Executive Producer Ryan Murphy told The Hollywood Reporter that this will be the final season for three of “Glee’s” most popular characters, Rachel (Lea Michele), Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Finn (Cory Monteith.) “You can keep them on the show for six years and people will criticize you for not being realistic, or you can be really true to life and say when they started the show they were very clearly sophomores and they should graduate at the end of their senior year.”
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Murphy claims that the actors are enthusiastic about this plot twist. ““We made that decision and I involved Chris and Lea and they thought that was a good idea,” he said. “They both trust the writing and trust me and felt that it would be great to have an open and closed experience for them to go out while they were on top.” He admits he did not speak with Monteith.
It is surprising that the hit show would risk losing viewers by writing off such beloved characters. There have been few references to the characters ages and academic status. Many viewers may not even realize, for example, that Quinn is supposed to be a year younger than her former boyfriend Finn. All of the characters attended the prom last season, an event that is traditionally reserved for juniors and seniors.
There is already speculation that there could be a spin-off about Rachel and Kurt trying to make it as singers in New York, since the second season finale hinted that they would be moving to the Big Apple after graduation. Last month Murphy told TVLine, “It’s an interesting idea. The questions are ‘How would we do it? And when would we do it?'”
The fan reaction to the news of Michele, Colfer and Monteith’s departure is mixed. “Glee will be crap when Lea Michele leaves,” a woman commented on TVLine. “Glee is over with no Rachel.” At the Hollywood Reporter’s site, an anonymous user wrote, “Ugh, you can’t fill Lea Michele’s shoes. Or Chris Colfer’s for that matter. You want to know who else won’t be returning for season 4? Me.” However, others think it could be a good move. “I totally saw this coming,” Randy wrote on TVLine. “Did people really think they would be in high school for the entire series run? Not really disappointed. Sad that such iconic characters will leave though, but I’m glad they are keeping it real. To do it the other way would have been super silly.”
Bottom line: We’ll see…