Murphy starts 'Glee' club

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"Nip/Tuck" creator Ryan Murphy is getting into the "American Idol" spirit with "Glee," a hourlong comedy put on the fast track at Fox for a March launch.

The project, set in the cutthroat world of high school glee clubs, was greenlighted to pilot immediately after the network received the script this week and ordered four additional scripts.

The 20th TV-produced "Glee," now casting, is expected to be viewed at Fox's recently unveiled December pilot screenings.

Following the racy "Nip/Tuck" and the transgender pilot "Pretty/Handsome" for FX, Murphy was looking to exercise different creative muscles with a wholesome comedy that the entire family can watch.

"It is a very optimistic, uplifting show for a very dark time," he said of "Glee."

Under his deal with 20th TV, Fox and FX, Murphy was exploring series ideas for Fox that tie to the network's biggest hit, "Idol."

Through producer Mike Novick, Murphy was approached by actor Ian Brennan, who pitched him an idea for a show set in the world of glee clubs. Murphy, who himself had starred in high school and college musicals, sparked to it.

"Glee" centers on Will, a thirtysomething Spanish teacher at an Ohio high school who has the daunting task of taking over the school's glee club, which has become a haven for outcasts. With help from Will and others, the kids build their confidence and transform into winners. Each episode will feature four musical numbers.

Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Brennan penned the "Glee" script, and Murphy directs. (partialdiff)
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