If someone were to hold a contest to find the TV show with the most opinionated fans, we’re thinking FOX’s “Glee” has it in the bag. They’re passionate, they’re intense and they’re loud. Just look at how Twitter exploded when news broke that Chord Overstreet would not be returning for Season 3. They love their show and they love talking about it, something executive producer Dante Di Loreto said he finds “really exciting.”
In the press room at Comic-Con on Sunday, Di Loreto said, “You know what’s amazing is that people are paying attention enough that it went from ‘I love this show. You should watch it, it’s great,’ to ‘I feel vehemently that these two people shouldn’t be together.’”
Co-creator and executive producer Brad Falchuk, who does interact with fans on Twitter, compared being a showrunner to being the general manager of a baseball team: “Everyone’s saying, ‘Oh, your closer sucks. Take him out of the closer, take him out of the closer role,’ and you start listening, it’s like they don’t know what’s going on inside and the reasons why we might do stuff.”
Di Loreto also used a baseball reference to explain the show’s fanbase, saying, “We went from being this show that you just hope people would watch to like a favorite sports team and people are invested in whether a certain player gets traded or starts. It’s really exciting.”
So does fan reaction impact the writers’ storytelling process? Falchuk said yes and no.
"I think what I try to do with media and fan reaction is look for patterns. So I look for like, okay, what they’re saying is they hate this character, but maybe that’s not what they’re saying," he explained. "Maybe they’re saying what we’re doing with this character and how that character is relating to that character is upsetting them or maybe this storyline is something that they’re having an aversion to. What is it about that specifically that I can do something about?"
He continued, “Sometimes you look at it and say I don’t want to do something about it because I happen to know where this is going and I think where it’s going to end up is going to be worthwhile and people will be satisfied with it. Other times you say I hear what you’re saying and so I’m going to try and make some changes with it.
"I appreciate everybody’s opinion," Falchuk said with a smile. "Just not so many of them."
Di Loreto explained it’s essential to be in tune to with the fan response when you are in the TV business, saying, “You can’t not be.”
"You hear things on Twitter and what happens is it’s a lot like giving notes. You want to hear people’s opinions and if there’s a consensus or something rings true in you then you have to address it," Di Loreto said. "If you try to do everything, you have nothing, but you’re just trying to filter through what really is important, what people really connected with, what’s working."
Finally, we asked Falchuk how it’s going in the writer’s room with six new writers (including “Buffy” alum Marti Noxon) on board for Season 3. “It’s better. It’s the same basic thing that you’re pitching ideas and throwing stuff around, just now you have more people with ideas and so when you’re stuck, they come in with stuff,” he explains. “Also just the energy of all that imagination, it’s invigorating. It’s been great.” (x)