HBO's 'Girls' is having more of an influence on Billboard charts lately than Fox's 'Glee.' Chart Beat offers a solution to reverse the latter series' chart fortunes – and make the former's even stronger.
HBO's "Girls" has quickly asserted its influence on Billboard charts. Simultaneously, Fox's "Glee," the series that has produced the most Billboard Hot 100 hits by an act in the survey's 54-year history, has seen its imprint sharply decline.
After "Girls" prominently featured Icona Pop's "I Love It," featuring Charli XCX, on its Jan. 27 episode, the track jumped 12-10 on last week's Dance/Electronic Songs chart. This week it vaults to No. 6 and enters the Hot 100 at No. 69. (Check out Billboard's interview with the Swedish duo and its reaction to its chart success in Billboard.com's new Pop Shop column .)
The show's next episode, on Feb. 2, closed with star Lena Dunham's character Hannah singing Oasis' "Wonderwall," followed by a segue into the original, which spent 10 weeks at No. 1 on Alternative Songs in 1995-96. After one day of sales following the synch (and despite Dunham's comical, yet earnest, rendition in her bathtub), the band's hit re-enters Rock Digital Songs at No. 50 with a 75% increase in sales, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
"Glee," meanwhile, has seen its chart grades dip.
With its cover of Ne-Yo's No. 6-peaking "Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself)" entering the Hot 100 at No. 91, the troupe logs just its third entry this season, all of which have dented the chart's bottom tenth. Its remake of Imagine Dragons' "It's Time" spent a week at No. 95 (Sept. 29, 2012) and its version of Coldplay's "The Scientist" dented the chart at No. 91 (Oct. 20, 2012). Numerous additions to the show's large cast, its move from Tuesday to Thursday nights and erosion of the series' earlier buzz all could have contributed to the cast's decreased weekly sales and chart performances.
Still, "Let" marks the "Glee" ensemble's record-extending 206th Hot 100 hit, all tallied since its first appearance less than just four years ago. And, that both series can continue to influence Billboard surveys remains an impressive rarity among scripted TV shows.
Imagine what chart damage they could do if they combined forces.
No really, imagine. While average "Glee" ratings have fallen from upwards of 12 million per week in its first season to approximately 5 million in its current fourth season, the show is still a solid performer with adults 18-49 . And, by nature of its premium cable home, "Girls," for all its accolades , has peaked with just more than 1 million viewers per episode over its first two seasons.
So ... what if the series combined forces? "Girls" could theoretically quintuple its viewership and "Glee" could return to its former heights. Plus, with "Glee" characters Rachel and Kurt now in New York with Hannah, Marnie, Jessa and Shoshanna of "Girls," it all works!
Of course, content-wise, such a merge would require a fair amount of compromise. "Glee" would have to shed its PG-13 wholesomeness and "Girls" would have to make itself a bit more, um … acceptable for non-cable audiences. That's where Chart Beat comes in.
Lena Dunham and Ryan Murphy: please feel free to consider what a new "Glee Girls" supershow could look like.
Let's sit down for a table read.
INTERIOR OF HANNAH'S BROOKLYN APARTMENT, AT NIGHT.
HANNAH, MARNIE AND JESSA SITTING AT TABLE. DOORBELL RINGS. HANNAH GETS UP, OPENS DOOR.
Kurt, Rachel (singing together): Hi! We're Kurt and Rachel from NYADA. We've come to take your life in … new directions!
Hannah: O … k … I'm Hannah.
Rachel: Hannah, we've heard you singing … all the way from Manhattan … and thought we could give you some singing lessons!
Hannah: Hmm. Well, if nothing else, maybe it'll give me something to write about. I'm in. But, you guys are way too perky for me. I'm not gonna get through this night unless I score some ... coke.
Kurt: Luckily, I'm a dealer. Voila!
KURT TAKES OUT A BOTTLE OF COCA-COLA.
Kurt: Is this what you had in mind?
HANNAH STARES BLANKLY.
