Glee Exclusive: Idina Menzel To Return for Big Season 3 Arc

Rachel Berry’s mom is back.

Tony Award winner Idina Menzel is in final negotiations to return to Fox’s musical dramedy Glee in the upcoming third season for a major arc that could span as many as 10 to 12 episodes.

FIRST LOOK: Sue Sylvester’s Anti-Glee Movie Campaign: ‘Stop Believing’ In Those ‘Pimply-Faced Twits’!

In what is described the most significant cast addition on the show next season, Menzel will reprise her role as Rachel Berry’s (Lea Michele) biological mother, Shelby Corcoran, which she originated in five episodes of Glee‘s first season.

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

For more details on this story, visit TVLine’s sister site Deadline.com.

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  1. Martin says:

    Me thinks she is gonna die.

  2. Angel says:

    So much for no guest stars this season.

    • Michael says:

      It’s not the same as a one-shot stunt-casting guest star. This is Rachel’s mom, who will no longer be on the show come a fourth season so she needs a proper sendoff.

      • alex says:

        10-12 eps is not a guest star. That’s a recurring character.

        • Lincoln says:

          Actually, it IS considered a “guest star” by many. Take Cloris Leachman, for example. She’s billed as a guest star on Fox’s Raising Hope, yet she was in 20 of the show’s 22 episodes this passed season. Also, Heather Locklear was billed as a “special guest star” for years on Melrose Place. So, yes, it may be recurring but it’s still a guest starring role because she isn’t a part of the main cast.

          • jarod says:

            Sharif Atkins is still billed as a guest star on White Collar and I’m pretty sure he’s been in every episode. In season 3 now.

          • Chris says:

            Haha sweetie that’s because they don’t discern between recurring characters and guest stars in opening credits. They just always say ‘guest star(ring)” or “special guest star” if they’re really lucky. Recurring characters are always guest stars because they aren’t in the main cast, but they are still ahead of one-shot guest stars. Glee said no more one-shot guest stars, and half a season is more than that. Get it?

            Kinda like how you would never say Cloris Leachman is a one-shot guest star on Raising Hope season 1. Don’t be so contrarian.

    • Rog says:

      Yup seriously lol She’s definitely a ‘guest star’ dont care who she is

    • Daniel says:

      Teddy from 90210 appeared in more episodes as a guest star, than the 3rd season regular-

      • Michelle says:

        The original Melrose Place had Heather Locklear listed as a guest star for her entire run on the show…and she was in every episode.

    • Rachel says:

      does this mean groff will come back? as an actual character not a robot created to make finn look paletable?

  3. AndyLuvr says:

    Maybe Shelby will give Beth back to Quinn and Noah.

    The more important question is: what’s gonna happen with Cheyenne Jackson? He needs to come back and sing on “Glee!” He’s such a great singer and much better than Matthew Morrison!

    • mars says:

      this this THIS! Why have CJ there if he’s not going to sing?! What a waste of talent… >_>

    • jack says:

      matthew morrison, imho, has a great voice for the stage, but as a recording artist, he’s a big zero. cheyenne can easily do stage, screen, & recording.

    • Danielle says:

      I’m wondering if this means RM is going to cast Rachel’s dads for this same arc. If he did, I don’t think they would qualify as guest stars, more likely recurring (a la Blaine).

      I believe at the end of S1, he talked about maybe meeting her fathers in season 3. I actually think that wouldn’t be bad thing for her storyline.

    • Gleedeprived says:

      Yup, Cheyenne Jackson was criminally neglected and underutilized. I don’t know why have him on the show and not use his talent and charm. For what Dustin Goolsby did all season 2, any actor could’ve sufficed.

  4. Tara says:

    I think she’s coming back with Quinn’s baby :]

  5. George says:

    Makes sense since Ryan Murphy said he wanted to do a big Rachel story this season.

    • dan says:

      Aren’t there big Rachel stories every other episode?

