'Glee' Spin-Off Dead: Lea Michele, Chris Colfer & Cory Monteith Say They Will Return For Season 4 (UPDATED)
SECOND UPDATE: Cory Monteith told The Hollywood Reporter: "Yes, I'll be back ... I'm very excited." Monteith confirmed that for Season 4, "people are going to graduate," but they'll be "keeping the William McKinley paradigm intact." Echoing Chris Colfer's sentiments, Monteith added: "Ryan [Murphy] has come up with a brilliant, ground-breaking idea for how to include us graduating high school seniors into next season." His on-screen girlfriend, Lea Michele told THR: "When we heard Ryan's plan, it really made us even more thrilled."
UPDATE: Chris Colfer, the actor behind the beloved Kurt on "Glee," told The Insider: "I'm coming back." Colfer confirmed at Fox's All Star TCA party on Jan. 8 that there will be no spin-off, but that "Glee" creator Ryan Murphy has a plan that is "kind of revolutionary. It's the best of both worlds."
There's good news and bad news for Gleeks.
The "Glee" spin-off that had been planned for Rachel (played by Lea Michele), Finn (played by Cory Monteith) and Kurt (played by the Emmy-winning Chris Colfer) is not happening, Fox entertainment chief Kevin Reilly said at the Television Critics Association winter press tour, according to a tweet from TV Guide.
"We are graduating the characters that are arcing to graduation," he revealed, adding, "There will not be a spin-off." Reilly did say that "Glee" creator Ryan Murphy has a "really cool idea" to potentially bring those characters back, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Though Reilly offered no further details about Murphy's plans, he confirmed that Michele will be back "Glee" Season 4. But the fates of Colfer and Monteith's characters -- as well as other McKinley High School seniors (i.e. Brittany, Santana, Puck, Mike, Tina) -- are still up in the air. "Creatively, we'd want everybody back," Reilly explained, via TV Line. "I've got to look at the contractual situation for all of those. And we will. I don't want to…get into details. I'm just trying to whet your appetite. But I think it's going to be a good thing for the show. It's cool. It's different."
When asked if it's possible for "Glee" to have a show within a show, Reilly said, according to The Hollywood Reporter, that he's "alluding to some version of that." By the spring episodes, he explained, the plan for next season will be clear.
In July 2011, Murphy told THR that Michele, Monteith and Colfer would graduate in 2012 and no longer be a part of the show. The actors claimed ignorance about their reported impending departure and "Glee" viewers erupted in fury, although reports dated back to December 2010 that some of the actors would leave after their characters' graduation.
A few weeks later, Murphy back-peddled about misspeaking and said his remarks were "stupid." He told Deadline:
Michele, Monteith and Colfer "were involved in the process for 3 to 4 months to the point where we were even talking about cities and relocations and we called Julliard and what would that mean and how would we do it ... We were going to do a spin-off where the three of them were going to go on. They all knew what was happening, they all had approved it, they all said they wanted to do it."
Reilly's 2012 TCA statements coincide with his remarks about the now-dead "Glee" spin-off at the TCA summer press tour in August 2011. He said the spin-off is still a possibility, but no decision would be made until 2012. And he confirmed that three characters will graduate in "Glee's" third season.