January 17, 2012 9:45am PT by Lesley Goldberg
It's Official: Oxygen Renews 'The Glee Project'
Oxygen has officially come to terms with Ryan Murphy and company for a second season of reality competition series The Glee Project.
A renewal was expected after Oxygen began holding casting calls in multiple cities across the country in September and advertising for the casting calls following August's season finale that crowned all four finalists winners in some regard.
Damian McGintyhas already exceeded his seven-episode arc -- he's already filmed 10 episodes of Glee as Irish exchange student Rory, while co-winner Samuel Larson (who also won a seven-episode arc) has yet to appear. Runners-up Alex Newell has yet to appear in the two-episode stint he won, while fellow-runner-up Lindsay Pearce has already come and gone with her pair of episodes.
While the winner will receive an arc on Glee, Fox has yet to formally announce a renewal for the flagship musical dramedy that is expected to see stars Lea Michele, Chris Colfer and Cory Monteith graduate from the show's McKinley High School and remain on with the series.
In announcing Monday's renewal, Oxygen noted Murphy and Dante Di Loreto will return as exec producers, alongside Michael Davies and Shauna Minoprio of Embassy Row. Also on the way back to Glee Project: Glee casting director Robert Ulrich choreographer Zach Woodlee as well as vocal coach Nikki Anders.
After a slow start opposite the Tony Awards, Glee Project averaged more than 1 million viewers during its summer run. With casting now completed, The Glee Project Season 2 will bow in the summer, with winner McGinty already in talks to return as a guest mentor on the Oxygen series.
"The Glee Project is a special show that has tapped into a desire in our culture to watch people go for and achieve their dreams," Oxygen Media president Jason Klarman said in a statement announcing the news Tuesday.