FIRST LOOK: Glee's Biggest, Craziest, Most Expensive Show Ever
Back in L.A. now, the cast gets a reprieve from filming the penultimate finale episode for an evening with Emmy voters (and their Gleek children) at the Paramount lot. After members of the crew field questions about costumes and dance scenes, 18 castmates and producers take the stage before an audience of 500. Between spoilers and explanation, the cast gets a dose of the show's impact as camera phones flash and rabid pigtailed fans fawn. Absent are Jayma Mays and Rivera, who are prepping for a hallway scene from the show's finale. With 20 minutes left in the panel, Morris and Morrison slip out to join them, followed minutes later by Falchuk, now with his director hat on. They miss a middle-aged man raising his hand to tell the room how thrilled he has been to see his 10-year-old daughter's nontraditional upbringing, being raised by two dads, reflected on screen.
At 10 minutes to 8, the moderator gets the "wrap it up" sign from the show's publicist and thanks the audience for coming. As if on cue, fans of all ages flood the stage, crowding around Michele, Criss, Agron, Overstreet, Colfer and the school's new football coach, Dot Marie Jones."I'm literally shaking," says one grinning teen, clutching autographed pictures of Agron and Michele on her way out the door. Ten minutes later, Michele is still posing for pictures and signing autographs, while a security guard attempts to tell an unresponsive gaggle around her that the actress has to get back to work. She is supposed to be on set with her cast, but insists that the little girl with two fathers wait for her outside the auditorium. Once there, Michele wraps her delicate arms around the girl and asks her about the experience. "How do you feel in school? What did you tell them?" she asks, visibly touched by her character's impact. "You're cool now; you're like Rachel Berry," she says to the nodding fan, adding, "I'm so proud of you."