Some “Glee” fans are bummed that the final season will only be 13 episodes, but the change could be what the show needs. Fox Networks Group Chairman-CEO Peter Rice recently commented on the choice.
“I think 'Glee' is one of the great shows in television history, and it was so hot and so big,” Rice said, according to Entertainment Weekly. “I remember being in this room, and while a lot of people assumed it was going to fail, you guys supported it. And it touched so many hearts and brought social issues to the forefront, and it burned so hot and so fast. But it’s been on for over 100 episodes now in six seasons, and we want to go out in a way that celebrates it. And we thought that finding 13 episodes and compacting it and doing it in a straight run was a better way to finish the show.”
The choice changes a lot of aspects of “Glee,” and fans might be happy about some of those changes.
Hiatuses are frequent in every season of “Glee.” Baseball takes the show off the air for a number of weeks in the fall. Then the show goes off for holidays in the winter. Spring always brought on a random hiatus in March as well. “Glee” has never been able to run more than a handful of episodes without a hiatus. The network has stated that Season 6 will run uninterrupted for 13 weeks.
The musical comedy really hasn’t been doing well in the ratings, which could be partially blamed on the frequent hiatuses. After the show’s tribute to Cory Monteith, the numbers continually slid. The Season 5 finale, usually an episode that audiences tune in for, received the lowest ratings ever for “Glee.”
A Clear Story
“Glee” has often had trouble focusing. The cast has so many characters that no one can keep track of them all, and then storylines just get dropped (where did Rachel’s mom go? Did Demi Lovato’s character just disappear?). Thirteen episodes is enough time to tell a story, but the story has to be clear and concise. Many consider the first season to be the best, and that originally had a 13-episode order. Those firt 13 episodes were critically acclaimed and made “Glee” a phenomenon. The writers could make a season like that again. Also, showrunner Ryan Murphy works very well with shorter seasons. Every season of “American Horror Story” is about this length, and fans and critics alike adore the drama. Creatively, 13 episodes could be the best thing for the musical comedy.
“Glee” will return to Fox in winter 2015. Do you think a 13-episode season will make for a better conclusion? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!