      • Mico says:

        Right? This is exactly why I decided to skip season 3. 95% of Glee is about Finn and Rachel, yet there are over 10 regular cast members. Why have them if you’re not giving them lines in the script?

        • Ty says:

          I am in so in agreement with you and Dan. The show revolves so much around Finn and Rachel and Kurt too (yes, I went there). There are so many other people on that show that get very little story lines and yet they shine when they get their brief moment. I’m really getting tired of the Finnchel show. I think I might be skipping Season 3 as well and come back in Season 4 when other characters might actually get lines.

      • jennrae says:

        Seriously, George! Rachel is the center of every episode, either pining over Finn or threatening to leave the Glee Club. In fact, someone is always threatening to quit Glee Club.

        IMO, this show peaked at the first regionals (“Don’t Rain on My Parade”) and hasn’t had any truly great moments since. Although, Heather Morris knocked it out with her Britney numbers. I wouldn’t mind seeing more Brittany and less Lea Michele.

      • jane says:

        There are if you consider her endless pining over Finn to be an actual storyline and not a pathetic excuse for one.

  6. Taylor says:

    Oh em Glee I’m so happy!!! Thank Grilled Cheesus!!! I can’t wait to see what impact she has and, more importantly, what songs she’ll perform!!!

  7. Christine says:

    Yay! Love her

  8. Siv says:

    NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! I can’t stand her or her big nose. :-(

    • tdoa says:

      well lucky for her that she has sizzling hot looking Taye Diggs to love her just the way she is!

      • Michael says:

        Good answer. Some people like the poster above are disgusting.

      • Sivat says:

        Ewwww, he’s not hot either! Blech!

        • tdoa says:

          Just curious spiv: who do you consider hot? Would also love to see a real, not phony picture of you so we can all see what a perfect specimen you are. One thing’s for sure, you have an extremely ugly personality.

      • A says:

        Thank SOMEONE for saying that! It’s true. Why she has so many haters I don’t know but for all of you who don’t like her, just turn off the tv!
        Idina Menzel is amazing and beautiful. Deal with it.

  9. Mellie says:

    Hm… What happened to no guest stars?

    Oh well, maybe Quinn will have an opportunity to see her baby and she’ll sing Baby Mine like I dreamed she would.

  10. Jenny says:

    SEE, Ryan Murphy is lying already, didn’t he say NO GUEST STARS? And, I hope Shelby isnt returning as some weak plot to convince Rachel to stay in Ohio, and since Shelby is returning that means Beth is too, I wonder how or IF the writers will integrate Quinn and Puck in Beth’s life. Maybe, a Quinn and Puck reunion? Oh, damn Season 3, HURRY!

    • Nat says:

      How is she a guest star? She plays the mother of a main character and for at least half the season. That’s basically more than Emma was last season.
      Personally I love Idina Menzel and am thrilled to see her return. I think there’s great potential for a storyline with Quinn and Puck’s daughter as well as developing a relationship with Rachel.

      • Jenny says:

        Yeah, true. Really interested in the Quinn/Puck/Beth thing, Beth would be about 2? And, the Rachel/Shelby thing, interested into seeing how or if she’ll affect her descision to go to New Yok.

    • Michael says:

      1. Ryan Murphy hasn’t always been known to tell the complete truth.

      2. A special guest-star of the week/stunt casting is much different than bringing back a character integral to a main plot of the season. I love me some Kristen Chenoweth and Gwyneth Paltrow, but their returns to the show were forced for the sake of their appearances. Having Shelby return for a 10-12 episode arc isn’t the same thing.(Mind you, it might still be forced, as are most of Ryan Murphy’s plot contrivances, but I don’t think that this is the same thing as stunt-casting).

  11. Spiderlizard says:

    About the “no guest stars” thing, if someone signs up for half of a season, is that really a guest star?

    This could be a set-up to the possible spinoff series with Lea Michelle and Chris Colfer that’s constantly mentioned.

