A show that has been a staple on the Fox Network for years — and has been called a global phenomenon — got some bad news from the network as the series moves closer to its endgame.
The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed reports that the network has cut its order for the final season of "Glee" almost in half.
"The musical from creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk will be trimmed from its typical 22-episode order to 13 episodes, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Sources tell THR that Murphy sat down with the network and studio 20th Century Fox Television to discuss the best way to end the series and decided that the story would be best told in one final run of 13 consecutive episodes," THR reports.
The program isn't nearly the ratings powerhouse it was earlier in its life cycle, and has repeatedly hit all-time lows during its fifth season, the report notes.
THR adds: "The move comes as little surprise after 'Glee' — one of the lowest-rated scripted series to earn an additional season renewal after Fox's two-season pickup a year ago — was left off the network's fall schedule. The musical starring Lea Michele and Chris Colfer will return midseason as part of Fox's 2015 lineup. An exact date and time slot have not yet been revealed, but the network plans to make the sixth and final run of the series into a big event for fans."
The current fifth season was also trimmed from its original order, albeit only slightly — to 20 episodes, down from the original 22. That move followed the death of actor Cory Monteith, which led to production delays early in the season.
The original two-season renewal was for 44 episodes, the piece notes, and at one point Fox considered moving the two missing episodes from season five to the following season, giving "Glee" a 24-episode final run.
"In May, then-Fox Broadcasting President Kevin Reilly said the standard 22-episode count for seasons is no longer the norm as more networks adopt a cable model in a bid to retain viewers and eventize programming," the story notes.
THR adds: "The news comes mere hours after Murphy picked up a whopping 34 Emmy nominations for programs including HBO's 'The Normal Heart,' FX's 'American Horror Story: Coven' and 'Glee,' which was nominated in the directing category for its 100th episode."