"Glee" writer/creator Ryan Murphy, center, and cast members at the Golden Globe Awards Sunday / Photo by Kevin Winter, Getty Images
By Neal Jusin
"Glee" doesn't return to the air until April, but the cast was busy at work when we visited the set. When we arrived, they sequestered us into the teacher's lounge, but I played hooky long enough to catch a glimpse of the rehearsal for the "Power of Madonna" episode, which will be the second installment when it comes back in April. We won't give too much away, but know this: "Like a Virgin" will be among the featured songs.
That performance wasn't official, but two others were as Lea Michele performed "Maybe This Time" and Amber Riley belted "Don't Make Me Over" for a few dozen of us in the choir room, proving once and for all that these young actors are not faking it on screen. You too will get a chance to see them perform in the near future. Creator Ryan Murphy leaked that the cast will engage in a small summer tour. Details should come as early as next week. "Glee" members are certain to make Washington DC a stop, but not necessarily to sing. Murphy said Congress has invited several of them to come testify about the importance of arts in school.
The cast and writers were still celebrating their Golden Globes victory the night before. Kevin McHale said Julianne Moore asked if she could take some pictures of them for her kids. Apparently, Sandra Bullock was also gushing and said she forced tough-guy hubby Jesse James to watch the episode in which the football team gets down to "Single Ladies."
Kevin McHale of "Glee" at the Golden Globes on Sunday / Photo by Chris Pizzella, AP
Another fan is Jennifer Lopez. Murphy said he's planning to have lunch with the superstar later this month and hopes to somehow incorporate her into the show. "I'd love to have her be a cafeteria lady," he said. "Then we do this makeover and she turns into Jennifer Lopez."
Earlier in the day, I visited the set of "Chuck" and got to roam the aisles of the Buy More store, which was obviously based on the Minnesota-based Best Buy corporation. I asked star Zach Levi what employees say to him when he's in Best Buy. "You're late," he quipped. "On the show we're so lazy - one of us lives in the back - so when they say to me I'm nailing it, I think I should probably leave the store."
Also trekked through the mess that is the living room of "The Middle" where Atticus Shaffer is just as delightfully offbeat in person as he is on screen as young, whispering-under-his-breath Brick on screen. "Brick is basically me," he said.
Had lunch with Alyssa Milano. Well, a short lunch. I got five or ten minutes with the star of the upcoming "Romantically Challenged" as she made the rounds in the Warner Brothers cafeteria. We haven't seen the show yet, but the ABC pilot was directed by James Burrows, which is a little like getting Bruce Springsteen to lead your band. Milano, one smart cookie, talked in depth about how Burrows comic sensibility makes him the best in the business.
Got to see a table reading for an upcoming episode of "How I Met Your Mother," in which Ted falls head over heels for a woman played by Carrie Underwood. Unfortunately, the country music star wasn't on the premises, but the rest of the cast was, including Jason Segel who just happened to be celebrating his birthday. The moment was commerorated by a huge cake that was wheeled out after the reading. (Supersmall trivia for diehard fans: Brands of beer in the gang's bar are named after people on the production staff).
Last but not least was a chance to chat with the entire gang from "Modern Family" on their set, including Ed O'Neill. Remember the episode when a character is hit by a car at a gas station? That's based on an incident that happened to O'Neill recently. The actor said the perpetrator was a famous Hollywood director, but declined to leak his name. Word is that it almost came to blows. I'll have more on "Family" in the upcoming weeks.