Is 'The Glee Project' Not Returning for Season 3?
Is 'The Glee Project' Not Returning for Season 3?
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
It looks like The Glee Project won't keep holding on at Oxygen. TVLine is reporting that the network will either postpone or cancel its summer reality competition this year.

The show, which gives the winner a role on FOX's Glee, is in jeopardy due to the fact that FOX is still in protracted negotiations with Glee, and without a confirmation for Glee season 5, it's impossible to do The Glee Project.

The network declined to comment, so the fate of The Glee Project remains unknown, as does the future of Glee.

The first two seasons of The Glee Project had modest ratings, but were wildly entertaining. It was a rare reality competition series that was uplifting and inspiring, everything Glee originally was. The contestants featured a broad mix of potential characters, though it received some criticism for the fact that, while the contestants may have been diverse, all three winners were white males.

In season 1, Damian McGinty and Samuel Larsen were named co-winners, landing roles on Glee as Irish exchange student Rory Flanagan and Jesus-loving, dreadlocked Joe Hart. Larsen stayed with the show for a second season (though he has been largely MIA for the second half of season 4) while McGinty departed after season 3.

Additionally, season 1 runner-up Alex Newell landed a small role on Glee season 3 as Wade "Unique" Adams, though he was clearly a favorite among the writers and returned for season 4 with an expanded role.

In season 2, winner Blake Jenner landed the role of Ryder Lynn, who has remained with the show well past the originally guaranteed seven episodes. Season 2 finalist Ali Stroker also got a role on Glee as Emma's niece, Betty.

The Glee Project was originally conceived to help keep New Directions afloat given the impending graduation of many of its students. The idea of having new characters replace the old ones was good, but it became problematic when Glee decided to keep all of the old characters as well.

If graduated seniors actually left the show, The Glee Project would serve a better purpose, but because Glee chose to keep nearly everyone in the cast (even stars like Amber Riley and Harry Shum, Jr., who are still credited as series regulars despite showing up in only a handful of episodes in a very minor role), The Glee Project winners and contestants just seem like added filler.

The possible end of The Glee Project could also signal a change in Glee if the show is renewed for a fifth season. Without an infusion of fresh blood, will the show even spend time with New Directions? Five more seniors are graduating this season (Artie, Tine, Blaine, Sam and Brittany), meaning there will be no series regulars left in high school. Either Glee will have to promote many of its current crop of new stars to series regular status, or McKinley could disappear and the focus will move on to post-high school life in New York and elsewhere.

Even without the chance to win a role on Glee, I wish The Glee Project could somehow still exist because it really was one of the most entertaining reality competitions on television. It embraced a wide variety of young people, including a blind guy, a transgendered singer, a girl in a wheelchair and a Muslim, to name a few. Where else can you see such a diverse group of talented young people, inspiring viewers to accept and love who they are?

I hope, if Glee gets a last-minute renewal for season 5, Oxygen considers a third season of The Glee Project, maybe to air in the fall leaving the winner with a role in the second half of the season. It would also be a great way to cross-promote the new season of Glee and the fact that Oxygen will begin airing regular weekly repeats of Glee, starting with season 1, this fall.

(Image courtesy of Oxygen)