September 26, 2011 2:48pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'The Glee Project' Near Second-Season Renewal
Oxygen is inching closer toward officially staying in business with Glee.
The NBCUniversal-owned cable network has announced a multiple-city open casting call for a potential second season of The Glee Project, with auditions being held in cities including New York, Chicago and Nashville.
Monday’s announcement comes a month after the 10-episode reality competition series aired its finalethat saw Damian McGinty and Samuel Larsen both awarded seven-episode arcs on the Fox series and runners-up Lindsay Pearce and Alex Newell each earning two-episode stints.
While Oxygen owns the rights per their contract with Glee studio 20th Television, the network has repeatedly stated it wants to continue the series, with winners ultimately landing a role on the Fox series, for as long as the musical dramedy remains on the air.
Immediately airing the August finale, Oxygen began the casting process, with the network noting Monday that more than 87,000 fans and hopefuls have already signed up to learn more about auditioning for the series.
Executive produced by Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy, Dante Di Loreto, Michael Davies and Shauna Minoprio, Glee Project initially vetted more than 40,000 actors in an “expanded casting process” with an initial focus on singing.
Season 1 was executive produced by Murphy, alongside mentors Robert Ulrich (Glee’s casting director), choreographer Zach Woodlee and music adviser Nikki Anders.
Since premiering to dismal ratings opposite the Tony Awards on June 12, Glee Project has continued to build steam, hitting a series high with 912,000 total viewers for its eighth episode of the season. Sunday’s finale registered 1.2 million total viewers, according to Nielsen.
Glee and Glee Project casting director Ulrich, who mentored the pool of 12 final contestants with choreographer Woodlee, has described the series as a “boot camp for actors in showing the Glee fans how people prepare, rehearse and record.”
Still unclear is just what the prize for Season 2 of the reality competition series will be; Fox has not yet given the green light for a fourth season of Glee.
Candidates looking to audition must be at least 18 and be able to “convincingly” portray the role of a teenager and be legally eligible to work in the United States as well as available for production in or around January through April of next year.
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