The TV Column: If it's all Gleek to you, that suits the suits at Fox just fine

WHEE FOR 'GLEE'! Cory Monteith, Mark Salling, Ryan Murphy and Jayma Mays at PaleyFest.
WHEE FOR 'GLEE'! Cory Monteith, Mark Salling, Ryan Murphy and Jayma Mays at PaleyFest. (Kristian Dowling/picturegroup For Fox)

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By Lisa de Moraes
Wednesday, March 17, 2010

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIF.

"Glee" is the kind of show network executives dream about while their wives are cold-creaming their faces every night.

The Fox musical dramedy is catnip for obsessives. People who will tattoo the letters G-L-E-E on their upper lips. People who will rush up to one of the show's cast members on the street and beg him to sign their newborn babies.

Network suits love obsessives (except, of course, when the suits are on the receiving end of death threats because they've just canceled "Jericho"). Obsessives watch every episode. And they buy lots of stuff. In the case of "Glee" obsessives -- "Gleeks," as they like to call themselves -- "buying stuff" most recently meant tickets to an upcoming "Glee" concert tour, one Los Angeles performance of which sold out in minutes (Fox suits have not yet figured out how to monetize "Glee's" upcoming command performance at the White House Easter Egg Roll, but there's still time).

About 2,000 Gleeks shelled out good money to sit in the presence of the show's actors, creators and executive producers for one precious night last weekend in Beverly Hills at PaleyFest, which is a sort of Comic-Con for The Rest of Us.

The room was quivering with anticipation, like the start of a major sale at H&M, as people climbed into their seats and began to chatter about the show while they waited for the night's activities to begin:

"Oh my God -- remember Amber Riley's dress?!" one Gleekette said excitedly to a friend seated behind her. (Amber Riley is an "American Idol" audition rejectee from seasons past who's been cast to play Mercedes, the token non-skinny chick, on "Glee.")

"OMG -- you wore the same dress!" the friend responded.

"Oh great -- the biggest girl on the show is wearing my dress!" the first girl argued.

"I love Mercedes!" insisted her friend.

"It's like if somebody told you Gabby Sidibe wore your dress!" the first girl complained.


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