After spending its past two summers on the road as part of Glee Live! In Concert!, the cast will instead receive a two-and-a-half-month hiatus, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.
“We currently have no plans of touring the cast this summer,” a spokesman for Glee studio 20th Television tells THR. Considering the series has yet to officially garner a fourth-season renewal, plans for future tours are unclear as the series takes things one year at a time.
In lieu of a full tour, Glee producers are eyeing a one-off benefit concert event that likely would take place in the fall at the Hollywood Bowl and serve as a fundraiser for its arts education charity Glee Give a Note. The goal is to raise $10 million this year. But negotiations for such an event have not begun so nothing is set in stone.
Sources say Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy was instrumental in getting the cast — which often works 16-hour days filming scenes, recording songs and in dance rehearsals for the musical dramedy — the summer off.
Last year’s tour — which stopped in arenas across the U.S., Canada, England and Ireland — was the 16th-most-successful concert of 2011, grossing more than $40 million and finishing just behind Justin Bieber. All 40 dates sold out with total attendance topping 485,000, according to Billboard.
The news comes as concert business remains strong, with Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson: Immortal tour delivering healthy returns.
Heading into last year’s sophomore season, 14 Glee cast members were under contract to participate in the 2011 world tour with rehearsals beginning almost immediately after production wrapped on the show’s 22 episodes. Following the 40-stop effort, the cast had a small window of time before kicking off production on its third season.
Glee Live began as a four-city tour following Season 1 and expanded following the quick sellouts and limited engagement.
Glee: The 3D Concert Movie, which was filmed during last summer’s tour and produced for an estimated $9 million, opened to a disappointing $5.7 million at the domestic box office in August, ranking 11th for the weekend on its way to a stateside total of $11.9 million.
In its three years, Glee — and its growing cast — has supported a plethora of charities, most recently providing $1 million in donations to support music education through its Glee Give A Note campaign, which saw schools in Ohio, New York and Alabama each receive $50,000 in grand prize cash.
Created by Fox, Murphy and the National Association of Music Education, the Give A Note campaign uses funds raised through the show’s DVD and Blu-ray sales to support struggling arts education programs across the country and, through its Web site, encourages fans of the series to do the same.
The news of the scrapped tour comes at a busy time for Murphy, who in addition to Glee is readying the second season of FX’s horror anthology American Horror Story in addition to prepping a comedy pilot, The New Normal, for NBC, in addition to executive producing Oxygen’s The Glee Project.
by Lesley Goldberg