Gleeful E4

E4 today announced it has secured the UK broadcast rights to Glee, the hit new musical comedy series from Nip/Tuck creator Ryan Murphy. The series, 22 hour-long episodes, follows an optimistic high school teacher as he attempts to inspire a group of oddball teenagers to realise their true star potential and restore the school’s ‘Glee Club’ to its former glory.

Featuring a captivating soundtrack of hit songs from the past and present, Glee is already proving to be this autumn’s most talked about TV show in the US, while UK audiences will see it first on E4 in early 2010.

The E4 deal was brokered by Gill Hay, Channel 4’s Head of Acquisitions and Stephen Cornish, SVP & MD of Sales from Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution.

Gill Hay said: “The buzz around Glee has been almost as big as its musical numbers. This huge, glossy, all singing, all dancing musical comedy drama series does precisely what it says on the tin. It’s the first of its kind on E4 and we are sure the E4 audience will be thoroughly entertained by its fun show-stopping exuberance when it arrives on the channel next year.”

Glee begins when teacher Will offers to take on the Herculean task of transforming the school’s lack lustre ‘Glee club’ into a world-class vocal ensemble, with the help of fellow teacher Emma. And with any luck, he may even get his group of misfit performers into the biggest school singing competition of them all: Nationals. But it’s going to be a long road back to the top since the ‘brightest stars’ of the pitch-imperfect club include; Kurt, a nerdy soprano with a flair for the dramatic; Mercedes, a dynamic diva-in-training who refuses to sing back up; Arty, a geeky guitarist who attracts more bullies than girls; and Tina, who just needs to suppress her stutter before she takes centre stage.

Will’s only hope lies with the two true talents: Rachel, a perfectionist wannabe who is convinced this is her ticket to stardom; and Finn, the popular high school quarterback who’s more interested in protecting his cool reputation than showing off his Motown voice.

Steve Cornish, MD of Sales from Twentieth Century Fox, said “Glee is a fun and unique musical comedy that we think is a perfect fit for E4. We have high expectations for this show and are delighted to be working with E4 on the UK launch”

Glee cast includes, Matthew Morrison as Will. Matthew had a successful spell in the Broadway version of Hairspray. Jayma Mays from Ugly Betty plays Emma. Arty is played by True Blood’s Kevin McHale and Tina is portrayed by Jenna Ushkowitz, Spring Awakening.