'Glee' creator Ryan Murphy on an all-Britney Spears episode: 'I'm interested'

Good news for Britney Spears and Glee fans: series creator Ryan Murphy tells EW that an all-Britney episode of the hit Fox musical, an idea floated by Spears’ manager via twitter on April 21 after Tuesday’s all-Madonna Glee, is actually being considered. Says Murphy, “I’m interested in the Britney Spears idea. I’ve always loved her. I’m entertaining it. I think young kids would like that.” Murphy also says that he’s contemplating doing similar hour tributes to Billy Joel, Led Zeppelin, and, even, Courtney Love! “I actually ran into Courtney Love the other day and talked to her,” says Murphy. “She’s interested. I would love to have the kids do a Courtney Love episode one day.” But he stresses that with all of these artists it really all comes down to the music and how it fits in the Glee universe. “The key is the songs in the catalogue have to have a certain degree of theatricality,” says Murphy.

With the “Power of Madonna” soundtrack set to debut at #1 next week and dominating the iTunes download charts, Murphy says Madonna has been more than pleased with their treatment of her tunes. “She said how much she loved the episode,” he admits.  “She thought it was brilliant and she’s so pleased. Her daughter got to watch it with her and loved it. [Madonna's] a smart cookie. I mean that introduced her music to an entire new generation.”

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter @EWMusicMix.)

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
Britney Spears (or at least her manager) wants an all-Brit episode of ‘Glee.’ Do you?
The-Dream brings love and lust to New York City
Green Day thrills Broadway crowd with surprise ‘American Idiot’ set
‘Gossip Girl’ star Taylor Momsen talks her debut single, upcoming album, and why she doesn’t like pants

Photo Credit: Carin Baer/Fox; Spears: Mark Liddell

Comments (285 total) Add your comment
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  • Stephanie

    I like the Billy Joel and Led Zep ideas, but Britney? Courtney Love? NOPE!

    • Sina

      Prince Prince!! I want to hear Jesse St. James sing Beautiful Ones.

      • Monty

        I haven’t missed an ep of this show, but if they even have ONE Hole song I will skip the entire episode…

      • Stephanie

        OMG Yes!!! A Prince ep would be amazing.

    • Michael

      YES! I think an all-Britney episode is perfect! You people may not be a fan of hers, but you can’t deny the fact that she’s sold over 85 million albums and had a slew of #1 singles that, let’s face it, the Glee cast could really rock! I think it would make an awesome episode, no matter if people are fans of Britney herself or not. Her music is timeless pop (not timeless in the same way as The Beatles or Led Zeppelin), but in terms of pop music; you throw on “Baby One More Time” or “Toxic” at a party, and trust me… no one won’t be dancing. I can’t WAIT for an all-Britney episode!

      • Cas

        I would not be dancing. I would be cringing and/or leaving

      • Jake

        I think the music would fit in perfect with Glee. As he said, the theatricality of it, and Britney’s music certainly has that.

      • talkingtv

        I think it would be great so long as they didn’t write the characters to go with the songs – they chose the songs to go with the stories. This was what I felt was the biggest problem with the (largely brilliant) madonna episode. See my full explanation here: http://talkingtv.wordpress.com/

      • ****

        Bye Cas, everyone else who’s familiar with the concept of irony and appreciates American pop culture will hang around, waiting for what could arguably be one of the funniest, most entertaining shows Glee has ever delivered.

        And after all, the Glee universe is definitely more “Britney Spears” (silly, ditzy, poppy, surreal) than it is “Madonna” (cold, hypersexed, shrewed, calculating), especially when you factor in some of Ryan Murphy’s past work (POPular!).

      • Mark

        Cas- is it bc your daddy raped you to Britney’s music?

    • Rashad

      They should do a Michael Jackson episode too

      • Michael

        I TOTALLY agree! They should DEFINITELY do a Michael Jackson episode. I can just see “Billie Jean” now…

      • Mary

        YES!!!!! I think that is a much better idea than a Britney Spears episode!!!! Here’s some ideas of who could do what:

        Glee Cast: “I’ll Be There” and “Thriller”
        Rachel: “Human Nature”
        Finn: “Man in the Mirror” or “Billie Jean”
        Will: “The Way You Make Me Feel” or “Beat It”
        Puck: PYI (Pretty Young Thing)
        Kurt/Mercedes: “Black or White”
        Tina/Artie: “You Are Not Alone” – I want them to do a duet!
        Sue: “Smooth Criminal”

      • Lara

        @Mary: Sue singing Smooth Criminal! Hahaha. I’d love to see that.

      • datruth82

        @Mary: You are a genius. Forget Britney’s manager’s Twitter account. Glee producers, look at Mary’s post here!

    • Lauren

      NOOOOOOOOOOOO! NO BRITNEY!!!!

      • Miss Talk

        Ditto.
        The show is about gleeks, underdogs and Broadway stars. I loved the Madonna episode but an all-Britney episode? HELL TO THE NAH! GLEE is not a new kind of hall of fame. Britney should stick to her “singing”.

