Glee Boss Confirms Graduation Plan (Whom Will You Miss Most?), Blasts 'Recast' Rumor

There’s no dodging the issue — all of the Glee characters who were juniors this past season will graduate from McKinley High in May 2012, with their portrayers (presumably) leaving the show.

Speaking on Ryan Seacrest’s radio show Friday morning, Glee creator Ryan Murphy held firm to his previously revealed transition plan, saying that for original characters such as Rachel, Finn, Quinn and Puck, “This next [season] will be their senior year, and then that [they] will graduate.”

“We didn’t want to have a show where they were in high school for eight years,” he explained. “We really wanted  to be true to that experience.”

To proactively fill the void (Murphy said he’s loath to use the words “eliminating or replacing”), brand-new, younger characters will be woven into McKinley’s ranks over the coming season — a few in the fall, and a couple more at midseason. Only one of the newbies, however, will be the product of the Glee Project reality show now airing on Oxygen.

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“There’s a couple rumors floating around, that half the cast is go to be replaced by the winner of The Glee Project, which is not true,” Murphy told Seacrest. Rather, only the singular winner of that reality competition will join Glee, for at least seven episodes.

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Murphy notes that while his original young cast will leave “sort of an indelible mark,” he is looking forward to the challenge of introducing America to a new wave of relatively unknown talents poised to generate fresh buzz (and, who knows, maybe land in a controversial Rolling Stone layout). Besides, not everyone is leaving; Murphy envisions Matthew Morrison and Jane Lynch as “the male and female lynchpins of the series” even as young’uns come and go.

But, he says, Glee “is a celebration of youth and talent and … finding those young unknown people and giving them an opportunity to break into the business and become stars is a really fun and exciting thing, and is the spirit of the series.”

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200 Comments
  1. Molly says:

    Yes good riddance. As long as Will, Emma, and Sue stay I will stick around with the show. I love the adults and people should have been preparing for this. They made it clear in S1 that the kids would be graduating by S3.

    Can’t wait for the new cast but as long as Wemma and Sue are around, I will be as well. :)

  2. V says:

    Look at what happened to Friday Night Lights. It went down hill and off to Direct TV land after they ‘graduated’ their main stars. The same will happen to Glee. I know that it is unreal for kids to stay in high school for 8 years. But fans and viewers get used to seeing them and their story lines.

    • Will says:

      Technically, not true. First, they actually went to DirectTV in season 3 when most of the original cast was still on the show. No one graduated off until beginning of Season 4.

  3. JDHetherington says:

    He better have been misquoted again. Because getting rid of Rachel, Finn, Kurt, Puck, Quinn, Tina, Mercedes, Santana, Brittany, Mike, Artie, Sam, Lauren and Karofsky all at once will just upset ALOT of people, as they all have a pretty hardcore fanbase.

    Ryan Murphy stated that Brittany, Santana and Karofsky have some mileage in their storylines over at Entertainment Weekly that would probably see them stay past Season 3 like last week. Plus they will only just be signing Harry Shum Jr. to play Mike Chang as a Regular for Season 3. Why bother if your just going to get rid of him after 22 Episodes.

    Not to mention that in “Rhodes Not Taken” Will met a student from Carmel who was being failed to stay in Vocal Adrenaline till they could find a suitable replacement. This is a show where your cast is very vocal about NOT wanting to leave.

    By all means graduate like maybe a 3rd of the students end of Season 3, But don’t cut them all out at once. It will only get them more negative reception despite their efforts to maintain the quality of the show by hiring new writers. Those new writers are going to have the unfortunate timing of coming on right when this itiative starts to take effect. Meaning they’ll cop alot of flack.

    Ryan Murphy, we don’t watch this show for it’s realistic tendencies. We want it for it’s hilarious and amazing characters, it’s great and surprising relationships, and heart warming musical numbers.

  4. jamie says:

    lea michele is glee, without her, its nothing at all. i hope there is a spinoff because otherwise i am goneee…lea michele is glee

  5. Danielle says:

    Guys, you have to think of only one show here. FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS. Peter Berg and assc have created a show with fresh new cahracters (leaving some of course), but mostly new characters that the audience learned to love as much as the prior. I really hope Glee can pull it off in the same way FNL has.

    • lia29 says:

      I’m sorry but comparing Glee to FNL is bogus. FNL pulled it off because of the stellar acting/direction/writing and The Taylors staying until the very end. The show more about the Coach than the team. On Glee it’s more about the team than the coach, which thank goodness because Will has sucked since the back nine last season. People want to see Rachel, Kurt, Quinn, Finn…

    • Will says:

      The difference is that The Taylors were always the main characters on that show and they stayed consistent.

