‘Glee’ gets songs for free

Rihanna's hits among tunes performed

While music licensing would seem an unlikely place for cost-conscious series producers to spend big coin these days, the first season of Fox’s upcoming comedy series “Glee” will be punctuated by performances of top 40 hits including Rihanna’s “Take a Bow” and Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab”

“We’re licensing really big songs from really big artists,” noted series creator Ryan Murphy, who along with the youthful cast of the high-school glee-club-themed skein, addressed tube journos at the Television Critics Assn. winter confab in Universal City Tuesday.

Happily for Murphy, the “Nip/Tuck” mastermind producing his first network skein, the hits seem to keep coming within the confines of the series’ means.

“Fox has really been supportive in giving us resources and man power to mount these big numbers,” he said. “And the music community has really embraced us. ‘Take a Bow’ is something that would usually go for hundreds of thousands of dollars, and we got it for a really good price… And we have other artists saying, ‘Hey, take this for free.'”