'Glee' renewed for two seasons: FOX orders Season 5 and Season 6 early

glee-renewed-season-5-season-6-fox.jpg "Glee" isn't going anywhere. FOX had renewed the musical-comedy-drama for not one but two new seasons. Seasons 5 and 6 will air in the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 seasons, respectively.

Fox Broadcasting Company chairman of entertainment Kevin Reilly made the announcement on Friday (April 19). "'Glee' debuted as the first and only successful musical comedy series on television, and more than four years later, it continues to defy genres, break new ground and have a significant impact on popular culture," Reilly said in a statement. "Week in and week out, Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Ian Brennan, Dante DiLoreto and the entire 'Glee' team deliver a series that not only delights and surprises fans, but also inspires them to talk about, share, debate and engage with the show -- and I'm absolutely thrilled to have them on board for another two seasons."

Series creator and executive producer Ryan Murphy thanked the network and Twentieth Century Fox Television (the series' production studio) for the renewal and then pointed out the fans' influence on "Glee." "I also want to thank our loyal audience, whose passion and enthusiasm continue to amaze and inspire us," Murphy said.

With the show in major transition during the current Season 4, there has been some question about the future of "Glee." Many of the original stars -- including Lea Michele, Chris Colfer and Cory Monteith -- had graduated at the end of Season 3, necessitating a major shift in format. A New York City storyline, mainly featuring Michele and Colfer, began, and new characters back at Lima High School gained prominence.

Although renewal was not a given, it's also not a surprise. "Glee" has produced more than 53 million digitally downloaded singles, as well as more than 13 million albums sold. The cast also holds the record for the highest number of singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart -- the show has 203 entries.

Ratings numbers have declined over the show's run, but FOX still reports an average of 8.7 million viewers in Season 4. Considering that the core audience tends to skew toward younger viewers, these numbers are even more desirable to the network.

"Glee" airs Thursdays at 9pm on FOX.

Photo/Video credit: FOX