Ryan Murphy starts 'Glee' club

Comedy from the "Nip/Tuck" creator set up at Fox

"Nip/Tuck" creator Ryan Murphy is getting into the "American Idol" spirit with "Glee," a hourlong comedy that has been put on the fast track by Fox for a potential 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 transsexual 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, "American Idol."

"It seemed to be a natural evolution to do something in that vein," he said.

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, immediately sparked to it.

"Glee" centers on Will, a thirtysomething30-year-old Spanish teacher at an Ohio high school who has the daunting task of taking over the school's glee club -- the worst in the country -- which has become a haven for outcasts. With help from Will and others, the kids build their confidence and gradually transform into winners.

Each episode will feature four musical numbers, but they will be organic as the students will be putting on a show every week, Murphy said.

Murphy, "Nip/Tuck" producer Brad Falchuk and Brennan penned the script for "Glee," with Murphy set to direct. Murphy and Falchuk are executive producing, with Brennan serving as co-executive producer and Novick as a producer.

Over at FX, on the heels of his widely praised but controversial "Pretty/Handsome" pilot that ultimately didn't go forward, CAA-repped Murphy is looking to develop a new project to succeed "Nip/Tuck," which is set to bow out in 2011.