'The Glee Project': Ryan Murphy defects to Oxygen to find 'Glee's' new star

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In a pretty strange move, "Glee's" executive producers, Ryan Murphy and Dante Di Loreto have defected to another network to find their newest guest star.

Di Loreto appeared at the Winter TV Press Tour to talk about "The Glee Project," a 10-episode reality show premiering on Oxygen in June. 

Here's the strange part: Oxygen has no affiliation with FOX Broadcasting or its networks. Oxygen is part of the NBC Universal family of networks.

So, why is the show airing on Oxygen? Di Loreto didn't quite answer that question when asked. Instead, he pointed out that 20th Century Fox is the studio behind "The Glee Project" and can decide to place their show with any network they deem to be a good partner. So, Oxygen, really? 

Okay, that's enough for conspiracy theories; you really want to know what the show is about. The show's casting director, Robert Ulrich, says they're casting just as he did for FOX's "Glee," with no preference for a desired type. The candidate pool started at 40,000 high school kids from open casting calls in Dallas and Chicago and online submissions via MySpace. Out of that pool, about two dozen make it onto the reality competition.

The candidates will participate in "Glee Boot Camp" and related challenges to narrow the field down to just one with "that spark," as the panel calls what it is they're looking for. The winner will get a 7-episode guest role on Season 3 of "Glee" that is especially written for them.

We wondered if this winner is jumping through an amazing amount of hoops to get a guest role on "Glee" for the sake of reality TV compared to a normal audition process. And Di Loretto told Zap2it that all the contestants will get something out of the experience of "Glee Boot Camp" and what it takes to star on a show like the FOX hit whether they win or not.

What do you think? A bit much for a guest role? Will you be tuning in to "The Glee Project"?
Photo/Video credit: NBC Universal