    • Nirveeze

      I can absolutely see Lea singing Baby One More Time

      Other songs I’d see for this episode are Oops I did it again, Toxic, I’m a Slave For You, Stronger, Circus, and Womanizer.

      • sarahbeth

        I would love Rachel to sing Everytime!

      • Jane

        Watch. They’ll do another sex themed song and she’ll sing “Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman.”

  • Jason

    No, No, No! Britney isn’t Madonna and never will be. Her songs wont stand the test of time, she didn’t write them and she can’t even sing live. What has Britney done to change and empower people for the better? All Glee Madonna yes, Billy Joel and Zeppelin yes….Britney Spears a resounding NO.

    • acr65

      Oh Dear for the LOVE OF GOD Please NO BRITNEY!! Let see if she’s still relevant in 20 years.. like Madge!

      • William

        Not a britney fan, but she managed to do 10 years. I don’t doubt that she can do 20. She probably will, in fact. Becoming a cultural icon as a popstar apparently has nothing to do with musical ability.

      • jericho

        She didn’t manage to do 10 years. She managed about 4 from the time she was 16 til she hit 20 and her life imploded. She was always the “pretty face” amongst the teen diva onslaught of the late 90s. She managed to make herself a star by banking on herself as jailbait in a catholic school uniform. She got noticed and she was nothing more than a sexual object until she broke down.

        The same could not be said about Madonna. Who while started off as a sex object, she turned herself into a brand name and left the sex appeal to smolder in the background and her music to the foreground.

    • corey

      your statement made regarding britney spears not having songwriting credits is inaccurate. She has written several songs including starting with Dear Diary from Oops and several more on subsuquent releases.

    • Ty

      I love Madonna but seriously she isn’t a great singer nor has written every song she’s sung, so that’s a lame argument. She’s been churning out the hits for 10 years now, so again another lame argument. I think an all Britney episode would be really fun and obviously put a new fun spin on her songs. I have enough love to go around for madonna, britney, gaga, and whatever one hit wonder comes next. I love pop music!!!

      • Hal

        Madonna has written or co-written and co-produced most of her music since 1985, and is a live singer, not a lip-syncer.

    • Mark

      Britney wasn’t just “one of the pretty faced bubblegum stars” she was the original and set the trend for the others to follow. Britney is still relevant and where are the other girls now?

  • trio x

    Why? Go with someone who’s relevant.. not a washed up, untalented, can’t even sing live, less then mediocre ho’

    • Jase

      Considering her last single debuted at #1, and she had one of the biggest grossing tours of last year, i think its safe to she’s relevant, and certainly not washed dup.

    • Allison M

      This has a lot less to do with Britney than Britney’s music – which is definitely catchy. I think the more talented singers could do a lot with it.

      • Classy!

        “More talented” singers have many of the same producers, and they are STILL not DEBUTING at no.1 on the Billboard 100. Britney has something to do with it.

  • Anne

    I’d rather have an all Sondheim episode.

    • Lemon

      I think it’s the only way the show can express the characters’ melancholia.

    • Bobby’s Robot

      Hear Hear!!!

      • K

        Agreed =)

    • acr65

      Now THAT would be amazing!!

    • Beth

      Ditto!

  • springs

    I think these “artist themed episodes” are a bad idea. The music was okay this week, but the story was so rushed. They cut out a lot of development so they could include more Madonna. I don’t know how much of that I can handle.

    • ChrisC

      I disagree but they definitely shouldn’t over do it. I think the Madonna episode was one of the best yet.

    • K

      I kind of agree. I loved the Madonna episode but if they did this all the time it would get annoying and would feel contrived…almost like product placement. It could work depending on the situation (and I would love an all Sprinsteen or an all broadway songs episode) but it needs to make sense and feel natural to the show.

      • graeme

        It’s gonna be so enjoyable to watch this show fall so fast so quickly. I’m betting this show has a “Heroes”-like fall, and multiple artists-themed episodes will only speed up the process.
        Cool covers can only support a show for so long. The writing is such crap on this show and its going to catch up with them eventually.

      • Amie

        @graeme – I can see it having a run like “Heroes”. Starting off super popular and then making a few casting/storyline mistakes and becoming a disaster. Themed episodes would make the fall come faster.
        And although the storyline is a little silly, the writing overall is pretty clever. So I have to disagree with you there. I would not enjoy watching this awesome show fail as much as you would but I do see that it could.

    • CH

      Agreed. This is a slippery slope.

    • Jeanne

      I agree. Don’t get too caught up in doing an all-artist episode everytime. The Madonna one was funny but not one of my faves.

    • Lelolai

      Until they start making less money on iTunes, then they won’t stop changing the show. Soon they will stop writing any stories and turn it in to the Glee Variety Hour. Many big musical numbers, guest stars and some comedy sketches in between. This is horrible. They should not do shows centering around a single artist. GET BACK TO A SHOW ABOUT HIGH SCHOOL KIDS THAT STRUGGLE BECAUSE THEY DON’T FIT IN AND BELONG TO A GLEE CLUB. Stop being so damned greedy. If you made a great show you’d still sell a lot of music.

