As Fox's "Glee" became a breakout hit, bands lined up for a chance to have their music performed by the William McKinley High kids. Well, not every artist. Notably, Canadian power ballad master Bryan Adams and British soft-rockers Coldplay said no.
But writer-producer Ryan Murphy tells THR that not only has Coldplay changed its collective mind, the band's entire catalog has also been made available to the show.
"At the beginning," Murphy says on this year's Emmy Comedy Showrunners Roundtable, "a lot of people didnÃ¢â¬â¢t know what we were and asked to see pages (in advance), but I refused because I didnÃ¢â¬â¢t want to set precedent of them having any involvement. My favorite rejection was Bryan Adams. Coldplay and Bryan Adams were really the only rejections. But Coldplay called a week ago and said, 'WeÃ¢â¬â¢re sorry, you can have our catalog.' "
The music clearance discussion didn't end there. The men behind some of TV's top comedies all expressed frustration at securing rights to music. Here's a sampling of the exchange:
Doug Ellin ("Entourage"): Our first season, we tried to get an Usher song and his label actually said, Ã¢â¬ÅSend over a $300,000 Bentley and we can talk.Ã¢â¬Â IÃ¢â¬â¢m not even kidding! Now itÃ¢â¬â¢s gotten much easier. But ... the first year was very difficult because no one knew what the show was. Now they come to me and want to break artists.
Chuck Lorre ("Two and a Half Men"): We had trouble clearing the cha-chunk from Ã¢â¬ÅLaw & Order.Ã¢â¬Â I had to call Dick Wolf. He actually said, Ã¢â¬ÅThatÃ¢â¬â¢s not my call. IÃ¢â¬â¢ll try.Ã¢â¬Â And we got it, but it was ridiculously expensive. It was $5,000 a note, and itÃ¢â¬â¢s only two notes!
Steve Levitan ("Modern Family"): We just paid a ridiculous amount of money for Ã¢â¬ÅEye of the Tiger.Ã¢â¬Â
Ellin: I guess Survivor needs the cash.
Ryan Murphy: Did you have to pay a lot for the Ã¢â¬ÅLion KingÃ¢â¬Â stuff (in the Ã¢â¬ÅModern FamilyÃ¢â¬Â pilot)?
Levitan: Yes. It was (ABC head) Steve McPherson actually calling Elton John and making the personal plea. We never would have had a prayer had it not been ABC.
Seth MacFarlane ("Family Guy"): We donÃ¢â¬â¢t even bother trying to clear Disney songs anymore. We just get the finger.