    It probably means interesting things for Quinn. The pregnancy had been mentioned a lot in Season 2.

    • Mellie says:

      Ryan Murphy denied there being a spin-off.

      • Ash says:

        He’s also a pathological liar.

      • Jax says:

        Wrong. He never denied anything. He said it was an interesting idea but he didn’t have time for it right now. So there isn’t one in the works RIGHT NOW but that doesn’t mean there won’t be one in the future. I’m betting if FOX throws enough money at him he will suddenly find the time.

      • Amy says:

        He didn’t deny anything. He said that he would be talking to the studio about a possible spin-off around December or January, if there is going to be one.

    • jack says:

      that’s what i’m hoping for. i can see rel possibilities for a spin off featuring kurt and rachel storming broadway. adding idina gives that idea some real heft. a show like that could do for broadway what glee did for show choirs. how about all of broadway as potential guest stars…

  12. Dan says:

    Maybe she’s becoming a series regular?

  13. ggny says:

    seriously people the mother of a character isnt a guest star…more like recurring cast member

    And why would people be mad Shelby is coming back? She was a apart of the good 1st season and was a great part it not like she showed up in season 2 and sucked

  14. Dan says:

    Actually, according to Deadline, she’s back to teach at McKinley High.

  15. Jay says:

    While I was excited for no guest stars I think this could be amazing. Its not just a Rachel and mom thing anymore, now Quinn and Puck might get a chance to actually deal with having had a child; which aside from a few quick joking references was not really addressed and honestly giving your child up for adoption is a big thing and it bothered me that Quinn and Puck didn’t seem to have any real emotions after the season one finale.

    So this could be exciting! I hope Rachel, Quinn, and Puck are forced to deal with what is really a strange relationship that wasn’t really addressed before.

    • Deanna says:

      I agree, Jay! It really bothered me that the only mentions of the fact that Quinn had actually given birth a few months earlier were throwaway lines meant for humor. Come on, Ryan. Seriously.

      It’s for this reason that I am cautiously hopeful that Shelby coming back could mean interesting things For Quinn and Puck. Since Ryan seems to have forgotten that Beth existed at all and, you know, Quinn and Puck barely acknowledged each other’s existence all season, I don’t want to get my hopes up.

      Yes, I am a bitter Quick fan. XD

  16. fireball56 says:

    Either Glee owns this site or Ausiello is taking kickbacks !!!
    Give us a break. Every second post doesn’t have to be about Glee. Please have a time out on Glee. Please !!!!

    • Butters says:

      I completely agree with you. Mike Ausiello, I love your site and even told other posters on EW.com that they really should be following tvline instead of the dribble that is posted there. TVline needs to lay off Glee love. Most folks have come to terms that Glee was good for one season but really struggle with their second season just like a similar show called Desperate Housewives, which not many people care about now. Sorry to the Gleek’s but character development is one dimensional now and the way Ryan Murphy treats his cast is horrible.

      • ger says:

        LOL at “dribble”.

        • Butters says:

          Thanks for the props. Hopefully Ausiello will read the posts

          • Nicotine says:

            It’s ‘drivel’ by the way… but I agree with your assessment. TVLine is sooo much better than EW, now that Ausiello has left the building. However, he’s gotta stop it with all the Glee-love. I watch Glee. I like Glee… but damnit! This is a lot of Glee! There are other shows on other networks.

          • ger says:

            LOL at props.

      • Esta says:

        I agree there’s a lot of Glee these days, but do people think a web site controls what is “news”? What happens happens (RIP Lost!), and who gets cast gets cast. Is Ausiello , who didn’t even write this story, lol, supposed to NOT report major news like this just because some Glee haters have their knickers in a knot?

        • Butters says:

          1) No one in this string was actually “hating on Glee”. 2) I hardly think that a broadway actress coming to a show like Glee is major news, that is like saying it is major news that Tom Brady entered a football stadium. 3) The Glee love is a little over the top on this site, for example do we really need a Glee Performance Tournament bracket? 4) Ausiello is the founder and editor in chief. He should be made aware of when his readers are saying enough is enough.

