Glee Shocker: Lea Michele, Cory Monteith and Chris Colfer Not Returning For Season 4

Brace yourselves, Gleeks.

Glee exec producer Ryan Murphy just told The Hollywood Reporter that not only will Rachel, Finn and Kurt graduate from McKinley High at the end of the upcoming third season, but all three of their portrayers — Lea Michele, Cory Monteith and Chris Colfer — are “not going to be back at all for Season 4.”

That’s right, kids. He said At. All.

“You can keep them on the show for six years and people will criticize you for not being realistic,” he added, “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.

“We’ve never done anything by the book,” Murphy continued. “We made that decision and I involved Chris and Lea and they thought that was a good idea. 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.”

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Murphy goes on to acknowledge that unlike Colfer and Michele, he has yet to discuss any of this with Monteith. But it shouldn’t come as much of a shock since the actor knew Finn “was a sophomore when the show started.”

The Glee boss first floated the graduation plot in an interview last month with Ryan Seacrest, although he stopped short of saying any of the actors would be written off the show permanently. Murphy later told TVLine that he would be open to the idea of possibly spinning some of the characters off into their own show — perhaps an hour-long series about a group of young artists (namely Rachel and Kurt) who head to New York City to pursue their musical theater dreams.

“It’s an interesting idea,” he said at the time. “The questions are ‘How would we do it? And when would we do it?’ It would have to be something I would talk about to [Fox bigwigs] Peter Rice and Kevin Reilly and [20th Century Fox brass] Dana Walden and Gary Newman. What we’re trying to do now — maybe those discussions will happen around December — we’re just now trying to do the first 10 episodes.”

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261 Comments
  1. jay says:

    Forgot to ask, how do the network feel about losing the big trio?

  2. Nina says:

    What about Quinn and the mohawk guy whatshisname? Weren’t they the same age as Finn when the show started?

  3. Norm says:

    Ha! What I think is funny is the fact that he sites realism as being the reason. Give me a break, it is a musical. People burst into song at the drop of a hat. They instantly know the lyrics to every song and music comes from nowhere most of the time. Not to mention all the other fantasy moments and unrealistic editing. I am fine with them leaving the show but don’t insult my intelligence. They are leaving because of Money reasons. He could alwaus make a reason for them to stay.

  4. Jen says:

    I don’t see why people are either surprised or upset about this news. Ryan Murphy has pretty much said from day one that this was going to happen so.. no surprise. And unless you’re into theatre you never heard of Matthew Morrison or Lea Michele before Glee, let alone Chris Colfer so.. why so upset? Yes, Chris Colfer and Lea Michele are phenomenal but most people never heard of them before two years ago so why so sure they won’t get someone equally phenomenal to replace them? They’ve gotten Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel to do guest stints.. Charice was even a short time student. With all the acclaim this show has gotten I’m quite sure they’ll get someone equally amazing to take over for them. It’s very narrow minded to assume the show won’t be good without them without even knowing which direction the show is headed or meeting the new cast.

    • Clarie says:

      TO JEN:
      LEA MICHELE AND CHRIS COLFER HV A LOT OF STAR QUALITY!! NO MATTER HOW GREAT THE NEW STARS FOUND THEY CAN NEVER REPLACE THEIR LOOKS AND STAR QUALITY. IF ANYBODY DO NOT BELIEVE CHECK OUT THE GLEE PROJECT STARS. ONE OR TWO OF THEM MAY BE QUITE GOODLOOKING YET COMMON LOOKING. THEY CAN NEVER SURPASS LEA CHRIS OR FINN! ISN’T PUCK QUINN OR SANTANA LIKE SENIORS IN THE SHOW???

  5. carla says:

    Apparently RM forgot his interview with Oprah in Season 1 when she asked what would happen to the kids. He laughed and compared them to NG:90210

  6. carla says:

    Apparently RM forgot his interview with Oprah from Season 1 where she asked about the kids’ future. He compared them to BH:90210 and being perpetual high school students. He pretty much said then no plans for graduation. So much for “always” planning it as that launch vehicle. And my guess is he hasn’t talked yet with Cory on the record is because they are still in negotiations if there’s a spinoff. Or he’s just a lying douche. Jury’s still out on that. My opinion? I find it hilarious to think of Glee in any way associated with the word “realistic”. Part of the charm was the quirky charicature aspect. Notice use of past tense. This past season showed it started taking itself too seriously.

