BREAKING: In his first public comments since the tragic death of Cory Monteith from an overdose of heroin and alcohol, Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy tells Deadline that a quick return to work was a collective decision made by cast and crew, which decided the best way to deal with the grief of losing the show’s breakout star was to return to work and mourn together. That decision was made after consulting with Monteith’s longtime girlfriend and co-star Lea Michele, as well as Monteith’s heartbroken costars and crew.
“We will begin shooting in late August the two shows we had already written, so that people can physically go back to work,” Murphy said. “We will then do an episode that will deal with the death of Finn’s character and follow that with a long hiatus. I don’t know exactly when we will come back, and we are trying our best with this attempt at damage control. We are planning a memorial for the cast and crew sometime this week on the Paramount lot.” Murphy will write that episode with co-creators Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, but acknowledges they aren’t sure at this early stage what form it will take. They will have to have it ready when they finish the first two segments, which is a tribute to The Beatles, and the trio will write the episode using Michele as a creative barometer.
An autopsy will be conducted on the body of Glee star Cory Monteith today, as Fox execs begin discussing how to handle the return of the series on which he was a breakout star. The show’s writers, meanwhile, will consider what to do about the first two episodes in which the return of Monteith’s character was to have played an important part. Fox network had planned to open the Glee’s fifth season early — Sept. 19 – in order to get a batch of episodes broadcast before the network’s annual post-season baseball messing up of its primetime schedule. The first two episodes of the fifth season had been written before the traditional long summer hiatus, in order to get a jump on the new season; production had been scheduled to start next week. The return of Monteith’s character, hunky high school football star turned glee club darling Finn Hudson, was much anticipated by fans, Monteith having been absent from the final episodes of last season to check himself into a drug treatment facility late last March. The 31-year-old Monteith had been open about his substance abuse problems in the past, revealing two years earlier he’d first entered a rehab program in his late teens. Along with Lea Michele and Chris Colfer, Monteith had been prominently featured last season despite his character graduating from McKinley High at the end of the previous season as part of a show “reboot.’ When the announcement was made that he was temporarily leaving the show, Glee production house 20th Century Fox TV said in a statement, “Everyone at the show wishes him well and looks forward to his return.”
EXCLUSIVE: After fielding interest from multiple networks, Open, the racy new drama spec from Glee and American Horror Story co-creator Ryan Murphy, has gone to HBO, which has given it a pilot order. Casting is expected to begin shortly for filming in the fall. Open, which Murphy co-wrote with Dexter co-executive producer Lauren Gussis, is described as a modern, provocative exploration of human sexuality and relationships. It hails from Fox 21, the cable division of 20th Century Fox TV, where Murphy is under a rich overall deal. This marks the first project at HBO for 20th TV/Fox21, whose maiden project at fellow premium cable network Showtime was the Emmy-winning drama Homeland. “Gary (Newman), Bert (Salke) and I have been looking for the right opportunity to be in business with HBO for awhile, and this show represents the exact right opportunity,” said 20th TV chairman Dana Walden. “Its provocative storytelling and Ryan’s trademark production values and rich, layered characters make it a perfect fit for the HBO brand.”
Open expands HBO’s relationship with Murphy, where he is directing a passion project of his, the film adaptation of Larry Kramer’s celebrated Broadway play The Normal Heart. It is through that movie that HBO president Michael Lombardo got to know Murphy and observe his talent first-hand. Then he got the call from 20th TV and was given the Open script. “I was hooked,” Lombardo said. “I think it is a perfect marriage of an idea and execution. This is an area we’ve been talking about doing something in for some time, and Ryan did it in a way that is enormously engaging. We’re thrilled doing this project with him, Dana and Gary.”
EXCLUSIVE: In what will likely be one of the biggest cable sales of the year, Glee and American Horror Story co-creator Ryan Murphy is out shopping a racy new project. Open, which he is creating and writing with Dexter co-executive producer Lauren Gussis, is described as a modern, provocative exploration of human sexuality and relationships. The subject matter seems to lend itself to premium cable, though I hear selected basic cable networks are also being pitched. The project just hit the marketplace, and I hear there are already multiple networks bidding. Open marks Murphy’s first project with Fox 21, the cable production division of 20th Century Fox TV where Murphy is under a rich overall deal.
