April 7th, 2010
04:29 PM ET

'Gleemania' takes over 'Oprah'

GleeGleemania is everywhere as fans eagerly await "Glee’s" return to Fox on April 13, and “The Oprah Winfrey Show” is no exception.

The cast of Fox’s freshman phenomenon paid a visit to Winfrey’s Chicago studio Wednesday, and it was hard to tell who was more excited: the "Glee" actors because they were on "Oprah," or Winfrey because she got to hang out with everyone's favorite glee club.

To hear Amber Riley (who plays Mercedes on the show) tell it, Winfrey got ahold of the group just in time. "We were planning a trip to Cabo [San Lucas], but we found out we were going on the 'Oprah' show," Riley said. And for this cast - all of whom are friends off set as well - " 'Oprah' trumps Cabo," she added.

The past year has been "a wild ride for all of us," said Matthew Morrison, who plays Will Schuester, the glee club's director. No one expected the show to become must-see TV, taking the cast everywhere from the red carpet at the Golden Globes to the White House for an Easter Egg Roll. For Morrison, the appeal is all in the songs.

"Music is the language that everyone in the world speaks," he told Winfrey. "It’s universal."

And it’s one of the few shows that holds a bright note throughout its script, said “Glee” co-creator Ryan Murphy.

“I wanted to do something optimistic,” he told Winfrey. "I thought there wasn’t anything on television that’s upbeat and had a happy ending every week. I was as surprised as anyone that it got picked up.”

The "Glee" actors work 16-hour days to make it all happen, often hitting the dance studio at 7am before heading to a recording booth (the cast records all of their own music), and then finally taping their song and dance numbers at a high school. It can be grueling, Morrison said, but it’s without a doubt a fun gig, and has even been therapeutic for Chris Colfer, who plays Kurt Hummel on the show.

“When I was in high school I was daily reminded of my imperfections by students and sometimes by teachers,” Colfer told Winfrey. As a teen, Colfer was picked on daily,although he added that most of it was self-inflicted because he was “very intense.” Nevertheless, to now “be part of a project that celebrates your differences and makes your disadvantages your advantages is very therapeutic.”

Lea Michele, who plays the ever-so-focused Rachel Berry on the series, said the show has reminded her of the trials of being a teenager as well. “I’ve been performing since I was 8 on Broadway, and I was very much like Rachel when I was younger; she knows who she is and she’s proud of that,” she said.

But as a result, at school she “was looked at as the musical theater girl,” Michele said. “It was odd to them and they didn’t understand it. It was cool if you played sports. That’s why I love our show, because it’s like, you can be cool too.”

When it came to casting, co-creator Ryan Murphy told Winfrey that finding unknowns like Cory Monteith – who, before landing the role of Finn Hudson, sang only in secret – gives the series it's particular 'glee'-ful spirit.

“The show is about celebrating the difference in you,” Murphy said. “At that age, you think the difference in you is the worst thing, and as you get older you realize it’s the best thing.”

“Glee” moves to Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. on Fox next week with a few surprises in store, like a forthcoming episode with Neil Patrick Harris. On 'Oprah,' viewers got a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the episode, where Harris will play Bryan Ryan.

"He's kind of a villain," Harris explained, "so don't hate me when you watch the show."

Filed under: Glee • Oprah Winfrey • television

soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Caty Leigh

    I love the whole cast but Cory Monteith is so adorable as "rythmically challenged" Finn

    April 9, 2010 at 4:50 am | Report abuse |
  2. Krystelle Lorraine

    Please vote for me. 6 months ago I contracted a virus that paralyzed my vocal cords. I was told that I would probably never sing again.

    BUT I AM HERE AND I AM SINGING!! So please help me make my dreams come true.



    April 9, 2010 at 2:06 am | Report abuse |
  3. Rachel

    I appreciate that they showcased a real show choir, but it would have felt more authentic to the spirit of the show if they had showcased a different choir. From what I saw, the choir was extremely cookie-cutter, not very diverse, and obviously had the money to buy those ridiculous costumes. Why not showcase a group that better embodies the ideas of diversity and overcoming adversity instead of some skinny white choir from California?

    Also, Fox execs are idiots, moving "Glee" to Tuesday night opposite of "Lost." Seriously, what are you thinking?

    April 8, 2010 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Eric

    @Jaki: It's also on Fox, after American Idol...no choice involved.

    @Watson: Yeah, Hollywood's dumb, because your average glee club would never have a single gay person in it, would it? LOL

    April 8, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. bookworm

    Glee is just plain fun! I'm excited that it's back on.

    April 8, 2010 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Watson

    IT's too bad they have a gay character on the show. Why does the 1 percent of the population crowd get so much coverage? Dumb Liberal Hollywood.

    April 8, 2010 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sunshine

    Glee is making it okay for guys to sing and to try out the arts (i.e., dancing and theatre). Thank you for that!

