Fox has already renewed “Glee” for Seasons 5 and 6, but FOX entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly said Thursday the current plan is that those two seasons likely will be the show’s last.
“I would not anticipate it goes on,” Reilly told reporters after his Executive Session at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Los Angeles. “Never say never, but there’s two very clear arcs to get there and conclude. If we discover a new crop of kids and there’s some break-out, who knows. But right now, it’s being treated as two seasons [and then done].”
So unless some truly amazing students come through the hallways of McKinley High before then, Gleeks should begin preparing themselves for the series to come to an end. But there are still two whole seasons worth of story to tell. Obviously, Season 5, which returns this fall, will be clouded by the real-life death of series star Cory Monteith, who played the lovable jock at the center of “Glee.” In line with what creator Ryan Murphy has said recently, Reilly confirmed that the first two episodes this year will be the long-in-the-works Beatles tributes and the third episode will feature a tribute to Monteith.
“I can’t speak to [the story] yet because, frankly, the guys are still breaking it,” Reilly said. “What I will tell you is that that episode will deal directly with the incidents in Cory’s passing, and the drug abuse in particular.”
While Reilly would not confirm whether or not Finn will suffer the same fate as his portrayer, he says Murphy and the cast will shoot PSAs educating the audience about drug abuse. “As cast members, as friends of [Monteith's], they’re going to speak directly to the audience. I think they’re going to be very, very impactful.”
Added Reilly, “You see some people struggling with addiction [and] they’re very easily put into a category. ‘Oh, he was dark. Oh, she was always a partier.’ Cory was a big, open, wonderful life force. He was not a problem. Everybody loved him. He didn’t look like that; he looked straight as an arrow. He was very open about it in his past, not as open about it in the present. And everybody was ultimately shocked because it was an accident that happened to somebody struggling with an addiction. That’s hopefully what will become of this, illuminating that particular kind of addiction. That’s what Ryan will be doing with the show.”
In addition to the PSAs, all proceeds from the music in the tribute episode will be donated to a fund that FOX and others are forming in Monteith’s honor.
The “Glee” Season 5 premiere was pushed back a week and will now air Thursday, Sept. 26, at 9/8c, following Monteith’s sudden death. The three planned episodes will air before the show goes on an indefinite hiatus.