Upfronts: 'Glee's' Sue Sylvester suits up for Fox
And now, let's welcome the head of the Fox network .... Sue Sylvester!
If there was any remaining doubt that Fox is banking its future on the villainous coach Sylvester (Jane Lynch) and her compatriots on the musical comedy "Glee," that was dispelled at the network's upfront presentation in New York Monday afternoon.
The network trotted out its stars onstage at the New Beacon Theater, with the "Glee" cast given prominent place. A gushy taped piece documented the show's influence on pop culture. And then Lynch herself, dressed in her character's signature striped track suit, offered a sarcastic intro to chief programmer Kevin Reilly, whom she called a "lost Kennedy brother."
"How many times does he bleach his teeth a week?" Lynch asked the crowd as a photo of Reilly's beaming mug was displayed onscreen.
Reilly, referring to the "Glee" special targeted to follow the Super Bowl on Feb. 6, said that "all audibles will be called in B-flat" -- a joke that drew pained chuckles from attendees.
Reilly couldn't be blamed for pointing to "Glee" as Fox's future. "American Idol," which is largely responsible for keeping Fox No. 1 among young adults for six straight seasons, has been eroding this year -- even if, as Reilly somewhat defensively noted, it's still the top show on TV.
Otherwise, Fox offered up solid sales pitches for new series, including "Lonestar," a drama about a good-looking oil swindler, and "Good Guys," a goofy cop comedy, which premieres Wednesday.
And then -- OK, you knew this was coming -- the cast of "Glee" came out to sing Madonna's "Like a Prayer," complete with gospel choir.
-- Scott Collins
Photo: "Glee's" Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch). Credit: Michael Yarish / Fox