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Is 'Glee' entering its awkward phase?

December 13, 2011 |  3:24 pm

Glee feature
"Glee" may revolve around a high-school show choir, but the Fox series has officially entered its awkward middle years, shedding 23% of its audience compared with last season even after DVR viewing is factored in, according to Nielsen. That's on top of disappointing box office on their 3-D movie and decreasing sales of the "Glee" albums compared with earlier efforts.

"The show has been stretched, perhaps causing some fatigue," said Brad Adgate, an analyst at ad firm Horizon Media. "The concert tours, movie, CDs, downloads, [a] reality show on Oxygen."

Kevin Reilly, Fox's entertainment president, recently told USA Today that "Glee" had "frayed creatively" due to excessive storytelling tangents. The comment irked show creator Ryan Murphy, according to an insider who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Dana Walden, chairwoman of the 20th Century Fox Television studio, which makes "Glee," explained that the network and studio brass merely wanted a return to the basics. "What we asked Ryan to do this season, particularly at the start of the season, was to focus less on guest stars and to shine a very strong light on our core cast," she said. "It was not in reaction to anything. It was looking at the big picture of 'Glee' and looking at the potential that this show has."

There's more on the current state of "Glee" in this Los Angeles Times feature. What do you think of the show's third season? Let us know in the comments below.


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Photo: New Directions perform on "Glee." Credit: Adam Rose / Fox