I’m sitting in on a conference call with FOX executives right now. Here are the key items:
- FOX HOPES to announce the two new female X Factor judges this afternoon. Demi Lovato and Britney Spears are reportedly signed.
- There WILL be some creative tweaks made on both X Factor and American Idol
- Glee will function as a “show within a show” next year, following Glee graduates Kurt, Rachel and Finn to performance arts schools in New York City, while the main story line continues to follow the high school Glee club.
- Glee poised for a creative Renaissance. Kate Hudson, Sarah Jessica Parker signed to multiple episode story arcs. (It moves to to Thursday’s at 9/c pm) Kate and Sarah will mentor Rachel (Lea Michele) and Kurt (Chris Colfer) respectively at the New York City dramatic arts school they attend.
UPDATE: Deadline is reporting that Demi signed her deal late last night. Both she and Britney Spears will be introduced this afternoon.
FOX Chief, Kevin Reilly said “our challenge for next year is to put some fresh energy in” American Idol after “we probably didn’t do enough this year” as far as changes. The show will undergo “some creative tweaking” for next season. With Idol Season 11 still in production, he would not elaborate on changes. Last year, the network didn’t feel it needed to make changes after a strong Season 10. Reilly acknowledged that the show’s ratings “dropped more than anticipated” this season as “space got crowded.” Asked whether he is satisfied with the judges’ panel’s performance, Fox entertainment president Peter Rice said they are “terrific and have great chemistry and integrity.”
Rice refused to confirm that Britney Spears and Demi Lovato will join the X Factor panel. He promises the new judging panel will be “more entertaining and exiting.”
Big guest stars for Glee next year. Remember last year’s mantra? Back to basics–no big guest stars, with an emphasis on the core cast instead? That was a promise that was broken in the second half of the season. This year, Glee is starting with guest stars right out of the gate. We’ll see if casting stunts can help the ratings.
Here’s the press release from FOX announcing Sarah Jessica Parker and Kate Hudson as guest stars for Season 4:
In her first return to television since “Sex in the City,” Emmy Award-winning actress and fashion icon Sarah Jessica Parker will guest star in the fourth season of GLEE. Additional details about her character and storyline will be released at a later date, as GLEE prepares to move this fall to a new night and time on Thursdays (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), following THE X FACTOR (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.
Wrapping up its third season at a special time Tuesday, May 22 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), GLEE GLEE is a musical comedy about a group of ambitious and talented students who dream of stardom, but struggle with the real world. And, following graduation this spring, the show’s senior class will face new challenges and triumphs next season, as they navigate life after McKinley High.
Since its debut, GLEE has established itself as a bona fide cultural phenomenon, received prestigious honors including the Golden Globe Award and the Peabody Award and singlehandedly made glee clubs cool again. The series boasts a die-hard fan base, two Grammy Award nominations, two Platinum and three Gold albums, more than 43 million songs and over 12 million albums sold worldwide, two sold-out concert tours, four Emmy Awards and three Golden Globes, including the award for Best Television Series – Comedy or Musical.
In addition to the regular cast, GLEE has featured guest appearances by a wide range of talented performers, including Carol Burnett, Kristen Chenoweth, Whoopi Goldberg, Kathy Griffin, Jonathan Groff, Ricky Martin, Idina Menzel, Olivia Newton-John, Britney Spears and John Stamos. Neil Patrick Harris and Gwyneth Paltrow both won Emmy Awards for their guest appearances on the show.