Jen Yamato is a Deadline contributor.
Ryan Murphy spilled details at a screening last night for the season finale of FX’s American Horror Story. “The movie that I was most freaked out by as a child was this movie that …
FX’s American Horror Story: Asylum and NBC’s The New Normal were announced today as additions to the 30th edition of The Paley Center For Media’s TV festival’s slate. The Ryan Murphy-co-created series joins previously announced honorees HBO’s The Newsroom, NBC’s Revolution and ABC’s …
“Be fair.” That’s what The New Normal creator Ryan Murphy said 20th Century Fox TV and NBC execs told him about doing an episode of the NBC sitcom from a Republican perspective. The episode, “Obama’s Mama”, airs tonight. “You have two gay clearly liberal guys at the heart of the show. We all collectively thought it would be great to do an episode where you presented Ellen’s point of view, the conservative point of view, the Republican point of view that hopefully was eloquent and was given equal time,” Murphy said today during a conference call about the show, about a gay couple having a baby through a surrogate. Ellen Barkin plays June, the conservative 58-year-old grandmother of the surrogate (played by Georgia King).
The upcoming second season/installment of FX’s horror series/miniseries American Horror Story will be titled American Horror Story: Asylum, co-creator/executive producer Ryan Murphy announced today. Set in 1964, American Horror Story: Asylum stars Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Lily Rabe, Zachary Quinto, James Cromwell, and Joseph Fiennes. Principal photography on AHS: Asylum started on July 17 for an October premiere. “We picked ‘Asylum’ because it not only describes the setting – an insane asylum run by Jessica Lange’s character which was formerly a tuberculosis ward – but also signifies a place of haven for the unloved and the unwanted,” Murphy said. “This year’s theme is about sanity and tackling real life horrors.”
New York, July 30, 2012 —Producer/writer Ryan Murphy, who reinvented the musical comedy genre with his hit series Glee, and promotes acceptance and inclusion through his globally successful television and movie work, will receive the 2012 International Emmy® Founders Award. Academy President & CEO, Bruce L. Paisner, announced today that Murphy will accept the Award –which recognizes an individual who crosses cultural boundaries to touch our common humanity– at the 40th International Emmy® Awards Gala, on Monday, November 19, 2012, in New York City. Murphy’s latest television show The New Normal, premieres this fall in the United States.
“Throughout his career, Ryan Murphy has masterfully redefined storytelling to create unprecedented atmospheres and characters that celebrate human difference, be it dark, as in Nip/Tuck, or hopeful, as in Glee,” said Paisner. “We are looking forward to recognizing his creative accomplishments, which continue the great tradition of American television as we mark the 40th Anniversary of The International Emmy Awards.”
Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
At today’s TCA panel on NBC’s new comedy The New Normal, executive producer Ryan Murphy was asked to address the fact that the series is already being boycotted by anti-gay activist group One Million Moms even though the show has not aired. The series revolves around a gay couple (portrayed by Broadway’s Book Of Mormon star Andrew Rannells and Justin Bartha) who seek to conceive a child with a surrogate mother (Georgia King). Murphy is openly gay as is co-executive producer Allison “Ali” Adler, a Glee colleague (Murphy said Rannells’ character is loosely based on himself and that he has dreams of becoming a parent with his partner). “I have obviously been through this before, I wasn’t surprised when I read (about the boycott)”, said Murphy, who also has come under fire from conservative groups over gay characters in Glee. “I think every person and group has a right to protest something, (but) I always find it interesting for someone to take that option before they’ve seen it,” he said of the group, which also has attacked JC Penney for hiring Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson.
Murphy added that there is a character in New Normal that often voices the opinions of the Million Moms group: the conservative grandmother portrayed by Ellen Barkin. “Their points of view are delivered with sensitivity and a certain amount of veracity by Ms. Barkin,” Murphy said. “If they actually watched it, I think they would like it.” Murphy called the character “loveable; everybody has people like her in their family. In all of these characters, the most controversial will be Ellen — I remember Thanksgivings growing up when my grandmother would say these jaw-dropping things.”