  6. Ray says:

    I watch for the cast, PERIOD. Quinn, Santana, Rachel,Puck, and the others. I don’t care if they make senior year go 2 years like One Tree Hill or do some cheesey let’s all go to the same college like the original 90210.They could follow Will to his new job. Plain and simple, most shows have a 5 to 7 year life span. That would put this original cast through high school and college. Come on Ryan Murphy, the music brought us fans to the table, the cast keeps us coming back.

  7. raven says:

    It’s just so hard to watch Glee without Rachel, Quinn, Kurt, Santana and Brittany… and as much as I love Naya Rivera & Heather Morris, I do agree Glee is not Glee without Lea Michele. Lea is just like the symbol of Glee. I wonder how many people stay watching the show for Matthew Morrison and Jane Lynch? Most of the gleeks are gleeks because of the New Directions led by Rachel.

  8. Amy says:

    So this didn’t come out and say for sure that ALL of the characters will be leaving this show.

  9. Jared says:

    This is the worst news of my life! Glee without Finn and Rachel is just a devastating thought. I will be a complete wreck throughout season 3, knowing that as time goes on, it’s the last I’ll have seen if these characters! :(

  10. TJ says:

    I only watch it to see Cory Monteith’s adorable face. Once Finn graduates, I’m not gonna watch anymore.

    • Cat says:

      Seriously, Cory is the most adorable actor out there (not only looks but petsonality wise). His voice got really good too. Saying goodbye will be devastating.

  11. Jasmine says:

    They shouldn’t have rushed the show like they have. They could have stretched this cast for a solid six seasons by doing only half a year person. Or even better, starting the kids off in their freshman year (never understood why so many teen shows start in the sophomore year???), and they could have easily stretched it to eight seasons. Yeah, the kids will start looking a little old, but no one would care once they were attached to the characters.

    Plus, if they had slowed the pace down, it could have given them room for more consistent character development, and the show wouldn’t have taken such a nosedive in quality after the first 13 or so episodes.

  12. Michael says:

    There is no way Fox will allow this. Ryan Murphy might want to do this, but Fox likes to make money and will not let one of its biggest money makers take this big of a chance.

    • Simon says:

      All of their contracts expire after S3 though so I would assume it would be cost effective as well.

      I won’t watch without Dianna/Quinn, but realistically I think getting rid of any of the original ensemble cast at this point is a lose for the show ratings wise.

      Out of curiosity how many shows have survived major cast overhauls?

      • Prince says:

        No show ever survived a major cast overhaul. Even a small change affects the ratings. That’s why producers should never mess with a cast like what glee has. Look at the show CSI it was doing great till they wrote off “Grissom” and killed of “Warrick” and brought in that new guy. Even two minor cast changes affected the ratings of that show. It’s a dumb idea, when you have a cast who works well together who has great chemistry, the viewers don’t even give a f*ck about the story anymore. They just continue to watch because they enjoy the cast.

        • Karen says:

          Exactly, I do not believe Glee or any other show could survive such a major cast overhaul. If it does, it will surely shock me.

  13. Rachel says:

    Im sorry but the show already to me is starting to lose its appeal and now there going to do this. Its going to feel like a reality show and not a good one.

  14. Brianna says:

    If Lea’s gone, I’m gone. I don’t care if the people they introduce are great…when the original cast is done, I’m done too. Glee won’t be Glee without Lea, Cory, Dianna or Mark. ESPECIALLY Lea.

  15. Jo says:

    No Chris Colfer or Lea Michele? Then season 3 is my last. I want a new york college spin off – Rachel, Finn, Kurt… its would be awesome.

  16. Ryan says:

    i totally agree, Lea Michele is the reason i watch this show
    without her i can’t watch this show again. the show doesn’t special anymore.

  17. ANONYMOUS says:

    Yes it’s true, in high school kids come and go.
    But, when the original cast leaves, so do I.

  18. Cate says:

    I don’t think the show would work with a new cast – not if ALL the kids graduate anyway. They might survive a few – Cory and Mark are almost 30 aren’t they? If they hung onto Rachel, Kurt, Santana, Brittany then maybe, but as others have said, we watch for the characters and their singing talent, not the stories and plots. This season it has been preachy issues (sex, death, religion, bullying) guest stars and endless love triangles. Lets hope the new writers can bring a bit of consistency to the characters and some better storylines. Poor Jane Lynch has been a caricature, Rachel has been written so unevenly she’s practically schizophrenic!

