The Back-up Plan (Glee)

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This article is about the episode of Glee. For the 2010 romantic comedy film, see The Back-up Plan.
"The Back-Up Plan"
Glee episode
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 18
Directed by Ian Brennan
Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Featured music
Production code 5ARC18
Original air date April 29, 2014 (2014-04-29)
Guest actors
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Opening Night"
Next →
"Old Dog New Tricks"

"The Back-Up Plan" is the eighteenth episode of the fifth season of the American musical television series Glee, and the 106th episode overall. Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and directed by co-creator Ian Brennan, it aired on Fox in the United States on April 29, 2014, and features the introduction of Shirley MacLaine as rich socialite June Dolloway.


Newly minted Broadway star Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) auditions for a television pilot, a move that might deprive her of her leading role as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl. Blaine Anderson (Darren Criss) impresses wealthy socialite June Dollaway (Shirley MacLaine), and Mercedes Jones (Amber Riley) attempts to add Santana Lopez (Naya Rivera) to her music deal.[1][2]


Guest star Shirley MacLaine debuts this episode in a multi-episode arc as June Dolloway, a rich, "powerful socialite" and major NYADA donor who takes an interest in Blaine and wants to make him "a superstar".[3][4] Scenes with MacLaine and Criss were shot on location at the Bradbury Building in downtown Los Angeles.[3] This was MacLaine's first time singing a Janis Joplin song.[5]

Jim Rash appears as Fox Television executive Lee Paulblatt, who is amazed by Rachel's talent when he sees her in Funny Girl and wants to cast her.[6][7]

The episode was written by supervising producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and directed by co-creator Ian Brennan, and was in production on April 9, 2014, when Academy Award-winners MacLaine and Rash were shooting scenes for him.[8][9] It was produced in parallel with the following episode "Old Dogs New Tricks", which began shooting on April 4, 2014.[10]

Recurring characters appearing in this episode include aspiring singer Mercedes Jones (Riley),[1] Funny Girl producer Sidney Greene (Michael Lerner)[2] and NYADA teacher Alain Marceau (Nicholas Kadi).

Five songs from the episode are being released on a digital five-track EP with the title Glee: The Music, The Back-Up Plan. These are: Avicii's "Wake Me Up" sung by Michele;[11] Lauryn Hill's "Doo Wop (That Thing)" performed by Riley and Rivera;[12] One Direction's "Story of My Life"" performed by Criss and Chris Colfer; Big Brother and the Holding Company's "Piece of My Heart" (Janis Joplin sang lead), performed by MacLaine and Criss;[3] and Bette Midler's version of "The Rose" from the movie of the same name, sung by Michele.[7][13]


  1. ^ a b "Listings – Glee on Fox". The Futon Critic. Retrieved April 22, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Episodic photos". Fox Broadcasting Company. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c "Guest Star: Shirley MacLaine – GLEE". Glee. YouTube. April 28, 2014. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  4. ^ Ausiello, Michael (April 8, 2014). "Glee Exclusive: Shirley MacLaine Books Arc as Blaine's [Spoiler]! Plus — First Photo!". TVLine. PMC. Retrieved April 27, 2014. 
  5. ^ Snetiker, Marc (April 28, 2014). "Shirley MacLaine on her 'Glee' guest spot and singing Janis Joplin". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  6. ^ Swift, Andy (April 28, 2014). "TVLine Items: Jim Rash Targets Glee's Rising Star, Chelsea Handler Eyes Netflix Deal and More". TVLine. PMC. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Guest Star: Jim Rash – GLEE". Glee. YouTube. April 28, 2014. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  8. ^ Hitchcock, Michael (April 9, 2014). "Twitter / @hitchmichael: Ian Brennan directing two Academy Award winners today for an upcoming Glee episode.  :)". Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  9. ^ Hitchcock, Michael (April 27, 2014). "Twitter / @hitchmichael: Yesss!!! Tomorrow the hilarious (& Oscar winning) @RashisTVUgly visits GLEE along with the legendary (& Oscar winning) Shirley MacLaine.". Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  10. ^ Colfer, Chris (April 23, 2014). "Twitter / @chriscolfer: First day!!!". Retrieved April 27, 2014. 
  11. ^ Lewis, Casey (April 28, 2014). "Exclusive Premiere! Lea Michele Covered Avicii for Glee, and It's As Awesome As You'd Expect". Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  12. ^ Daw, Robbie (April 28, 2014). "Glee‍‍ '​‍s Amber Riley & Naya Rivera Cover Lauryn Hill's "Doo Wop (That Thing)": Idolator Premiere". Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Glee: The Music, The Back-Up Plan". Amazon. Retrieved April 27, 2014. 

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