For a while it seemed as though Glee would suffer a mass cast exodus as graduating seniors Rachel, Finn and Kurt headed off to pursue theater-arts studies in the Big Apple. But now Fox has announced that the series will juggle both NYC and Ohio-set story lines, with Sarah Jessica Parker and Kate Hudson signing on as New York-based mentors. (I’m hearing the New York sets will be built in Hollywood so the cast will continue working together.) With nearly everyone expected back and no summer concert tour planned during their hiatus, for the first time in years the Glee cast has a couple of free months before heading back to work. Here’s how they plan to spend the summer.
Cory Monteith (Finn): “I’m going to do an independent film toward the end of the summer. It’s going to be a lot darker than Glee and a much different character from Finn.”
Jane Lynch (Sue): “I’m going to Vermont for a month and doing jury duty in July. I’ve been pushing off my civic duty and now I have to do it. Hopefully it won’t take too long.”
Matthew Morrison (Will): “I just signed with Adam Levine’s new label. I’m one of the first artists he’s signed and will be recording my second album. It’s going to be a collection of standards, which is what I love to sing, like ‘Hey There’ and ‘It Don’t Mean a Thing.'”
Jayma Mays (Emma): “I’m shooting The Smurfs 2 through the middle of July with Neil Patrick Harris and Hank Azaria. We’re filming in Montreal and Paris. My character was expecting a baby in the first one, so now we’re going to have a little one named Blue.”
Lea Michele (Rachel): “I’m going to stay home with my family in New York for a while. I’m looking forward to seeing Ricky Martin in [Broadway’s] Evita and Andrew Garfield in Death of a Salesman. And I’m just really excited for the things coming up next year with Rachel going to college.”
Chris Colfer (Kurt): “I’ll be working on my next book and sleeping in every chance I get.” (Chris’ first novel, The Land of Stories, comes out July 17).
Darren Criss (Blaine): “A staycation. I’m going to just stay put.”
Heather Morris (Brittany): “I’m going on vacation to Mexico, as I have for the past three years. I love to swim down there.”
Naya Rivera (Santana): “Vacation plans with family and friends. Then I’ll be in the studio recording more songs for my album.”
Amber Riley (Mercedes): “I’ll be recording my album after relaxing in Jamaica!”
Kevin McHale (Artie): “Sitting my ass on a beach somewhere. And I might go visit my family in Texas.”
Dianna Agron (Quinn): “Checking off my to-do lists: my drum lessons, some pastry classes and keeping up on the trapeze! I just want to frolic around and see where the wind takes me.”
Mark Salling (Puck): “I’m going to do some more traveling and finish up the next album, which you will hear about soon. The songwriting and recording doesn’t ever stop, hiatus or not.”
Harry Shum, Jr. (Mike): “Selling lemonade in front of my mom’s house.”
Chord Overstreet (Sam): “Writing and recording music.”
Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina): “Absolutely nothing, except getting my new house together and going to Hawaii. I just want to sit in the sun, get tan and drink.”
Dot Jones (Coach Beiste): “I’m going to New York for the AIDS Walk and then a vacation.”
The cast of the Fox series now ranks as the eighth-best-selling digital artist of all time, according to SoundScan.
Four months after celebrating its 300th musical performance, Glee has scored another major milestone.With more than 32 million songs from the Fox series digitally downloaded in the U.S., the cast of Glee has become the No. 8 digital artist of all time, according to SoundScan data provided by the label, joining the likes of Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and The Black Eyed Peas, The Hollywood Reporterhas learned exclusively.
“There has never been anything like Glee,” Columbia Records soundtrack executive Glen Brunman said of the series, which is halfway through its third season. “The idea that 58 episodes of a television show can generate sales of 32 million downloads is simply staggering. We are deeply indebted to the artists and songwriters whose music inspires us all.”