          • sigh says:

            What? Moron. For Glee, seeing as they completely dropped this plot and made no indication that they were ever going to pick it back up again, this is the very definition of major news. And the bracket thing benefits the site as it gets tons of hits from it. Not a mystery. And people saying enough is enough are obviously very much in the minority.

  17. singsong says:

    I know they said there wouldn’t be any guest stars this upcoming season, but I think some of the more prominent guest stars from Season 1 are more than acceptable. People like Idina and Kristin are good people to have back on the show. The stupid stunt casting of people like Britney Spears & Olivia Newton-John and such were just a way of getting more viewers.

  18. singsong says:

    I know they said there wouldn’t be any guest stars this upcoming season, but I think some of the more prominent guest stars from Season 1 are more than acceptable. People like Idina and Kristin are good people to have back on the show. The stupid stunt casting of people like Britney Spears & Olivia Newton-John and such were just a way of getting more viewers.

  19. Butters says:

    So I guess we will get more of those dramatic serious plot points where a mother and daughter sing the phrase “Bluffin with my muffin” to one another.

  20. luke says:

    so we get Rachel’s mum twice but her 2 dads are never going to be shown?

    • Marcus says:

      I seriously doubt we’re ever going to meet Rachel’s dads. The writers apparently would rather waste 10 or 12 episodes on bringing back a character nobody cares about.

      • kara says:

        That’s not true, some people will care that shelby is coming back, like me. It will be interesting to see what the plot is as well. I realize the amount of people who think the same thing may nit be huge but I really don’t care.

        And some of you who are supposed Glee fans seem to just complain when the writers and behind the scenes people do things you don’t like. Why not just enjoy Glee the way it is and stop complaining?

        • luke says:

          “do things you don’t like” i like Rachel’s mum but don’t you find it odd that we have never seen her two dads before… the guys who are supposed to be her biggest fans.
          It’s a major plot hole and given that this is Rachel’s final season it seems rather lazy that we’ll never see the two people who made Rachel the person she is today

      • A says:

        Really. Nobody cares about? You have NO idea..

  21. lovelysilksworth says:

    Shelby back to teach at McKinley? They can’t be serious. After she manipulated and traumatised Rachel, abandoning her in favour of a shiny new baby. The baby given up for adoption by Quinn and Puck. All three of whom attend the school she’ll be teaching at. Is Shelby going to ask the biological mother of her child, Quinn, to babysit? Or just the biological shild, Rachel, she abandoned? 9 people in the writers room now and none of them stopped to think how horrifically insensitive this was? Apparently the Glee take on ‘realism’ only applies to some of the kids’ ages.

    • Amy says:

      I have to agree with this. Even though I love Idina and the fact that she’s returning. I don’t like the sound of the circumstances that will arise. As you said, it’s insenstive. The Rachel thing should sort itself out fine enough. But I HATE the idea that Shelby will be around and accidentally flaunt Beth infront of Quinn and Puck. She and the writers should be smarter than that. Adoptions aren’t meant to work that way. They all should know better.

      • Jay says:

        Actually they say every adoption is different, and I think that of all the characters Shelby might be the only one who understands Quinn, remember her daughter was put up for adoption too (different circumstances same outcome).

        So what if all these new writers have pointed that out on top of the fact that Quinn/Puck really didn’t have any emotional consequences of putting their child up for adoption. I can imagine Shelby comes back because she wants her daughter to know her birth mother the way Rachel never got a chance to know her. I’m sure there will be a ton of awkwardness but this could work.

