'Glee' Celebrates Its 300th Musical Performance
THR attended the milestone event where 20th Century Fox Television chairman Dana Walden hailed the series as "truly a phenomenon."
When Glee's Amber Riley, Naya Rivera and Heather Morris, among others, perform Adele's "Rumor Has It"/"Someone Like You" during the show's Nov. 15 episode, it will mark the latest milestone in a somewhat brief yet storied history for the Fox hit.
The song will mark the show's 300th musical performance, a feat that 20th Century Fox Television chairman Dana Walden, Columbia Records topper Rob Stringer as well as the cast and crew celebrated Wednesday on the show's Hollywood set.
"This milestone is almost overshadowed by the fact that Glee has now sold more than 35 million downloads and has more Billboard-topping hits than James Brown, Elvis Presley and the Beatles -- basically more than any musical act in history," Walden said Wednesday in front of cast, crew and reporters following filming of the mash-up. "[With] more than 11 million albums sold worldwide, [Glee] is truly a phenomenon when you consider that this group has done all of that."
Walden thanked the "hardest-working cast" in television and singled out Glee executive producers Ian Brennan, Brad Falchuk, Ryan Murphy and Dante DiLoreto as well as the cast and music producer Adam Anders and choreographer Zach Woodlee while noting that the musical dramedy fits perfectly with the Fox brand.
"My company is really known for creating brands: The Simpsons, Glee, Modern Family, Family Guy -- shows that speak to a core group of people and touch them in an emotional and personal way where our shows become part of their lives and culture," she said. "There is no show that I've ever worked on that has done that more than Glee."
Stringer noted Columbia Records' strong desire to be part of the show, recalling the first time the company heard the music and screened a clip from the pilot. "We begged to be involved and that was a good decision because here we are, 35 million downloads later, 12 albums later," he said.
Ahead of presenting a large framed 300 print featuring the names of all 300 songs -- appearing chronologically -- to the cast and creative team, Stringer teased the cast that had they been presented with discs every time they'd reached a milestone, they'd be able to build a house out of it and have enough wood and metal to build an entire gated city.
As for the 300th performance itself -- Stringer noted the happy coincidence that Adele happens to also be a Columbia talent -- the mash-up stemmed from an email that Riley received.
"Someone emailed me a video of Adele saying she wanted me to sing her song, so I emailed it to Ryan and Brad and I think that's how we got 'Rumor Has It'/'Someone Like You,' " she recalled.
Joked Murphy: "Amber's been on that kick for literally eight months."
As for Adele's thoughts on being part of the Glee milestone, Stringer noted she's a fan of the show and heard the mix Monday. "She approved it personally," he noted.
Glee's 300th musical performance will be part of the show's Nov. 15 episode.