  • ChrisC

    Awesome idea! I could already imagine the Glee cast performing songs like “Baby, One more Time”, “Gimme More” and “Womanizer”. It’s an exciting proposition.

    • hen

      “womanizer” definitely but i would rather have a 90s pop theme episode. incorporate the backstreet boys, n’sync, christina aquileria and britnay! that way the songs might have a greater chance of having more to do with, oh i dont know,a plot rather than just throwing songs in. I think they could do an all britney episode but the quality of the show will suffer. And as much as I like getting the Led out, those kids should stay far away from those songs. i just dont see genius of LZ translating to choir…

      • ChrisC

        A 90’s pop theme episode is actually a much better idea. Hopefully someone from the show reads and considers that possibility.

      • tex

        This was my idea when I heard about Brit. 90s pop is waaaaaaay better.

      • Amie

        @hopefully someone from the show reads this and realizes that half the people are saying NO.

  • Cody

    NO!

  • Lemon

    *grumble* Can we pass on the all-Britney idea, please, Ryan Murphy?

  • Kira

    NO NO NO!

    cover songs from people who can actually SING rather then just strut around dancing half naked while lip syncing.

    I will BOYCOTT a spears episode…

    • mary

      that is a child response! lol britney can and has sung live. watch the on youtube on oprah’s show. continue to move forward britney!

    • stuart

      AS IF YOU WERE SOMEONE RELEVANT! GO CLEAN YOURSELF! YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN!

  • Lisa

    I hope Ryan Murphy reads these and sees the majority of EW readers who are Glee fans will not be happy with a Britney ep. I, for one, won’t watch. I won’t watch a Courtney Love episode either. Sorry.

    • Miss Talk

      I totally agree.
      The Madonna episode was definitely one of a kind. And now Britney, J-lo, Justin Timberlake want to jump on the bandwagon. Aren’t they too old to copy on Madge??? Jeez!
      I am so in love with Glee since the early beginning but are we already jumping the shark, Mr Murphy? Before our Emmy? *sigh*

      • Amie

        AGREED!!

  • Margie

    My 15-year-old daughter not only bought the songs on i-tunes but also bought the sheet music online and has been playing them on the piano. The downloadable sheet-music industry says the Glee has reinvorated their sales.

  • Sara

    NOOOOO!! Let’s just let anybody who wants to be included be in the club — Jennifer Lopez, Britney, who’s next, the freaking Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus!?
    I do like some of Britney’s songs but it goes against everything was Glee IS… singing live for one.
    What about an all-boy band episode? I would love to hear more of the boy’s voices featured. They’d sound great on some NSync tunes. :)

    • Bob

      Um, the songs the Glee kids sing in the show, are, in fact, lip-synced to prerecorded vocals. Also it would be interesting to see what these vocalists could do with some of Britney’s hits.

      • Chappel

        It’s kind of sad that some people can’t tell that every song on Glee is lip-synced. They don’t even try to hide it.

  • Austin

    NO WAY. I think one theme episode is enough… the show needs to focus on how fitting music into an episode instead of an episode into music.

    • Connie

      I agree with Austin. The tribute episodes should be used sparingly, otherwise fans will tune out quickly. This trend worries me because I think the show is becoming more about the music and less about the story when it should be the other way around.

      • Alia

        I don’t mind it being equally music/story, but I think the PTB should limit the tribute episodes to MAXIMUM one per season. And I will NOT watch a Britney-themed episode. I mean, Britney? Seriously? Not the Stones or the Beatles or Billy Joel or Aerosmith or Broadway or Bon Jovi… Britney? That is so FAIL.

      • Dan

        Ha! I love how all these “fans” are freaking out about how this might limit the “plot”. Have we been watching the same show. Said plot has always been a threadbare excuse for super entertaining musical numbers and witty one-liners. The show succeeds due to it being fun, and theme episodes are fun, so I have no problem with them being used for performers with enough hits.

    • Aldair

      i think i will .coz no offense but aulcalty i’m kinda her fans till she’s down for some time..I think i can understand her feeling to come back again.u know guys..any1 can have some complicated prob like hers too rite..yeah i will buy her new single.

  • Jon

    Considering that Led Zeppelin wouldn’t even let their music in a movie named after their song (Dazed and Confused), I doubt they’d let Glee devote an entire episode to their music

    • Jean in Santa Rosa

      Though they did allow a song to be used in Almost Famous…I can’t remember which one, not a big Zep fan.

    • wash

      And the Led Zep lads do seem to be relenting a bit. They let Adam Lambert sing Whole Lotta Love on AI last year, something I don’t think they would have okayed in 1994 when D&C came out.

  • Brent

    I think Glee is running the risk of relying too much on big “events.” The show is good enough to stand on its own, so don’t ruin it by constantly doing theme nights. This is not American Idol.

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