Lots of changes are in store for Glee next season — and not just the move to Thursdays.
Season 4 of the Fox hit will adopt a show-within-a-show format, following Rachel & Co. to New York after they graduate high school this season, Fox Entertainment President Kevin Riley said Monday on a conference call with reporters about the network's fall schedule.
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"I think Glee's poised for a real creative renaissance this year," Reilly said. "We're gonna have a show-within-a-show following some of the characters to New York, to the school of performing arts. [There'll be] a couple of fresh faces in Ohio for the kids. I'm very excited about the quality of talent that's looking to join the show. ... Glee is really positioned this year for a very strong year."
Pairing Glee, which will feature Kate Hudson and Sarah Jessica Parker as guest stars next year, with The X Factor in the fall and American Idol in the spring on Thursdays is a "win-win," Reilly said, because the shows are compatible and Glee had originally launched out of Idol back in 2009.
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But both singing-competition shows will undergo "tweaking" before their respective seasons begin. Though Idol will still finish the season as the No. 1 show, Reilly acknowledged that the ratings drop-off this year was bigger than Fox had anticipated and said the show will get "some creative invigoration" before Season 12 premieres in January.
The X Factor, of course, is overhauling its host and judging panel. While Reilly could not yet confirm if Demi Lovato and Britney Spears are the new judges, he believes that the new additions will enliven the show as it prepares to face off against The Voice this fall.
"We think this showdown that's gonna happen with The Voice is only gonna put more attention on the show, more excitement," he said. "With some of the changes we're gonna make to it ... and the new judges that we're hoping we can announce today, I think it's gonna turn an enormous amount of attention and the show's gonna be very exciting."
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As for Fox's other big moves, Reilly said that the network wants to "reclaim Friday" with the Touch-Fringe pairing and that its new Tuesday comedy block, featuring the buzz-y The Mindy Project from Mindy Kaling — whom he calls "the real deal" — is "something we wanted to do for a long time." Though the Tuesday lineup will be pre-empted for one presidential debate and the election, the schedule will be less "choppy" this year than it was last year when baseball frequently interrupted Tuesday shows.
And Fox's other hotly anticipated show The Following? "We think it's our next 24," Reilly said.
The Kevin Bacon-led ("the casting coup of the year") mystery thriller already has 24's old weekday home (Mondays) and will air for 15 weeks straight when it premieres midseason. Reilly said the network is looking to experiment with shorter episode orders in the future so shows could air continuously. Future seasons of The Following would also be 15 episodes long.
"[But] anything's possible," Reilly said.
Are you excited for Glee's new format? Can The X Factor take down The Voice?
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