Oxygen this morning announced that it has picked up a second season of The Glee Project for a summer premiere. The cable network began casting for Season 2 of the Glee spinoff competition series in September but at the time it stopped short of announcing an official second season renewal of the reality series because its prize is a guest role on Glee and at the time Fox had not picked up the high school dramedy for a fourth season. Five months later, Fox still has not renewed Glee but the network’s entertainment president Kevin Reilly recently spoke enthusiastically about a “cool” next season planned by the show’s creators. A Season 4 pickup for Glee is now considered a formality unless some major ratings calamity happens this spring.

Glee executive producers Ryan Murphy and Dante Di Loreto are returning as executive producers of The Glee Project along with Michael Davies and Shauna Minoprio of Embassy Row. Casting for The Glee Project‘s second season has wrapped up. It  will feature 14 contenders, two more than Season 1, as well as additional themes and all new music. Murphy will once again join casting director Robert Ulrich, choreographer and Glee co-producer Zach Woodlee and vocal coach Nikki Anders in the final deliberations of each episode. After a slow start, The Glee Project grew steadily throughout its first season, averaging 1.2 million viewers. Winners Damian McGinty and Samuel Larsen each landed seven-episode arcs on Glee, with two more finalists, Lindsay Pearce and Alex Newell getting two-episode stints on the current season of the Fox dramedy. “The Glee Project is a special show that has tapped into a desire in our culture to watch people go for and achieve their dreams,” said Jason Klarman, President, Oxygen Media.