Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

MySpace Should Be Glee-ful About Hit Series Online Auditions (Plus Celebrity Video!)

The television hit, “Glee,” is one of News Corp.’s crown jewels of late, while its MySpace social networking site has struggled painfully to regain its once-hot momentum.

Now MySpace is getting the benefit of the heat “Glee” is generating, by hosting the online auditions for the Fox television network show, which returns tonight after a short hiatus.

“Glee”–an online phenom in its own right, with more than four million song downloads so far–is probably a good partner for MySpace as it tries to differentiate itself as a place where users can express their musical and entertainment passions.

This “discover and be discovered” concept is all part of a very slow-moving effort to turn MySpace into a socially-charged entertainment hub.

That effort will get a splashy rollout today with the first animated takeover of MySpace users’ personal homepages to coincide with the return of “Glee” (you can see it in action in the PDF below).

In the branded campaign, the character of Rachel (played by Lea Michele) becomes the profile picture, and evil cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester (played by Jane Lynch) pops out to shout a tune-in message about the show’s premiere, while blowing parts of the page away.

The bigger deal, of course, is the online casting call for “Gleeks,” as the show’s rabid fans are called, which MySpace is also hosting.

Professional and amateur performers between the ages of 16 and 26 can submit video auditions for the chance to have a re-occurring role on the show’s second season, choosing from songs featured in “Glee” and using the MySpace Karaoke tool.

Since it was launched March 30, the page has over a million friends and thousands of video submissions, which will be voted on. The casting call ends April 26.

Here’s a video interview of the effort that I did last week at the tony Chateau Marmont hotel with MySpace Music’s Courtney Holt, who worked on the deal, as well as a special guest star you might recognize.

And here’s the takeover advertising:


Finally, here is the official press release:


Series Returns with All-New Episodes Tuesday, April 13, on FOX

Attention all GLEEks, the opportunity of a lifetime is coming your way! GLEE’s executive producers are holding a nationwide online casting search for fresh, young, talented performers to fill new roles that will be featured during the show’s second season. Beginning March 30, amateur and professional performers between the ages of 16 and 26 will have the opportunity to submit an audition video exclusively on MySpace at myspace.com/gleeauditions.

Hopefuls will be able to upload their videos beginning today through April 26. Videos must feature an explanation about why the auditioner wants to be on GLEE, as well as a demonstration of his/her stellar singing ability by performing one of 10 GLEE hits, including “True Colors,” “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and “Lean on Me.” Performances must be either a cappella or with single instrument accompaniment via MySpace Karaoke or by uploading their own pre-recorded videos. Audition videos must be limited to five minutes in length–a one-minute introduction and a four-minute song–and are limited to one submission per person. Fans will be able to share the videos across various networks, post comments and rate their favorites with gold stars. Visit myspace.com/gleeauditions for more information, song list and additional rules.

Television’s most award-winning new series, GLEE was recently honored with a Golden Globe for Best Television Series, Comedy or Musical; a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series; and a People’s Choice Award for Favorite New TV Comedy. The music from GLEE is an international sensation with “Glee: The Music, Volume 1” and “Glee: The Music, Volume 2” topping charts in Australia, the U.K., New Zealand, Ireland and Canada. In the U.S., over 4.5 million songs have been downloaded, and both albums have been certified Gold for sales in excess of 500,000 units.

The too-big-to-miss spring premiere of GLEE airs at a special time Tuesday, April 13 (9:28-10:30 PM ET/PT) following AMERICAN IDOL on FOX.

GLEE follows an optimistic teacher who–against all odds and a malicious cheerleading coach–inspires McKinley High’s Glee Club to conquer the world one singing competition at a time. GLEE stars Dianna Agron, Chris Colfer, Jessalyn Gilsig, Jane Lynch, Jayma Mays, Kevin McHale, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Matthew Morrison, Amber Riley, Mark Salling and Jenna Ushkowitz.

GLEE is produced by Ryan Murphy Television in association with 20th Century Fox Television. Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan are co-creators of the series. Murphy, Falchuk and Dante Di Loreto serve as executive producers, while Ian Brennan serves as co-executive producer.

MySpace is a technology company connecting people through personal expression, content and culture. MySpace empowers its global community to experience the Internet through a social lens by integrating personal profiles, photos, videos, mobile, messaging, games and the world’s largest music community. MySpace is a division of News Corporation (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSL).

(Full disclosure: News Corp. owns Dow Jones, which also owns this site.)

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