  19. ddutchie88 says:

    It’s ironic how everyone’s sick of Sue and Mr. Schue, yet THEY are the ones staying. Sigh. I’m gonna miss Rachel, Kurt and Santana the most :( I wish there’d be a spin-off for those three trying to make it on Broadway..

  20. Sharp says:

    Please, can Brittany fail and have to repeat a year?

    • Maya says:

      I know, at least they can keep Brittany, right? I think the reason is pretty logical lol. Many people get held back in highschool. Honestly, in Brit’s case it would be unrealistic NOT to keep her. I need more Fondue For Two in my life. She’s hilarious, but college material she is not. She’ll likely be a successful dancer.

  21. Ricky says:

    Frankly, I’m a little tired of this cast and am eager to see some fresh faces. I do hope though that they can recruit someone to match Lea’s vocals.

  22. Andrea says:

    Rachel, Puck, Quinn, and Finn are my four favorite characters. With them gone, I will have nothing left to stick around for.

  23. Michael A says:

    I think it’s a fantastic idea. And to those of you who’ve noted that you love Glee for Quinn, Puck, Santana, or Britney. Let’s remember that all of those did not join the show as regulars until after the first half of season 1. Personally, I think the show has done a great job of adding new characters like Blaine this season.

    Puck already looks like he’s 30.

  24. TrulyRoxie says:

    These are high school students that will graduate and head off to greener pastures. It’s unrealistic to think they’d stay on the show forever. While I love the characters as they stand, I think some new blood could be good for the show. I, for one, will continue to watch to see what happens.

  25. Tee says:

    The writing was so mediocre this season, it was the performers that really carried the show. Take a good chunk of them away and what’s left? If Glee Project is any indication, not a whole lot.

  26. Karen says:

    I have a feeling that Brittany will still be around:-) she’s a sweetheart, but not the smartest cookie we’ve ever seen.
    I’m really, really, really gonna miss Kurt and Chris Colfer :-)

  27. anna says:

    i will miss Dianna Agron shes the best

  28. Ri says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but they said rachel,finn,quinn, and Puck are graduating. There is nothing there about Kurt,Mercedes,Tina etc etc. So maybe those four were Juniors and the others were sophomores or something ? I don’t know, maybe it’s wishful thinking on my part. In all honesty, the whole cast is fabulous and no one person makes the show, so even when certain members graduate, i will continue to watch.

  29. Meg says:

    What they need to do is actually make that spin-off show with Rachel, Kurt, and Blaine trying to make it in New York. A fresh setting might give Murphy some fresh ideas, and that way we have a storyline that doesn’t deal with the annoying high school drama.

    • carla says:

      Kurt is good in small doses. A whole show dedicated to him? Yikes. Too much crying and whining to endure. He’s gay and it’s hard, we get it.

  30. ThereasonsY says:

    This to me just lends further credit to the rumor floating around that there will be a spin-off based in NYC starring Lea Michele and Chris Colfer similar to what we saw in the Season “finale”.

    • Angie says:

      That smacks of Saved by the Bell The College years. Also, NBC has ‘Smash’ next year which is supposed to be the fictional making of a Broadway play. So, they’d have to tread a really fine line to capture the same magic with these characters without feeling a a repeat of the other 2 shows.

      • ThereasonsY says:

        The fact you brought up Saved By The Bell the college years makes me give you a high 5! The spin-off has been talked about and they are at a good point in their show (season3) where if they are going to do it they can without too much contract drama. Also, SMASH (though I wish it well) may not be on the air by 2012-2013 season when the spin off would happen. NBC does have an easy time canceling shows so if this thing goes near Glee number it would be yanked in a heart beat. Lastly it is a Fox like move to do anything they can to hurt the Big 4 numbers. Pia on Dancing with the stars the same night as the Voice premiere? That was pure forget you that didn’t work.

  31. Marie says:

    Is anybody going to miss Chris Colfer (Kurt Hummel) at all/as much as I will???

  32. bcr says:

    “We really wanted to be true to that experience.” Uhhh…nothing else about the show is. Why this?

  33. Sivat says:

    They made a mistake making everyone in the glee club from the SAME graduating class. It makes no sense. Why has no one from any other graduating class joined this club? That way, they could have staggered the exits rather than having one mass exodus.

    Brittany is dumb and Puck’s a bad seed so it would make sense to hold them back a year and keep them on for a fourth season to help introduce the new class.

    • Angie says:

      Glee club is still not ‘popular’. So, it stand to reason that people would be hesitant to be branded a loser. ….and I don’t want them to bring in some quirky character who will join anything. The reason this cast works is because they are from both popular and non-popular groups and have come together to form a new family. The show has demonstrated that popular kids have their own insecurities while the ‘freaks’ are actually more confident in who they are….

