Fox has scheduled a special preview of Glee, the new hour-long musical from Nip/Tuck creator Ryan Murphy, on Tuesday, May 19 at 9 p.m. ET, following American Idol.
The show will then officially roll out in a time slot yet to be named some time this fall, Fox announced Thursday.
The scheduling trick of splitting up a premiere and a series' regular run is highly unusual, which is perhaps fitting, as Glee itself is a unique property in the broadcast primetime landscape. Most comedies are a half-hour, and musicals are rare on television as most attempts at the genre have not panned out over the years.
A post-Idol premiere of some kind, however, was the going theory for Glee, as the musical theme and upbeat tone of the show is considered a natural fit with Idol. What's more, an Idol lead-in is about the biggest boost a new show can get, and Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly and Fox Broadcasting Chairman Peter Liguori have been clear about their enthusiasm for Glee from the get-go.
Glee re-teams the Fox executives with Murphy, their collaborator on Nip/Tuck, which they all launched together at FX when the execs were running the network there.
"An ambitious and unique show such as Glee deserves an ambitious and unique kick-off," Liguori said in a statement. "We also wanted to take advantage of the huge American Idol promotional platform to launch the marketing campaign in May."
"Glee works on so many levels that we want to utilize American Idol to jump-start positive buzz, which will spread over the summer and into the show's launch in the fall," added Reilly in the statement.
Fox bills Glee as an uplifting series with biting humor that features a soundtrack of hit music from past to present. It follows an optimistic high school teacher, as he tries to refuel his own passion while reinventing the high school's glee club and challenging a group of outcasts to realize their star potential.
It is produced by Ryan Murphy Television in association with 20th Century Fox Television. Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Dante Di Loreto serve as executive producers, while Ian Brennan and John Peter Kousakis serve as co-executive producers. Murphy directed the pilot.