Secrets Behind the $6 Million 'Glee' Season Finale
By David Weiner
The Hollywood Reporter
The May 24 "Glee" season finale relocates to New York City. With a hefty price tag, could it be the most expensive TV finale ever? We have secrets from the set!
In the big episode, the cast (including Matthew Morrison, Lea Michele, Chris Colfer, Heather Morris, Naya Rivera, Jenna Ushkowitz, Kevin McHale, Dianna Agron and Cory Monteith) wings to Manhattan for the glee club nationals and gets to devour the Big Apple for the first time. The episode, shot over five days in April, includes Times Square, Tiffany & Co., Washington Square Park and Central Park as key landmark locations. One of the big songs/dances is a mash-up of "New York, New York" and "I Love New York."
So how did they transport the complicated production 3,000 miles away to New York City to get it all on film? "Glee" co-creator Ryan Murphy tells The Hollywood Reporter in a glossy cover story, "With humility – and the might of a small army."
The cost of the episode? A cool six million, according to The Hollywood Reporter's Marisa Guthrie. "A pretty hefty price tag," she tells ET. "When you're bringing 40 people from Los Angeles to New York, you're putting them up, you're paying for car services every day to multiple locations around the city, you have to hire extra police officers to police the location shoots because they're shooting in really crowded, busy places. … So it's a big, big endeavor and it's very expensive."
"Everywhere they went there were at least 100 fans at every single stop," says Guthrie, who points out that the longer the cast was in New York, the bigger the crowds grew thanks to excited, news-spreading tweets. "Times Square there were probably about 300 just on the east side of Broadway. … The cast was dancing up on the TKTS bleacher steps, so that was a great view for all the fans."
"They're going out, second season, with a bang," concludes Guthrie, who adds that the finale episode will have a big cliffhanger. "They wanted to do something different. It's their first big location shoot. Obviously it's coming back for a third season. I don't think it's a big risk to really kind of break the bank on a finale."
The "Glee" season finale airs Tuesday May 24 on FOX.