    • Clark says:

      My thoughts exactly!!! That interview popped into my head the second RM said he was going to graduate the kids. And please when has glee been realistic? I could believe them all staying in high school a few more years. Its not like every season HAS to be a full school year, with the fall premier being the start of a new one.

  7. Mars says:

    “SHOCKER?” umm I think the big shocker is who is NOT graduating? What about puckerman, who looks older than most grad students?! What about everyone else who were def. AT LEAST sophomore when the show started? I mean, unless McKinley cheerleaders are so nice they’ll let a freshman be their captain?! >_>
    —-
    I’ll miss these 3 characters, some more than others (hint: not Rachel), but I agree with Ryan Murphy that they staying on is just not realistic. Looking forward to season 4 with new characters!

  8. Mandy says:

    I would love to see a spin off with Rachel and Kurt. Let’s face it, those two would have a much more difficult time than Cory Monteith in playing other roles. Plus it wouldn’t make sense to have Finn move to New York. It makes more sense he would stay home in Lima, Ohio and work with Kurt’s dad at the shop. Which is why it is weird he would be written out of the show completely….

  9. Ramox Etoch says:

    Wow, I think they should make a show from the comments about this story. This is better than anything on tv right now. LOL I Love it.

  10. Amy says:

    Maybe Ryan Murphy is tired of Glee so he decided to destroy is by firing Lea and Chris. Without them it’s not worth watching.

  11. Jeannie says:

    i wonder why there only talking about these three, what about the rest of new directions, wont they be graduating too, so they would be leaving the show too if u think about it.

  12. Syren says:

    I am soooo depressed that Kurt will be gone! When I first started watching glee Kurts character was what made me enjoy it so much. Then when Blaine came into the picture I was actually excited and jumping up and down in my seat because their acting was so captivating. Now that Kurt will be gone I dont even know if I will be able to watch glee season 4 because I will be too deprssed that Kurt isnt there. I actually hope that blaine will leave with him because I dont want to watch Blaine go out with other people, they are too perfect for eachother. Hearing this news actually made me shed a tear knowing that my favorite character will no longer be there to make me laugh, cry, and inspire me. While I do not agree with Ryan Murphys decision, I do understand why he is doing this. I thank him for giving so much inspiration to stand up for myself and I thank him for giving us all the magnificent character of Kurt to look up too and believe in. I sincerly hope that the new characters in season 4 will live up to my expectations and possibly help fill the role of Kurt (which is practacly impossible, so they better be pretty amazing). I look foward to glee season 3, and will cherish every magnificent moment when Kurt is onscreen. I never relised how much I relied on Kurts character to help me be strong, but now that he will be leaving I feel like there is a small void in my heart that will probably never really be filled. I know that for years to come, whenever I need guidance or inspiration, I will turn on my television and watch Kurt and remember the one thing he taught me so well, “Courage”

  13. Clark says:

    Shocked that they aren’t bringing Chris Colfer back. He has gotten the most nominations and wins of anyone in the cast, except Jane Lynch. Plus he can realistically pass as a high school kid since he is the youngest original cast member and looks even younger than he is. Why graduate him? There were no talks of his in the prelim rumors and reports. His departure is out of the blue- what gives?

  14. Nicole says:

    I love Lea, and I’m not sure how long I can watch Glee for without her there. Chris, I like, but think the show could still be watchable. The show started off focused on Rachel and so it should be.
    Yes, we’ve met some fantastic people along the way, but I want to know less about Chris and his warbler story line and even less about Finn and his obsession from moving back and forth between Quinn and Rachel.
    I want to know more about Santana, and how her parents are going to take her being a lesbian. I want Brittany to get a girlfriend, so that Santana becomes jealous and outs herself to get Brittany back. I want Artie to have a storyline not related to walking or losing girlfriends. I want Tina to sing for more than 60 seconds. I want Mike to have more lines and friendships, and for Mercedes and Sam to be happy with very little drama and no tater tots in sight.
    But more than anything I want Quinn and Rachel to have a friendship at the end, and put the past behind them. I want them both not to have a Finn obsessed storyline, and to realise that they’ve been going through the same kind of thing.
    I love all of these characters and want them to develop. But I’d only watch a spin off out of loyalty to Lea. Not because I think it’s a good idea. Brittany and Santana having a spin off or Quinn, Rachel AND Kurt deciding to head to NY and never look back. I’d watch that. What happened to her plans for NY anyway? RM needs to start thinking about the actual fans, not just… doing the skins thing and moving from one batch of kids to the other.
    I don’t know about anyone else but I also want less Will, and more of the OLD Sue Sylvester. Who misses that BAMF?

