Thursday, September 23, 2010

New Stars Hit a High Note on 'Glee'

"Glee," the runaway hit show from Fox, returned for its season two premiere on Tuesday night. The musical comedy scored big in the ratings, as well as in the Search box, thanks in large to the cast's newest members.

Several new characters hit a high note on the Web. We would be terrified not to mention Dot Jones, who rocked the TV as Coach Beiste (pronounced "Beast"). The veteran actress has appeared in a slew of TV shows over the year, but her new role as an utterly humorless football coach looks to be her breakout. Web lookups on Jones, sure to be a fan favorite this season, jumped 556%. A little poking around on the Web uncovers that Jones is a 15-time (now-retired) arm wrestling champion and stands an astounding 6'3.

Other popular lookups on Yahoo! gave a boost to Charice, who plays Sunshine Corazon. Web searches on "charice" soared 191% following the premiere, and related lookups on "charice on glee" jumped 482%. Even more impressive was the sudden 516% spike on "charicemania," the actress's website.

Anyone who has followed the 18-year-old's career knows she's hardly new to show business. The singer actress already counts Oprah Winfrey as one of her biggest fans. Now that she's on one of television's most popular shows, expect Charice's fan base, as well as her search profile, to roar even louder.

Web searches on Chord Overstreet (yes, that's his real name) were also quite impressive. Overstreet plays a Justin Bieber lookalike named Sam who belted out a surprisingly stirring rendition of Travie McCoy and Bruno Mars' "Billionaire." Not just anybody can pull that off, kids.

The returning castmates also got some love in the Search box. But oddly, fans seemed most interested in their ages. Online queries for "lea michele age" jumped 732% (she's 24), and interest in "cory monteith age" spiked about 300% (he's 28).

Jane Lynch, who returned as the over-the-top demanding Sue Sylvester, was no slouch on the Web. The Emmy winning actress saw her searches jump 451%. That's a number sure to make Mr. Schuester jealous.