'The Glee Project': Season 2 'Talks Have Begun'

The Glee Project (Oxygen)

What it’s about: Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy, along with casting director Robert Ulrich, choreographer Zach Woodlee and mentor Nikki Anders put 12 contestants through challenges -- and homework assignments -- as they bid to win a seven-episode arc on Season 3 of the Fox musical dramedy. Look for Glee stars like Darren Criss to pop in and offer their guidance as well.

Premiere date: Sunday, June 12 at 9 p.m.

While Oxygen’s The Glee Project has not officially been picked up for a second season, executive producer Michael Davies is confident the reality competition series will return.

“Talks have begun,” Davies said Tuesday during the series’ stop at the summer Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills. “A lot of the planning is starting to happen, how we’re going to do the casting process, which is the biggest thing.”

Davies pointed out the Glee Project’s ratings growth since its weak June premiere opposite the Tony Awards and its strong online fan base as a big part of why it’s likely to  get the second season pickup.

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“We’re up more than 100 percent in most of the key demos from when we launched to where we are now,” he said, noting that Oxygen.com this week broke its single-day ratings record with more than 100,000 uniques heading directly for The Glee Project’s part of the site.

“I feel incredibly confident that we’re coming back,” Davies said of the series whose winner will receive a seven-episode arc on Fox’s Glee. “This is certainly in my plans for next year.”

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Choreographer Zach Woodlee, who mentors the contestants on the weekly series alongside casting director Robert Ulrich, told The Hollywood Reporter that wouldn’t change a thing should the series be renewed, including adding an audience participation element similar to other reality-competition shows like American Idol.

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“The point of the show, it’s not a popularity contest,” Woodlee said. “It really is someone that they can write a character for. That’s not something that Glee is really about. A lot of new characters who come on either get negative response or positive response and it’s just a part of the show. I don’t think that making it a popularity contest with America would be the right choice.”

Ulrich agreed and noted the Glee Project’s similarity to how Glee’s casting process works.

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“I selfishly like it this way because it’s more like the way show business is,” Ulrich noted. “This is about ending up casting somebody on a television series. This isn’t just winning a prize. Ultimately, what really matters is what Ryan [Murphy] thinks. It’s not your typical thing. I can’t imagine it ever going with a live audience thing.”

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit

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