  34. England Rising says:

    Since The Americans aren’t born homosexuals, don’t develop homosexual genetics and don’t become homosexual practitioners, and since this show is made strictly for a European-Asian audience import consumption and since there are no real Americans on the entire show, save for the so-called “citizens” who perform, why don’t they move the entire television production to Europe-Asia where it would have a bright future instead of lurking in the shadows of the exclusively heterosexual American domestic television market, and the exclusively heterosexual America in general, hoping and praying the Americans won’t notice the show and immediately cancel it.

    • Me says:

      This comment make no sense to me at all. I’m pretty sure there is about an equal percentage of homosexuals in America as there are in Europe or in your words Europe-Asia. An what is this about not real American’s on the show. Of the entire cast, only 3 where born outside of the US, and even they appear as regular Americans on the show. In addition, this is not a show about homosexuality. It’s about a group of misfits, who find they share a passion, and become family despite their differences. Also, Glee has enjoyed great ratings in the US and has not been anywhere close to being canceled, despite initial skepticism that people would want to watch a musical on a weekly basis.

      • Rexador says:

        England Rising put everything perfectly. America has the transoceanic “citizen” population which comprise the cast, and America has had no such homosexuality before or after Columbus, darling, so you need to go to school for once in your life for an education and NOT to join a glee club in the shadowy auspices of an unwanted and homeless society. Great ratings??? Television hasn’t had a great rating since 1981, computerphobe!!!! YOU’RE ON THE INTERNET NOW, BUTTBRAIN!!!!

        • zoo59bxa says:

          bahahah. dufus calling itself “Me” gets pwnd by Rexador. outstanding. 8)

        • Me says:

          Buttbrain, what a clever and witty remark, are you 5? I’m on the computer now, because on a Saturday afternoon there is not much in the way of enjoyable tv programming. I would like for someone to explain what you mean by transoceanic “citizen” population? The kids on Glee are a pretty good representation on the students in America today, so why Europeans are trying to claim them as their own doesn’t make a lick of sense. What exactly do you think Americans are like? Based on your attack of me, I assume you think we are uneducated automatons. I did attend school in the US, which gave me an education, in addition to developing social skills the extracurricular activities provide.

          • Tina T. says:

            I’m inquiring to the “Me” troll who knows nothing about America attacking the posters on this comment thread so it would interest me as to its real identity. Where are you posting from, me? Where is your location? Communist China? Do America a favor and shut the F up and let everyone have their equal say, dipwit, or get back to your communist assembly line for free rice. Your glee losers reflect nothing about America and you truly are a buttbrain, buttbrain. And do us all a favor and STAY IN CHINA, BUTTBRAIN!!!!

          • Me says:

            @Tina T. This “me” troll(way to quote Charlie Sheen) hails from Ohio, incidentally where Glee is set. Where are you from? What about my comment was remotely communist? If anything I am supporting the acceptance of a diverse America. Also, if you are calling them losers, I assume you are not a fan of the show, so why would you post on a message board about it, or defend someone who essentially insulting American audiences?

    • toolravin says:

      I’ve got some bad news for you. With an average of ten million viewers a week, this show will not be getting canceled anytime soon. Also, Americans primarily make shows for American viewers. I have never heard of a band, a show, or a movie, hoping to break in the UK market. Also, their are US versions of shows like The Office and Being Human, so why not just hope for a European version of Glee, without having to take away a much loved show from US viewers. If you hate the US so much, just stick to the shows on BBC.

  35. Kelsey says:

    I think this sort of thing could be done really well, but I’m not sure I trust ryan Murphy and Co, to make the transition well. As far as losing Lea Michele, who is uber talented and one of my favorites, I think there are people out there who could fill her void well, I’d love to see some broadway youngsters like Allie Trimm (Who amazes me with her voice every time i hear it) or Brynn Williams on there.

  36. Bethany says:

    I hope Ryan Murphy doesn’t ignore the band in this idea. It would be kind of weird to graduate the singers but keep the same kids in the band for eight season.

  37. Angie says:

    I will continue to wach just to check it out after the current cast graduates. You might be pleasantly surprised by the new talent and new possibilities.

    Originally, I believe the intent was for just 3 years. However, the shows success now means that the producers want to keep it going.

    If they had thought this out, they would’ve introduced at least 2 characters during season 2 as new younger club members. I’m pretty sure Sam and Lauren are in the same class as the others. With everyone graduating at the same time, they only have 1 season to get people to connect to new students without doing an injustice to the graduating class.