    • Tulip says:

      Shelby didn’t “abandon” Rachel. She was a paid surrogate. Rachel’s birth was simply a transaction for Shelby. I think Shelby said it herself: she’s Rachel’s mother, not her mom. It’s not like Shelby got drunk on wine coolers, slept with her boyfriend’s best friend, got knocked up and gave her baby away. Shelby had no emotional attachment, and no right to an emotional attachment, during pregnancy. That’s what surrogacy is. Would we be having this conversation if Rachel had two moms and her biological father (a sperm donor) was to show up? No one would be saying he abandoned her. It’s the same situation.
      Quinn, on the other hand…

  22. L. says:

    Best news since a very long time, I’m really excited to see her again for a recuring role. Great actress, great singer, great storyline!

  23. kaitlyn says:

    I always thought the story between her and Rachel was so beautifully sad. So I’m happy to see she’ll be back.

  24. Alberto says:

    YES!! Love her!

  25. Dave says:

    I’m glad to see Idina back, she’s not the kind of guest star as Britney, Olivia Newton-John or Gwyneth Paltrow (I really love Gwyneth and her character, but I think her appearences were very forced into the plot)…so I’m all for this major arc for Rachel and her mother, and I hope we’ll get the chance to see her 2 dads, too…

  26. C says:

    Hopefully her story arc will have something to do with Rachel’s family so we can finally meet her dads.

    • Beth says:

      Totally agree! It has always bothered me that the audience has never seen Rachel’s dads. Just a pic in the very first episode.

  27. dan says:

    Shelby coming to McKinley High means that this season they are going to get serious about winning at Nationals. She was the Vocal Adrenaline coach, and she is going to kick their asses into shape.

    Also … I welcome hearing her sing.

  28. Katie says:

    WOO HOO! Maybe they’ll have some realistic closure–the way they left things between them was extremely unrealistic!

  29. Muireann says:

    I have a feeling season 3 is going to be amazing.

  30. Lucy says:

    WOW. I’m surprised Ryan is doing this! I thought we were just going to have to deal with the whole baby storyline being swept under the rug. YAY! Bringing Idina means a better storyline for Quinn (hopefully)!

  31. Beth says:

    I think Quinn will be in complete denial about the baby and it will be Puck who is all about her. Either way it should be interesting, unless Ryan decides to ignore the tiny fact that she adopted the baby and we never see her, which I would not put past him! I am hoping he doesn’t write a brief mention of her and that is it.

  32. orange says:

    So much for no guest stars lol. Not that I have anything against guest stars, but just using them as gimmicks to build a script around really hurt the show last season. They lost site of their characters esp Sue Sylvester becoming a real caricature that would never be allowed to teach in a real high school. I didn’t shed one tear last year like I did in Season 1.

    I hope he lays off the gay storyline too with Curt, it’s so overdone, we get it already! I’d LOVE to meet Rachel’s gay dads though. Keep it light and funny please, and that should be enough gay propaganda to last us for the season in one or two episodes. I want to get to know the other characters! what’s their stories! Except get rid of Lauren, she seems to be the odd character addition last year… boring. More Brittany… love her the best!

    • B says:

      Guest stars, guest stars, guest stars……. I find it hilarious that you’re told a Tony winning actress and broadway star is joining the cast of Glee for 10-12 episodes, and the only thing you all can do is argue about whether she’s a guest star or a recurring role. It doesn’t matter! Whatever you call it, she’s coming, and I for one couldn’t be happier.

      (Wicked reference)

  33. Cassie says:

    I have honestly been waiting for something like this, just for a hope of Quinn and Puck even having ANY interactions with each other. To be honest, I was kinda hoping for it to happen in Season 2, but Season 3 will have to do. This sounds like a really good plot for Season 3 though, Rachel might actually become closer to her biological mother and Puck and Quinn will be able to actually deal with the fact that they had a baby together, and maybe some possible lost feelings towards each other will return :D

  34. Captain says:

    This is why you don’t trust Ryan. I know that some people are saying “she’s not a guest star” but at the end of the day, Ryan implied the focus of next season would be on the kids and a 12 episode “major arc” for Rachel’s mom says otherwise. Yes, it’s very likely that Rachel will be a big part of that storyline but I would rather her involved in storylines with the other main cast members we wont see after this year.

