The Musical Magic Of 'Glee' Ryan Murphy, the creator of Fox's musical-comedy series Glee, says that he drew on his childhood experiences as a choir singer when he conceived of the show.
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The Musical Magic Of 'Glee'

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The Musical Magic Of 'Glee'

The Musical Magic Of 'Glee'

The Musical Magic Of 'Glee'

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/112721367/112747205" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Ryan Murphy is also the creator of the TV series Nip/Tuck. Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images hide caption

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Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images

Ryan Murphy is also the creator of the TV series Nip/Tuck.

Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images

Ryan Murphy, the creator of Fox's musical-comedy series Glee, says that he drew on his childhood experiences as a choir singer when he conceived of the show.

"When I was a kid, I was in choir," Murphy tells Terry Gross. "It was 16 of us in sad-looking tuxedos and acetate dresses singing Christmas songs. But the world has changed since then. When we started writing this, we would go into YouTube, and we would look at these videos of these extravaganzas, and they are literally like Broadway-level shows."

Glee features a high school Spanish teacher who is devoted to reviving the glory of his former glee club, made up of a ragtag group of students. Murphy says that part of the fun in writing the show is picking out which songs to include.

"We go after these big artists, and if they say no — which they have — we've shown them the pilot," says Murphy. "They can see that their songs can be reinterpreted by kids for a different audience, and then nine times out of ten, they've all said okay."

This interview originally aired on May 18, 2009