  38. Camille says:

    I can understand your pain, gleeks, I felt the same at the season 3 finale of House =(

  39. Karen says:

    I love watching Glee for the ensemble cast, you take away most of the characters viewers have grown to care about and the viewership will sink pretty quickly. I have no desire to watch a bunch of newbies come onto the show during season 3 either. I want to see what happens to the cast that is in place right now. They have an energy and dynamic that will make it hard for another group to follow in their footsteps.

    I really wish the characters that are going to leave the show get a spinoff like was suggested in other posts already. I want to see what happens to the crew after they graduate high school. I could care less about Mr. Schue and a new class of characters. I believe Glee will be a huge fail if they think the show can survive without Rachel, Finn, Puck, Kurt, Blaine, Quinn, Santana, Brit, Artie, Mercedes, Lauren, Sam, Mike & Tina.

  40. Ross says:

    It’s kinda funny when you think about it. He says:

    “We didn’t want to have a show where they were in high school for eight years,” he explained. “We really wanted to be true to that experience.”

    Ok, so you have over the top, unbelievable characters like Sue Sylvester and completely fantastical plot lines, but “you want to stay true to that experience”.

    I’m calling BS on that…it sounds like a money issue to me. Let the older cast members go, before they want too much money or a bigger piece of the pie.

  41. Jan says:

    I agree with many of the posters. Get rid of the original characters, and I won’t be watching either.

  42. Perkay says:

    Anyone spreading hate spam and rhetoric on this comment page, particularly the king troll using the name “Me”, needs to let all the other commentators speak their mind and say what they came to say, but since Me is only on this page to disrupt and pose his way into the memorybanks of servers everywhere I would suggest being extra cautious if you are attacked by him as he’s now attacked so many others. Enjoy your visit.

  43. Louise says:

    I know some of these characters will be missed but, come on people. Cory Monteith is almost 30 and playing a high school senior??The other actors, except for Chris Colfer are also well into their 20’s. Perhaps this next group of actors will be closer in age to their characters. I will miss these actors but Matthew Morrison could leave with them and I would not miss him at all.

  44. Clark says:

    While I love the original cast and do not think the show will be the same without them, without Rachel the show is nothing. There is not reason they cannot make her a junior still (excepting that one quote this past season that stated she was already a junior, and in the crazy Glee world we can ignore that ever happened) and have her stay while Quinn, Finn, and Puck graduate. Rachel could very realistically (again in Glee TV terms) have been a freshman in season 1 and stay through season 4.

    Without her, a little bit of the show dies.

  45. ForsakenMoon19 says:

    This idea sucks ass, I’m sorry but you all can fool yourselves if you seriously believe Glee will survive without Rachel (even though I hate her), Finn, Kurt, Quinn and Puck!!! Getting rid of the current cast is a death sentence, I don’t care how you wanna argue it these kids are the faces of Glee!!! I sure as hell won’t be tuning in every week to see a band of boring wannabes no matter how talented they are becuz at the end of the day the only characters true gleeks care about are the ones we’ve watched since the pilot!! There’s no getting around it getting rid of the cast for stupid newbies WILL KILL THE SHOW!!!! Degrassi was a once in a lifetime bullet dodger, you can’t compare that show to glee!!!! Maybe the replacement formula worked for Degrassi that does not mean it’ll apply to Glee. If Ryan really thought about it he could easily save his current cast by allowing the audience to follow them into their college years and maybe form college glee clubs but no he’d rather recyle the old formula of glee for a whole new cast of uninteresting nobodies. One things for certain the minute Finn and Kurt go I go!!!!

  46. Guy says:

    Glee won’t be the same without at least 3 of the main cast, those being Kurt, Rachel and Finn. There are others too but yeah i must say this show could quite possibly suck if there is a complete makeover. Lets just say its going to be very weird if the original cast isn’t there.

  47. gleekfan says:

    From what I heard that it was just Puck,Quinn and Finn.The rest of the cast,wasn’t mention of graduating.So its possiable,that just those 3 will graduated.If they do.I’ll miss Puck on the show.He’s my fav charecter.

  48. gleek says:

    U can’t get rid of quinn. U get rid of her and puck ill still watch but I wont be a gleek anymore. Go quinn!! Love ya

  49. Patricia says:

    I think that the show should end when they graduate. Then it would forever be this unique and beautiful series that wasn’t drained to the last drop, but i fear it is making too much money to be left alone. In a couple of years when it finally is over and someone asks me if I watched Glee, I’ll say “Yes, but just the three first original seasons.” Like with Star Wars…

    All though, Star Wars will probably hold up better than Glee…

    Mmmmm…. Star Wars<3

  50. mrsramone says:

    I think that you meant to refer to the controversial “GQ” layout … not Rolling Stone.

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