- Associated Press - Monday, August 2, 2010

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIF. (AP) - “Glee” co-creator Ryan Murphy thought he was being “punked” when a fan note arrived from Paul McCartney.

But Murphy discovered that the pop legend is an admirer of the hit Fox TV show and wants his music to be part of it. McCartney enclosed a mix of some of his tunes, including “Michelle,” and asked Murphy to consider using them on the series about high school misfits in a glee club.

“I was gobsmacked. I grew up with that guy. So, of course, we are going to do something,” Murphy told the Television Critics Association’s summer meeting Monday.

The former Beatle won’t be the only familiar name associated with “Glee” when it returns next season. Susan Boyle, the unlikely “Britain’s Got Talent” discovery, is in talks to be part of the Christmas episode, Murphy said.

Another hour will feature the songs of Britney Spears, and the show is wooing a “major” artist, whom Murphy wouldn’t identify, for a tribute episode to air after the Super Bowl next year.

But “Glee” aims to be more intimate instead of “going bigger and overstuffing season two,” said Murphy, also an executive producer on the show.

There will be a spotlight on some of the secondary characters, such as scheming cheerleaders Santana (Naya Rivera) and Brittany (Heather Morris). The tribute episodes will be kept to just two or three and feature fewer songs.

The one saluting Madonna had nine numbers, Murphy said, “which is insane.”

“Glee” isn’t becoming a wallflower. The cast went on a sold-out tour, there’s a “Glee” novel, titled, “Glee: The Beginning,” and Murphy said he hopes for publication of a Sue Sylvester autobiography _ with Jane Lynch, who plays the sadistic cheerleading coach, going on tour in character to promote the book.

“I’m very proud of the merchandise,” Murphy said. For every two items he approves, he said, he rejects 10 proposals.

“Glee,” which melds pop songs, high school hijinks and drama into an upbeat hour, is the leading nominee at the Aug. 29 Emmy Awards with 19 bids, including best comedy series and seven acting nods for its cast and guest stars.

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