    • Hannah says:

      Yes. Hell yes. All of that post is genius. Sue Sylvester is a HARDCORE BAMF.

    • checole says:

      But Finn & Rachel have something deep & there the ones met for eachother hes a big part in the glee show.. Kurt you right it could be watchable still . But without Finn they dont have what it takes.

  15. Nate says:

    The 3 main reasons to watch the show will be gone. To be fair the rest of the cast is awesome too, but Season 2 was such an overrated boring mess that in hindsight these 3 will probably be thrilled to get off the Titanic. I am sick of everything treating Ryan Murphy like he is writing a new bible or something. I have heard he’s a pompous ass. If he is the king of all things Glee, I’d look into a regime change. And to not have spoken to Cory about this before the press release? What an ass.

    • jacki says:

      NATE;
      HE RYAN MURPHY IS A POMPAS ASS. THERE WILL BE MILLIONS INCLUDING MYSELF WHO
      WILL NO LONGER WATCH GLEE WHEN THE ORIGINAL CAST IS GONE. NO, NOT EVEN THE
      WHOLE CAST. WHEN CHRIS COLFER IS GONE THE SOUL, AND HEART WILL DIE. I;M
      WRITING TO PETER RICE SUPPOSE TO BE HEAD OF FOX, AND EXPRESS MY OUTRAGE AT
      THIS EGO MANIAC’S DECISION WHO TOTALLY DESTROYED GLEE. THANKS AUSIELLO
      FOR THE NEWS. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.

  16. Sherry says:

    SOMEBODY PLEASE TELL RYAN MURPHY THAT KURT IS NOT A SOPHOMORE AT SEASON ONE PLEASE!! AND HOW REALISTIC TO REMOVE THE YOUNGEST LOOKING CAST AND PEOPLE LIKE PUCK QUINN AND SANTANA WHO LOOK SO MUCH OLDER TO REMAIN IN GLEE!!!?! I WILL BE GRATEFUL IF ANYBODY START A PETITION TO TELL RM THAT KURT IS THE YOUNGEST AND NOT A SOPHOMORE!! HIM GRADUATING IS UNREALISTIC FOR THE SHOW!!!!!!!

  17. Juliana says:

    Lea Michelle leaving? THANK GOD!
    Chris Colfer LEAVING?!?! THEY ARE MAD! The show will sucks without him.

  18. jackie says:

    SHERRY;
    WE COULD START EMAILING AUSIELLO AND PUT OUR NAMES OR I’LL GIVE MY EMAIL FOR
    FANS TO EMAIL THEIR NAMES AND SEND IT TO THE BRASS AT FOX PETER RICE

    • Sherry says:

      HI I REALLY HOPE THAT CHRIS REMAINS IN THE FUTURE SEASONS AND FURTHERMORE HE IS SO YOUNG!! I FEEL THAT IT IS SUCH A WASTE FOR HIM TO LEAVE!! AND WE CANNOT GET TO WATCH HIM AND MIKE O MALLEY ANYMORE! :( WHAT ABT BLAINE?? WHEN I READ THE LATEST INTERVIEW, RYAN MURPHY IS ADAMANT ABOUT THESE THREE CASTS LEAVING SEASON 4! NOT SURE IF PETITION CAN WORK…BUT WILL STILL TRY!!!

  19. Maryanne says:

    I hope Ryan changes his mind!!!! What the hell am I talking about, this is friggin bullstuf!

  20. Maryanne says:

    This is complete nonsense!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Hannah says:

    A Rachel, Kurt, and Blaine spin-off is my dream… You can look up some fake posters for the show, which would, for most of us teenage girl-hardcore Glee fans make us as happy as the world(:

  22. Liseah says:

    RM MAY FIND SOME VERY TALENTED AND GOOD LOOKING PPL TO REPLACE THEM BUT I WILL STILL FEEL SOMETHING MISSING FOR GLEE SEASON 4 WITHOUT THESE 3….I M NOT SURE HOW TO SAY THIS BUT YEA.

