C4 Drops Glee To “Save Cash”

Glee may have been the breakout hit of the last few years as well as E4’s number one rated show, but C4 has decided not to renew its rights to the next season.

“By not renewing the Glee deal, we are freeing up huge amounts of budget to invest in home-grown programming, British talent and of course continuing to discover and showcase what the US has to offer,â€? a C4 spokesperson said.

With singing-and-dancing off the schedule for the time being, one of the shows the channel has in the pipeline as a replacement is the US remake of The Killing (Danish title Forbrydelsen), the sterling crime series which aired on BBC Four earlier this year to critical acclaim.

Glee launched in 2009 and averaged 2.6 million viewers for its first series run, dropping to 2.1 million for the second, as well as securing a roster of guest appearances including Gwyneth Paltrow (about to release her first album) and Britney Spears.

It also received the unlikely accolade of being name-checked by former PM Gordon Brown (it was his favourite show). For those though wondering where they are going to get their Sue Sylvester fix from needn’t worry as the series is likely to be snapped up by Sky for UK broadcast.

Channel Four’s decision to increase its focus on home-grown talent rather than buying in expensive overseas imports is commendable, but it could also be a sign that the reportedly troubled broadcaster can’t afford to fend off competition when it comes to bidding for such finance-swallowing productions.

Maybe we’ll be seeing a UK budget version of New Directions, set in a south London comprehensive, in which misunderstood hoodies sing through their problems to the tune of Blue’s ‘I Can’. Maybe…