Glee Project is this summer’s sleeper reality hit, as viewers grow 77% since premiere

Oxygen’s The Glee Project has significantly increased its viewers since it debuted, making it the summer’s sleeper reality hit.

After its low-rated premiere, the show has grown 115 percent among adults 18 to 49, 136 percent among viewers 12 to 24, and 77 percent among all viewers, according to an Oxygen press release, which calls this “impressive triple and double digit growth.”

The show has an excellent cast; they are so raw and open and diverse that they make the fictional Glee characters seem pretty ridiculous by comparison. In the third episode, cast members confessed to being sexually assaulted by music producers; coming out as a junior in high school; and being judged in various ways. Pretty powerful stuff.

And the show itself has some fresh twists on a familiar format (I wrote more about that when I reviewed its premiere). And because it’s a reality competition that has a built-in structure and characters who grow and change, it isn’t a plot-less, over-hyped show that relies on stunts and guest stars instead of growth and development. It actually seems like someone off-camera has put thought into it, and on-camera, casting director Robert Ulrich isn’t afraid to push against Glee creator Ryan Murphy, which is fun.

If you haven’t watched it, the last four episodes are on Hulu; the only other episode, the first, doesn’t seem to be available any more, alas. And check out one of the music videos they’ve produced, which are surprisingly good:

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.