Greetings, sports fans? More like “hello, gorgeous.” Streisand manquée Lea Michele’s series Glee was already getting the vaunted after-the-Super Bowl spot, but now the actress herself is to sing “America the Beautiful” before the game, says the Hollywood Reporter. (Christina Aguilera is singing the national anthem.) Fox, airing the game, has an interest in keeping “Glee” successful and making Michele a star, but the combination of star and venue seems a bit odd — as though Fox wasn’t sure what else they had to promote. The network’s last two Super Bowls were followed by The Simpsons in 2005 and House in 2008 — both demographically on-target. What viewer die-hard enough to be tuned into the pregame, during which Michele will sing, is going to stay tuned for a camp choir?
Glee seems to be Fox’s main priority — their turning America’s biggest TV-viewing day of the year into a beginning-to-end ad would indicate that they think the show has broad crossover appeal. That appeal can be measured less by numbers (the show gets about 11 million viewers weekly — a hit, but not a major one yet) than by the buzz around the show, which is deafening. In the twilight of American Idol (a show whose alumni have performed at the Super Bowl many times in recent years), Fox is using whatever tools it has to get a new anchor on its schedule. That both shows feature attention-grabbing musical performances is all the better. Perhaps the best analogy to Michele’s performance was Fox’s decision to have Ryan Seacrest host the Emmys in 2007 — a poor fit, and not one that convinced any new viewers to catch Idol (the show’s ratings dipped the following season). But no matter! Then, as now, Fox’s one-show strategy reigned.
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