    April 8, 2010 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jared

    Love the show! Love the production that the Glee club from California did on Madonna's "Vogue". I wish we had Glee in high school when I was growing up.

    April 8, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Travis

    They should cancle glee and keep 24!!! LONG LIVE Jack Bauer

    April 8, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jess


    I missed Oprah yesterday because of DVR problems. I was able to watch it this morning on you tube. I think it was in 5 parts.

    April 8, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. MilwWI

    Love the show! I'm not a huge fan of Oprah's but yesterday's show was great. The Glee cast and the singers from California!

    April 8, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Obandon

    This show is a "Feel Good" show for a change. It's got great music, a good theme, and is not about killing, or crime or anything depressing. I am glad to see something different and positive on TV for a change. I have even downloaded some of their songs from iTunes for my iPod Touch.

    April 8, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Eve Lynne

    Great show! I never watch Oprah (kinda can't stand her), but I DVRd it for the Glee cast. They are amazing and talented. So glad this show took off.

    April 8, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jaki

    I love Glee but I think it was a poor choice to move it to Tuesday considering it is a musical show and a lot of the same viewers watch American Idol.

    April 8, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Happy Gleek

    Awesome show! I'm more than happy to be an official Gleek.....

    April 8, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Daniel

    I like the show because "losers" don't have to lose. They gain in many aspects. Cheers to Mr Murphy!

    April 8, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Alexander Lawrence

    Everyone was talking about this show, which naturally made me apprehensive. I am not one to watch what everyone seems to be watching, mostly because people convince themselves that something is worthwhile. Glee is an exception. For once the crowd is right.

    Glee just makes you feel good. There are so many television shows that stick to a certain formula, you feel entertained but you don't really take anything with you, and Glee reverberates for hours and days after you watch.

    April 8, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Cowgirlamy

    I heard the Madonna episode coming up is incredible. The buzz from those who have seen it have said it will knock your socks off and will earn the show an Emmy. Glee is the only show Madonna has allowed to use her songs. Dancing with the Stars and American Idol have been denied usage of her music except one or two instances. And from what I hear, they did her proud.

    April 8, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Greg

    I saw one of the advance-screenings for next week's premier and have to say that this season ROCKS! Great music, hilarious one-liners, and Sue (Jane Lynch) and the 'cheerios' are the best parts of the cast. Can't wait for more of this season!!

    April 8, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Cheri in NM

    Oh, I can't wait until Tuesday. I'm going to hide in my room... With my daughter... and we are going to enjoy our favorite show on TV. I THINK THIS CALLS FOR POPCORN AND COKE!

    April 8, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Michelle Turner

    My son's "Rupert" tape stopped the recording and his sister now is mad and sad, and he is in trouble. Is there anywhere for her to see the Oprah show with the Glee cast?

    April 8, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Beth

    I always look forward to watching Glee!! It's really a fun show and I love the music!

    April 8, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Maryann Rose - Orlando FL

    Well, now Tuesday will be the only night I watch TV – DWTS Results, Lost and Glee.

    DVR getting a workout.

    Sadly, the rest of the week has nothing of interest to me, with the exception of Modern Family.

    April 8, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  24. tekla brulc

    this is a show that has everything, drama, humor,etc

    April 8, 2010 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  25. Gleekheart

    I absolutely adore this show. Matthew Morrison is completely amazing!

    April 8, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  26. john from Orange County Ca

    I'm a big "Glee fan....but why do all the gay characters on TV and usually in film, all have to be neurotic, affected, and think they are a woman? Why can't the football jock be the gay character once in awhile.....you know they exist....at least I do.......or is it too threatening for the religious extremists....doesn't anyone ask Why? Gays seem to be inserted into TV scripts for shock value for the ratings...I guess it's a good "sell out" if you're in it for the money....I think I've answered my own question......

    April 8, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  27. obamagirl38

    Snore ..........................

    April 8, 2010 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  28. Christina

    "GLEE" is the best show on television!!! I am ADDICTED and I'm not ashamed,LOL!!!!

    April 8, 2010 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  29. Jan

    Moving to Tuesdays opposite Lost? Guess I'll be watching on line if at all this season. Worst time slot pick.

    April 8, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  30. Carla

    My daughter and I are absolutely obsessed with Glee. We also watched Oprah together yesterday, and she had the biggest smile in the world on her face during the whole show. We can't wait for Tuesday night. We even got my husband to watch and now he is hooked, though he won't completely admit it.

    April 8, 2010 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  31. RaeRae

    I found the best Glee-caps of the first part of the season!

    Bring on April 13th!!!!!

    April 8, 2010 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
  32. kate

    Best show on TV. I watch it every week.....FUN has returned to television. THANK GOD!

    April 8, 2010 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
  33. Team Puck

    After watching Oprah, you should check out this Q&A session about GLEE to get the latest scoop about the series!

    April 7, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Str8 Outta Tx

    what is this show even about?

    April 7, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |

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