  23. Emily says:

    Glee is the best show ever!! And finn and Rachel and their couple in the show makes it better. Finn is not a jerk for punching Jesse at prom Jesse was a jerk and he still loved Rachel I thought it was very cute. I think that the show without them will not be as good. And everyone thought that they were the same age but now knowing Finn was older than Santana its weird to say they had sex in season 1 but even though some of you think that Rachel and Finn aren’t a cute couple I think ur wrong Finns jealousy for Rachel and how they loved each other was so cute. They made the show it’s reappointing to think that Rachel and finn won’t be here anymore.. And ya it’s terrible that murphy didnt tell Finn and how Finn found out by reading it in a magazine is sad.. Although I don’t want them to leave it would be more realistic but I think it shouldnt just be them 3 it should be the whole cast.. And if Finn and Rachel don’t end up together at the end of season 3 I will scream and I wouldn’t watch it anymore

  24. lola says:

    i didnt understand so how many seasons of glee will they be??S:

  25. Siera says:

    I was wishing that when Rachel Kurt and Blain go to New York they could have like them once in a while and maybe some from glee club fail maybe like britney and a couple of other people. this just ruins my plans :(

  26. #1 Glee Fan says:

    Glee will not be the same without Rachel Finn or Kurt! They are my top 3! I hope he knows that the decision he’s making is costing him fans. I mean who cares if it’s realistic or not? I don’t care!! It’s a fictional story. People who say that “It’s not realistic because they graduated on Season 3 Blah Blah Blah!!” WHO CARES?!?! This is a T.V. show, not a reality show where they are doing autobiographys! I AM NOT WATCHING SEASON 3 WITHOUT MY TOP 3 RACHEL KURT OR FINN!!

  27. kelsey says:

    I honestly couldnt care less about lea and cory but Its KURT!!!!!
    i dont want him to leave
    Theres gonna be a season 4 and i dont know why these 3 characters are making such an impact to a great show, which the lines are written

    I REALLY THINK BRITTANY WILL STAY FOR SEASON 4 BECAUSE I THINK SHE WONT GRADUATE I HOPE DIANNA,AMBER,HEATHER,HARRY,KEVIN AND NAYA STAY
    IM REALLY DISSAPOINTED THAT CHORD ISNT BECAUSE THEY STARTED TO BUILD A GREAT STORY LINE THAT SAM EVANS AND MERCEDES ARE DATING THEY CANT JUST PULL HIM OUT OF THAT

  28. checole says:

    Without Finn,Rachel & Kurt there isnt a Glee. To be honest Those 3 are the ones who kept the glee members from breaking up!Glee is my favortie show on the universe, But hearing that my favorite glee members arent playing in season four is a disapointment,& for seeing how strong they are in the show,You’d think “wow why?”. I really hope they change their minds. Because if they don’t, Theres no point in even watching Glee anymore.. </3

  29. Sophiendenier says:

    Why do you have to take off the best characters of the show!!!! Who ever takes their places will never be the same or as awesome they were!! And you had to take my favorite of rachel!!!

  30. Sophie says:

    Why take the best 3 people off the show! Who will ever take the places of rachel finn and kurt!! The answer to that is no one in the world will!!! Your taking out the main stars!! Why???! Theres no way glee will ever be the same without my faves!!); i HOPE AND WISH they will chage their minds!! Idk if ill watch glee in season4 without them!!

  31. Amber says:

    i personally think that Cory has grown so much in the past 3 seasons. i didnt watch glee when it first came on but i got a netfilx subscription in january and had seasons 1 and 2 done by march. i missed the first part of season 3 but ive been watching since Quinn came back in her wheelchair. Lea is by far one of the best singers ive EVER heard and really when i think of a voice that would be on Broadway i think of Chris. i serously think taking Cory, Chris, and Lea off the show is the worst thing you could do and the only people i would watch glee for are Dianna and Darren

  32. shelby says:

    Lolol, that’s why there on season 4 right now…. Woooooow. Who ever wrote this is so stupid.

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