In addition, the Glee cast — which includes Lea Michele, Chris Colfer, Cory Monteith, Darren Criss and Amber Riley, among others — continued to build on its record for most entries on Billboard‘s Hot 100 singles chart; with 193 and counting, it has long surpassed Elvis Presley, The Beatles and James Brown.
Added to the series’ Hot 100 record is a Riley-fronted cover of Dolly Parton/Whitney Houston‘s “I Will Always Love You,” which sold nearly 45,300 tracks after it aired mere days after Houston’s Feb. 11 death. Joining the Riley rendition are covers of “Bad” and “Smooth Criminal” from Glee‘s Michael Jackson tribute episode; both also proved to be big sellers for the series, with more than 48,700 and 161,400 downloads, respectively.
For its part, Glee has sold more than 42 million songs and more than 12 million albums worldwide. The series has scored three consecutive No. 1 releases with soundtracks Glee: The Music, Volume 3 Showstoppers; Glee: The Music, The Power of Madonna; and Glee: The Music, Journey to Regionals.
The series has two platinum albums (sales of more than 1 million) with Glee: The Music, Volume 1 and Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album, as well as three gold (500,000) albums with Glee: The Music, Volumes 2, 3 and 4, with the latter picking up a Grammy nomination for best compilation soundtrack for visual media.
The series, co-created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, celebrated its 300th musical performance — a mash-up of Adele’s “Rumor Has It”/”Someone Like You” — in October. The song topped the iTunes singles chart the morning after it aired as part of Glee‘s Nov. 15 episode.
Glee returns with its spring premiere on Tuesday, April 10 at 8 p.m. on Fox.
Which Glee kids will still be famous when the show ends?
—Corinne Huntley, via Facebook
Now, I cannot predict the fate of Miss Quinn Fabray following her smashing text-and-drive cliffhanger. But the least I can do is help you sort out her off-screen future, as well as that of her fellow cast mates.
According to my research, Dianna Agron is not currently a fave in the Most Likely to Succeed category, but I know who is:
And it’s not any of the students!
According to the Q Scores company, which measures the ever-changing recognizability and appeal of celebrities, Matthew Morrison has the highest such rating among the main cast members. That makes him the actor with the most potential, should the show ever die.
(I am not talking about the future of Jane Lynch, who was famous before Glee and will be famous after, as she is eternally fabulous. According to another company, E-Poll Market Research, Lynch has the highest awareness and appeal out of all of ’em, with an E-Score of 88 percent!)
“Matthew Morrison leads the way with a 28 Positive Q Score, meaning that 28 percent of the population familiar with him say he is ‘one of their favorite” personalities’,” says Henry Schafer, the company’s executive vice president. “He has a very slight edge over Lea Michele and Amber Riley.”
E-Poll has a second odds-on current favorite: Lea Michele. She ties Morrison in E-Poll data (though she trails on Q Scores).
She also has a splashy upcoming project, as a voice in the movie Dorothy of Oz. There’s also chatter about a Spring Awakening movie, but that’s far from a done deal. Still, future projects are always a good sign that a celeb’s fame isn’t fleeting, at least, not right away.
Morrison, Michele and Riley all have above-average Q Scores, Schafer tells me, along with two other Gleeks: Chris Colfer and Salling.
Of those two guys, Colfer’s career seems more promising. Like I said, Salling has no other outside projects in the can, while Colfer does, in a big way. Colfer wrote, produced and stars in the upcoming flick Struck by Lightning, due out this year. Enterprise is another sign of future promise: A kid who has hustle will always last longer in this biz.
As for Cory Monteith, Overstreet and Darren Criss, they all have Q Scores closer to average, Schafer tells me. Criss, of course, has a history of success on Broadway that could get him more work if Glee sunsets. He also has two small parts in upcoming films, but nothing as major as the projects attached to Michele, Morrison or Colfer.
Of all of the above cast members, there’s one whose career seems the most up in the air: Agron.
According to some polls, she has the lowest appeal among the entire Glee cast, while other data places her near the highest. Maybe she’s just the gal we love to hate…while she sings.