After six seasons and 121 episodes, FOX's pioneering musical series Glee came to an end on Friday, March 20. The series leaves behind not only a long record of industry successes, including six Primetime Emmy Awards, four Golden Globes, and more than 200 singles in the Billboard Hot 100, but also a long legacy of leveraging its popularity to have a positive impact on society.
Glee devoted scores of episodes to issues relevant to young people, from bullying and teen pregnancy to physical disability and texting while driving, and the series inspired a renaissance in school music programs. A 2010 study by the National Association for Music Education found that 43% of high school choral instructors attributed the rise in interest and participation in their programs to the success of Glee. The cast and creative team at the show recognized this early on and supported school arts programs throughout the show's run.
Glee also became known for its nuanced representations of the LGBT community. At its 26th annual award ceremony on March 21st, the LGBT advocacy organization GLAAD gave the show a Special Recognition Award for "consistently introducing groundbreaking LGBT characters and storylines." Joe Earley, Chief Operating Officer at Fox Television Group, accepted the award on behalf of the show, and trans actor Alex Newell, who played Wade "Unique" Adams on the show, gave a special performance of "I Know Where I've Been" from Hairspray and received a standing ovation. 21st Century Fox and Fox Networks Group were Titanium Sponsors of the event.
The show's track record of positive representations of LGBT characters was part of its larger commitment to feature those who had traditionally been underrepresented on television, including LGBT characters, people of color, and characters with physical or mental disabilities. Ryan Murphy, who created Glee along with Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, has been outspoken about this aspect of the show: "I wanted to talk about the underdog element in society: the pregnant girl, the gay kid, the kid in a wheelchair, the African-American girl who's one of five black kids in their school," Murphy told USA Today. "I wanted to give voices to people who don't have voices." With this mission in mind, Glee became an inspiration for viewers around the world to embrace their individuality, express their creativity, and be proud of who they are.
Learn more about Glee's legacy of social impact in our full case study.
21st Century Fox Partners with Give a Note Foundation to Honor 'Glee' Finale by Supporting School Music Programs
To commemorate the series finale of FOX's groundbreaking musical Glee, 21st Century Fox has announced a new partnership with the Give a Note Foundation to establish the 21st Century Fox Give a Note Grants, which will support up to 20 under-funded music education programs at schools across the United States with grants from $2,500 to $5,000. Over the course of its six seasons, Glee has sparked renewed interest and participation in school arts programs throughout the country, and this partnership celebrates that impact.
The Grants are the latest chapter in a long-standing relationship between 21st Century Fox and the Give a Note Foundation. The company first worked with the organization on the 2011 Glee Give a Note campaign, which donated a portion of the proceeds from every sale of the Glee Season 2 DVD to at-risk school music programs. 21st Century Fox will work closely with the Give a Note Foundation to identify the schools that will receive these new grants.
"Over the past six years, Glee has inspired generations of viewers to recognize the vital importance of arts education and demand music programs in their schools," said Shira Oberlander, Director of Social Impact at 21st Century Fox. "We are thrilled to celebrate that legacy, and we could not be more proud of the work the cast, crew, and creative team have done to promote music education on this remarkable show."
For more information on the Give a Note Foundation, visit GiveANote.org. The two-hour series finale of Glee airs Friday, March 20, at 8PM on FOX.
During a presentation at SXSW earlier this week, the National Geographic Channel announced that StarTalk, its new late night science-themed talk show, will premiere on Monday, April 20th, at 11PM ET/10PM CT. Neil deGrasse Tyson, renowned astrophysicist and star of FOX's Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, will host the hour-long series, which explores the ways science and technology have influenced the lives of his guests.
Based on Dr. Tyson's popular podcast of the same name, the weekly series will feature an interview with Tyson and a guest, as well as a discussion between Tyson and a group of panelists before a live studio audience at the American Museum of Natural History's Rose Center for Earth and Space in New York City. Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, biologist Richard Dawkins, retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, producer Norman Lear, film director Christopher Nolan, and Star Trek actor George Takei are all scheduled to appear as guests. Bill Nye the Science Guy will also make weekly appearances via a pre-taped segment.
"Expanding the StarTalk radio show and podcast into a television show on National Geographic Channel offers a unique opportunity to show viewers how pervasive science is in our culture and how entertaining science can be," said Dr. Tyson. "Throughout the show we explore current issues with top industry leaders and pair that with comical, but informed, commentary. From politicians and actors to scientists, social activists, and more, the impact of science knows no bounds."
The series will air weekly on Mondays at 11PM on the National Geographic Channel and will repeat on Fridays at 7PM.
Visit StarTalkRadio.net for more information.
Photo: Tyson with comedian Eugene Mirman and astronaut Mike Massimino, both upcoming StarTalk guests
At its inaugural Social Good Awards on Monday, March 3, the media news organization Cynopsis honored the television industry's outstanding social responsibility initiatives for the 2014 year. Nat Geo WILD and FOX Sports, both members of the 21st Century Fox family, each received awards for their Big Cat Week and Special Olympics campaigns, respectively.
Tying with the USA Network's "Characters Unite" initiative, Nat Geo WILD's Big Cat Week won in the overall Awareness Campaign or Initiative category. In addition to on-air programming, Big Cat Week supports on-the-ground conservation projects in habitats where the world's big cat population is in decline. More information is available on Nat Geo WILD's website.
FOX Sports Supports, the charitable division of FOX Sports, was recognized in the Awareness Campaign: Sports category for its work surrounding the 2014 Special Olympic USA Games. FOX Sports provided on-air and online media exposure across its suite of channels via on-air specials, PSAs, and in-person activation, supporting the more than 3,500 athletes that competed in the Games, as well as their friends and families.
FOX Sports also received several honorable mentions, including in the Nonprofit/Corporate Partnership category for its work with AYSO, the Social Good Shining Stars award for its FOX Sports Supports initiative, and in the Integrated Campaign for a TV Series category for FOX Sports Regional Marketing's "FOX Sports Salutes the Troops" campaign.
"We know that our community is a vibrant group of engaged professionals who are also civic-minded citizens who want to give back to the public through their profession," said Roberta Caploe, Cynopsis Editorial Director.
For more information, including a complete list of winners and photos from the event, visit Cynopsis.com.
In honor of International Women's Day 2015, STAR Sports, a division of STAR India, has launched the social media campaign #CheckOutMyGame, and the company is running an on-air promo as a way to pay tribute to women in sports. Watch the promo above and join in the conversation on Twitter.