HANNAH, KURT AND RACHEL JOIN MARNIE AND JESSA AT TABLE. ALL INTRODUCE THEMSELVES.
Rachel: Ok, Hannah, let's start with some basics. Can you sing,"Me-me-me-ME-me-me-meee"?
Marnie: If there's one word Hannah knows, it's "me."
Hannah: Ok, here goes."Me-me-me …"
HANNAH STOPS SINGING. STARTS COUGHING/CHOKING. REGAINS COMPOSURE.
Hannah: How was that?
Kurt: It was … good … But, sweetie, next time try to get through it without eating a cupcake.
DOORBELL RINGS. HANNAH GETS UP, OPENS DOOR. RAY AND SHOSHANNA ENTER, INTRODUCE THEMSELVES TO KURT AND RACHEL.
Rachel: Ray, Shoshanna, would you like to get some singing lessons, too?
Shoshanna: Um, so, like … ok, so, like we would, but, like, we can't because we have to, like, um …
Ray: We're all adults here. You can tell them. We're actually gonna go have sex …
KURT, RACHEL GASP. (JESSA GRINS.)
Ray: You didn't let me finish. We're gonna go have "Sex … yback" by Justin Timberlake … be our singing guide instead …
KURT, RACHEL SIGH, RELIEVED. (JESSA FROWNS.)
CLOSE-UP OF HANNAH'S KITCHEN CLOCK FAST-FORWARDING. SUNLIGHT APPEARS IN WINDOW. ALL YAWN.
Rachel: Wow, I can't believe you haven't learned how to sing better yet, Hannah. I'm used to working out a perfect arrangement of a song in exactly 60 minutes.
Kurt: I've only been this frustrated the few weeks that Mr. Shue didn't let us sing anything by Lady Gaga.
Hannah: I'm sorry, guys, I guess I'm just not as good as you, you know? The only other person I've heard sing lately is my … boyfriend? … Adam. Not exactly the best example .
Rachel: Well, what are we gonna do?
Marnie: Whoa! Why didn't I think of this before? I have a … friend … who's pretty artistic himself …
MARNIE TEXTS. MINUTES LATER, DOORBELL RINGS. MARNIE GETS UP, OPENS DOOR.
Marnie: Kurt, Rachel, this … is Booth Jonathan. Booth, do you think you can teach Hannah to sing better?
Booth: I can teach you ALL how to sing better.
KURT, RACHEL PERK UP.
Booth: I have to warn you, though. The first time I sing, I might scare you a little, because I'm a man and I know how to do things. Like … you know, sing …
BOOTH SINGS. MARNIE APPROVES. ALL OTHERS THINK MARNIE OVERRATED HIM.
ALL STARE AT EACH OTHER NOT KNOWING WHAT TO DO NEXT. AFTER PAUSE, RACHEL STARTS SINGING TO HANNAH A CAPELLA, SLOWLY, DRAMATICALLY.
Rachel: "Just a small town girl … living in a looonely world …"
ALL JOIN IN, TEMPO PICKS UP. APARTMENT SUDDENLY FILLED WITH '80s-VIDEO SMOKE AND LIGHTING.
KURT, RACHEL SING ENCOURAGINGLY TO HANNAH, WHO'S SUDDENLY LEARNED TO SING PERFECTLY (CONVENIENTLY JUST BEFORE EPISODE'S END).
Kurt, Rachel: "Don't stop, belieeeevin' … Don't stop!"
SONG FINISHES, VOCALS, MUSIC (COURTESY OF BRAD THE PIANO PLAYER, SUDDENLY SEATED AT A BABY GRAND IN HANNAH'S LIVING ROOM) IN UNISON. ALL HIGH-FIVE, GIGGLE AND HUG.
Kurt (to Hannah): That was so good! But, sweetie, next time try to get through it without … you know … taking your clothes off ...
And, that's what you wouldn’t want to miss … on "Glee Girls"!
- Chart Beat