And I definitely don’t mean to imply with my bad sentence structure that these reviews here are “whining,” that was more meant to complain about the Facebook friend in question.

  8. This is disappointing news. I feel like this show needs to be put out of its decaying misery a la Old Yeller maybe.

  9. Also, I want a gif of Regina George snarling “Stop trying to make Finchel happen, Ryan”.

  10. That ratings drop sounds accurate cuz I stopped watching after Episode 2… wait, I did check-in last month and was confused that Finn was suddenly a role-model teacher… then I knew my decision to stop watching was a good idea.

  11. I do hope that this season will be the last. It’s just so bad. On a somewhat related note, Naya Rivera should stop with the plastic surgery. She is a gorgeous young woman and while I respect her decision to do what she wants with her body I think that the boob job, nose job and cheek implants (I think?) were all completely unnecessary.

    • I don’t think she’s had work done. Make up has a way of making a face look different. However I can see why you would think she may have. I also did a double take of the picture of her posted here. Her nose DOES look thinner, but I am certain who ever did her make up that night just contoured her face. If you look closely enough you’ll see the bronzer or contouring eyeshadow, on the sides of her nose and under her cheeks. Gotta love makeup!

      • I’m certainly not an expert, but she definitely had a boob job, it was even discussed in the show’s second season. For the rest I’m not sure, I think I’ve read somewhere about the nose job and cheek implants. Might not be true but to me it looks like more than just skillfully applied make-up, especially when you compare the way she looks now to the way she looked back in the first and second season of Glee. Again, I’m not judging her for having work done, I just think she was perfect the way she was.

    • I know for a fact that she wears extensions and fake eyelashes as well, she said so in her interviews, though I’m okay with that because those are things people need to do to fit into the celebrity woman mold. But she’s getting a little far if she’s getting more things on top of the lip injection and boob job. I’m okay with the concept of plastic surgery, but I don’t think she needs it.

  12. I’m actually not surprised at the ratings drop, because my sister is a Glee super-fan (so I always check in with her periodically to see what the straight girl super-fans think of the show currently) and even she feels less interested in it because they’re sidelining all the characters that the fans actually care about from the previous three seasons for these new people who are just boring, cheap imitations of the original cast. No one can be assed to care about Marley, Jake, Kitty and what-are-their-other-faces-I-don’t-even-know.

    I’ve also heard some people complain about the drop in song quality, and more transparent attempts to take advantage of whatever is the latest trend, e.g. with their “Call Me Maybe” and “Gangnam Style” remakes. I know that they’re trying to recover from the Broadway fixation last season which, while I liked it better, was losing them sales compared to pop covers, but I also think the fanbase knows when it’s being blatantly pandered to in the selection. And combined with the previous issue – if people don’t care about the new characters, they don’t care about having them cover these songs.

    • I was listening to my Glee playlist this morning on shuffle, and the song quality has definitely dropped this season. I think what I miss most are the great mash-ups; those were usually my favorite numbers from an episode (there were a couple of bad ones early on but in general I think they’ve been good) because they were something different, not just a straight up cover of a pop song. I’m thinking of “Thriller/Heads Will Roll,” “I Feel Pretty/Unpretty,” and “Rumor Has It/Someone Like You” – those were some of the best numbers Glee ever did, in my opinion. The group numbers aren’t even good any more because they are just bland covers of the latest pop hit. They’ve done some beautiful solos this season but other than that I’ve not really been a fan of the song choices so far.

      I also think my lack of caring about the new kids affects my enjoyment of the songs. None of them are as talented as the original cast, IMO, so I’m not as interested in their performances.

  13. Another thing I wish teen shows in general would stop doing is feeling an obligation to keep characters who get together in high school together forever. Most people don’t meet their soulmates in high school, and I know TV is not real life, but I don’t really understand what is so romantic about the idea that the perfect person for you lies in the bubble of your close-minded small town high school that you both hated, rather than in a city of millions that you CHOSE to live in where you meet all different kinds of people from different backgrounds.

    I mean, c’mon, we all knew Rachels who were attracted to the one other person who seemed to be really into whatever they were into in high school of their preferred gender. There’s no way on Earth that she could go to NYADA and meet guys who are much more talented than Finn and committed to those passions, and where the high-school-popularity cachet of being “the quarterback’s girlfriend” no longer means anything.

    Out of all of them, Brittana really seem to me like the only couple where they’re really soulmates and not just the two who were most alike in the context of their small hometown, so I can see them eventually getting back together. I can’t see any of the other ones – except Wemma, because they’re stuck in Lima.

  14. Thanks for the mention and linking to my tumblr!

    I just wanted to clarify something though – I am in no way, shape, or form a passionate Glee tumblrer. I’m a passionate Faberry tumblrer. I can’t stand Glee anymore (I stopped watching near the end of season 2), and its cancellation can’t come soon enough, IMO. But, sadly, that doesn’t appear to be happening any time soon.

  15. I was a HUGE fan of Glee during season one. I remember being absolutely sad when season one ended and I couldn’t wait for season two to start. And when it did start I was so happy it felt like I had a dream come true or something.

    It’s vastly different from my reaction when Season 3 started, because I was like “Oh, the premiere aired already?” and continued with my life without even bothering to look for sneak peeks and stuff like that. During season 3 though, despite the fact that I’ve stopped watching, I still downloaded the songs and bought the albums. Back then, I didn’t want Glee to be cancelled because even though I stopped watching I still enjoyed listening to their songs.

    But now? In season 4 they’ve replaced the original cast with their wannabes (they might as well get the “mini-me”s of the cast to replace them). The songs are not all that creative anymore. They rarely recompose songs for their covers. The group numbers aren’t really that good. And a whole number of reasons that a lot of it you’ve mentioned.

    I still have trouble letting it go completely because I still remember how in-love I was with Glee. Although I have a feeling that the day where I will absolutely forget Glee and not care about it anymore may come sooner than expected.

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