About GleeGlee was initially the brainchild of Ian Brennan, who had intended to make a film about a bunch of misfits who come together in a high school glee club. Ryan Murphy and his producing partner Brad Falchuk had a lot of success with Nip/Tuck and other shows and the trio developed the idea into a TV show script.
A huge casting process was next for the young stars. This was a show that required singing and dancing and a musical TV show had not been successful in many years. The adult cast featured seasoned tv performers like Jane Lynch, Jayma Mays and Jessalyn Gilseg - a Ryan Murphy Nip/Tuck lucky charm! The pilot also featured the wonderful character actor Stephen Toboowsky. Leading the adult cast was Matthew Morrison, a Broadway star.
The premise of the show is that Mr Shuester (Matthew Morrison) takes over the glee club at William McKinley High School in Lima, Ohio. He recruits starlet Rachel Berry, powerhouse diva Mercedes Jones, flamboyant Kurt Hummell, nervous Tina Cohen-Chang and wheelchair-bound Artie Abrams. Adding football player Finn Hudson to the group starts the glee club rolling. Meanwhile, psychotic cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester hates Will and the glee club with a passion so sends three of her cheerios to keep and eye - Quinn, Santana and Brittany. Will's insane wife Terri fake a pregnancy, while head cheerleader Quinn Fabray really does get knocked up! The goal each year it to get to Nationals - although first we get Sectionals and Regionals - competitions to find the top glee clubs and an excuse to pull out all the stops.
Glee mixes comedy and drama, but it is the music that made the show stand out. The talented cast, led by the amazing Lea Michele, usually get through 4-6 numbers each show. The genres covered go from classic rock to the latest pop music, from Broadway tunes to rap, from Barbra to Lady Gaga. Then there are the mash-ups, a real favourite for must fans and the great arrangements. In many ways, the tone was set in the pilot episode with a fantastic arrangement of Journey's Don't Stop Believing. It remains probably the stand out moment of the series in terms of impact, working so beautifully to showcase the talent of the performers, but also the pure joy of singing.
Glee is also notable for its guest stars. Some pretty big names have appeared including Broadway legends Kristen Chenoweth and Idina Menzel, Gwyneth Paltrow, Whoopi Goldberg, Kate Hudson, Ricky Martin, Meatloaf, Olivia Newton-John, Jeff Goldblum, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Sarah Jessica Parker, Neil Patrick Harris, Josh Groban, John Stamos, Molly Shannon, Carol Burnett, Perez Hilton, Gloria Estafan and more.