Glee Project’s future still unclear, despite now-revised cancellation report

Oxygen’s The Glee Project won’t air a third season, according to one report*, which is contradicted by another report. If it isn’t on this summer, that will not be a surprise, however tragic it is.

The show’s future was uncertain primarily because Glee’s future is also up in the air. Oxygen’s president previously said it’d be impossible to air the reality competition if Fox waited until late spring or later to renew the drama, and it has not yet been renewed.

TV Line reported that “the cable network declined to comment” but unnamed “sources confirm that a number of factors — not the least of which is that Glee itself hasn’t been renewed yet — contributed to the decision to shelve the reality spin-off.”

E! News contradicts that, insisting “that no decision has been made about the future of the show.” However, E! still seems to buy it, at least judging by its disingenuous, comment-bait question at the end of the story: “Are you upset about the cancelation?”

Both reports cite low ratings, but that’s not a concern if you believe Oxygen’s president. More significantly, both reports mirror Rob Owen’s reporting from January. Oxygen’s president, Jason Klarman, expressed enthusiastic support for the show to Owen and said he wanted to renew it: “Absolutely. We love the show. We just have to see whether there is a season five of [Glee] and what season three of our show would be based on the direction Ryan [Murphy’s] taking Glee.”

Klarman left open the possibility of airing a season later in the summer or next summer, so the show isn’t necessarily dead yet, but its future definitely hangs on Glee’s future.

* Update, 4.9.13, 7:50 a.m.: Sometime after I published this story last night, TV Line’s story, by Michael Ausiello, was heavily edited to change its content without acknowledging that the content was changed. Even the URL changed from “…the-glee-project-cancelled…” to “…the-glee-project-cancelled-or-renewed…”, while the headline changed from “Exclusive: ‘The Glee Project’ Won’t Return for Season 3″ to “Exclusive: Future of Glee Project in Jeopardy as Glee Renewal Talks Drag On.”

TV Line’s “EXCLUSIVE” scoop–challenged by E! News’ report and, as I noted, not really news considering Rob Owen’s reporting from January said this would happen–changed from “Oxygen is not moving forward with a third season of The Glee Project, TVLine has learned exclusively” to “Oxygen will likely be forced to postpone or scrap the next season of The Glee Project, TVLine has learned exclusively.” And this paragraph, which blamed the cancellation partly on ratings despite the fact that Oxygen’s president previously said he wanted to renew the show, disappeared entirely: “Ratings also likely played a part. Despite favorable reviews and a passionate following, the series was a modest performer for Oxygen.”

I’ve edited the headline to reflect the increasing uncertainty, since TV Line was the source of the cancellation certainty.

Second update, 10:18 a.m. : TV Line’s story has been edited to reflect that it has been updated.

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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.