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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - In the second season of "Glee", high school students Rachel and Finn will stay together, guest star Kristin Chenoweth will "definitely" be back, and actor Javier Bardem will make an appearance.
Ryan Murphy, the creator of the Emmy-nominated TV musical comedy, and fellow writers Ian Brennan and Brad Fulchuk also say there will be just five musical numbers per episode and more emphasis on the show's colorful characters.
Schoolteacher Will's ex-wife Terri (played by Jessalyn Gilsig) will date a hot guy in a bid to make Will green with jealousy, and ditzy cheerleader Brittany, played by Heather Morris, will see her role expanded, the writers told a panel session in Beverly Hills on Monday.
"Glee", about an eclectic group of high school misfits in a struggling show choir, won 19 Emmy nominations last week after becoming the most talked-about new show on U.S. television.
The much-anticipated second season will begin airing on September 21, broadcaster Fox said on Tuesday. It will include a Britney Spears-themed episode that is expected to feature ditzy blonde "Glee" character Brittany in her first solo singing roles.
Murphy said he was humbled by the show's success.
"I feel very stunned that people got it in a big way... because I do think it's a very unusual show and a very unusual tone...There's never been a musical on television that has worked, so the fact that it is embraced as much as it has been is just amazing to me," he said.
Murphy confirmed conflicting reports that he is writing a guest part for Bardem, who won an Oscar for his role in the 2007 movie "No Country for Old Men", after talking with the Spanish actor at the Cannes film festival in May.
"He goes, 'I do not want to talk about Cannes. I want to talk about Glee.' He had downloaded every episode...He knew everything about everybody and he said, 'I want to come on. Will you write me something?' So how do you say 'no' to Javier Bardem?," Murphy said.
Murphy said there were also openings for the return of other guest stars, Neil Patrick Harris, Idina Menzel and Jonathan Groff, with Chenoweth a certainty.
And Season 2 will include not just the choir sectional and regional competitions, but also nationals. But that doesn't necessarily mean that the New Directions choir will be getting there....stay tuned.
Editing by Bob Tourtellotte