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Posted at 06:10 PM ET, 10/13/2011

NBC nabs ‘Glee’ creator Ryan Murphy’s comedy pilot


Ryan Murphy, right, co-creator of "American Horror Story," poses with cast members Dylan McDermott, left, and Jessica Lange (Chris Pizzello - AP)
While she was a 20th Century Fox TV exec, Jennifer Salke championed Ryan Murphy’s “Glee” as it was being developed. So now that Salke is running NBC Entertainment, it was only a matter of time before her new network got in bed with Murphy for a new series.

That time is now.

NBC emerged victorious from a scrum of networks vying for Murphy’s new half-hour comedy pilot. The show is about a gay couple and the surrogate who’s working with them to conceive a child.

If the show gets ordered to series for next season, it would be Murphy’s third scripted show on the air — assuming the other two survive to next season, which is a safe bet: They are Fox’s “Glee” and FX’s new “American Horror Story.”

Murphy is also a judge, and exec producer, on Oxygen’s “The Glee Project,” which has already begun casting for a second season. (Although Oxygen suits won’t confirm the second-season order. Whatevs.)

Yes, the guy is stretched very thin. That never ends well, although it’s unclear whether the loser will be Fox, FX, NBC or Oxygen.

An average of 3.2 million people watched the premiere of “American Horror Story” last week (Wednesday nights at 10). And it finished first for the network among cable networks with the 18- to 49-year-old viewers, whom advertisers pay a premium to reach.

But NBC, of course, is not a cable network, though it is pulling in some cablelike ratings these days. Salke was not hired to continue getting good cable numbers for NBC — she was hired to buy some broadcast-sized hits for NBC and get it off life support.

Although “American Horror Story’s” premiere was clocking 3.2 million viewers last week, CBS’s “CSI” was attracting 12 million viewers; ABC’s new “Revenge” was logging 7.7 million; and NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU” was attracting 8 million. “AHS” also finished well behind those broadcast shows in the younger age bracket.

Meanwhile, in its three broadcasts this season, “Glee” has averaged 9.8 million viewers. Last season, the first three episodes averaged 13.2 million viewers. That’s a loss of 26 percent of its audience. And the story’s the same among the 18- to 49-year-old viewers.

By  |  06:10 PM ET, 10/13/2011

 
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