Ryan Murphy Ryan Murphy

What's the story with Brad Ellis, the silent accompanist who backs up the Glee kids week in and week out? Series co-creator and executive producer Ryan Murphy said he's only ever given Ellis one direction: "You hate those kids."

Ellis, who was the pianist during the initial Glee casting call, does have a backstory on the show, Murphy revealed to reporters at the Television Critics Association fall preview. "He goes home to those voodoo dolls," Murphy said. "When you go home and watch the show now, he's purposely glaring. We think he's a very low-paid teacher at the school."

Will he ever vent out loud? "He might say, 'I hate those kids' by Season 8," Murphy said.

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Other highlights from the session:

Adam Shankman is joining the Glee team. The feature director (Hairspray) and So You Think You Can Dance judge is a friend of Murphy's, and he's coming aboard to direct an episode that will air near the beginning of the season.

There will be a Christmas episode. Murphy's hoping that Susan Boyle will sign on to spread holiday cheer.

Rachel, Finn and the gang will write their own music. Music producer Adam Anders has already contacted several songwriters to pen new tunes that will debut on an all-originals episode.

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Sir Paul McCartney sent Murphy a fan letter. Murphy said he received a package with a hand-written note from McCartney, saying, "Hi, Ryan, I hope you would consider these songs for Glee." What made the list? His most iconic songs, including "Michelle."

New Directions may compete against real-life choirs. "I would love to compete against a real school," Murphy said, adding that there are several great all-male choirs he's heard from around the country.

In addition to Glee-inspired young adult novels, the show will also spawn Sue Sylvester's memoirs. And the book will be on sale. Murphy said he would like to write it and send Jane Lynch out, in character, on a book tour to promote it.