  35. cmj says:

    Ugh. I thought this story line was utterly unbeliveable and I found Rachel’s mother to be a MORE annoying character than Rachel. *HURL*

  36. YayShelby says:

    Idina Menzel’s so darn talented! I just hope she gets a good story as we know Ryan Murphy can be a really bad writer. He’s got a really talented cast but, most often than not, he doesn’t seem to know what to do with them. Cheyenne Jackson didn’t get to shine as that Goolsby character. I expected, at least, one sing-off like that of Mr Schuester and Bryan Ryan in Season 1 or something.
    I wonder why I still like Glee so much…in spite of all the low moments in the series!

    • Ryan says:

      Lol, I wonder why I STILL like it sometimes, too. Then I remember Season 1, how no other show on TV is like it, and I still see all the talent and saw how this show became a phenomenon really over night. And to me Season 2 wasn’t that bad, I think alot of shows last year were sleeping (Modern Family, 30 Rock, Big Bang, Grey’s Anatomy)

  37. Lorie says:

    Awesome news!

  38. Buffy0531 says:

    Since when is making the difficult choice to give up your child for adoption “abandoning ” him or her? Actually, Quinn made a very realistic and loving choice, she knew she could not raise the baby in the way the infant deserved, and so decided to give her the best possible chance. Would you have preferred watching a Glee version of Teen Mom? My objection to the storyline was the glib way it was handled in then second season. There was a treasure-trove of emotional storyline there that was left untouched.

  39. Lisa says:

    yea, I love Idina Menzel and am happy she is returning. After a terrible season 2, I had lost interest and was seriously debating on how much I’d be interested in a season 3. Now with Idina coming back, I will watch, and hopefully RM and the writers will go back to story telling rather than craming fractured stories inbetween 20 songs per episode as they did in season 2.

  40. Damien says:

    I smell Quick.

  41. Phoebi says:

    I don’t understand why they called her “the biggest addition to the cast this season” when they are looking to add many new members of the glee club that will take over as the main characters next season?

  42. ThereasonsY says:

    I wonder if this will inspire the kids to move to NYC and go for their dreams?

  43. Sharon says:

    I SO hope the storyline also involves Beth!! This storyline has so much potential, like bringing quick together, if Ryan Murphy screws it up I think I might just die.

  44. Marco says:

    Well, a few characters (Santana, Dave Karofsky) have had some character development, but for the most part (especially BLAND)… well, they suck.

  45. Nora says:

    Well, there goes the Mercedes and Tina big story arc… down the drain…

  46. Angie says:

    I don’t recall anything about no guest stars. I do recall that there wouldn’t be as many tribute episodes – perhaps only 1. Unlike Kristen Chenoworth and Gwynth Paltrow, Idina’s episodes didn’t become just about Shelby. Her role enhanced the story, instead of having the episode fit around the character. Kristen and Gwynth dominated the music in their episodes – the cast was in the background. When Idina was on the show, she didnt’ even sing in every episode and cast wasn’t just background. I hope that Shelby continues in that role – supporting, not star.

  47. Tiffany says:

    I had just deleted my timer for Glee out of frustration, and now they do this to me? Ugh! Guess I’m back in for as long as Idina is. I adore her!

  48. Jimmy says:

    I like Idina and I like Kristen. They have loads of talent. I do agree that some of the guesting seemed forced. I wish that John Barrowman would be one of the dads of Rachel. Not many Americans are familiar with him, but he is big in England, has several CDs and DVDs in concert and is star of Torchwood series. Maybe Davis Gaines, another Broadway singer, or wouldn’t it be a hoot to have Eric McCormack of Will and Grace as the other dad? John Barrowman, who is really gay, was up for the part of Will but he was considered not gay enough. Maybe, Michael Feinstein,also gay, and who sang on duet album with Cheyenne could be the other dad. Two real gays would be great. It is a waste of Cheyenne’s talent to not sing on the show.