Speaking out for the first time about Glee‘s summer of controversy, Fox president Kevin Reilly concedes that things got a little out of control, but insists the show remains on solid creative footing as it heads into its third season.
“I think it has taken on a little more heated momentum than it in fact is,” said Reilly of the kerfuffle that raised questions about the fate of stars Lea Michele, Cory Monteith and Chris Colfer. “This show is a big management undertaking. There are many successful shows on the air that have genuine controversy and fighting. That has really not been the case. It is a good group of people with [different] personalities.”
Reilly confirmed that Rachel, Finn and Kurt will graduate at the end of the season and may be spun off into their own show next fall. “We collectively decided to revisit [the spinoff] in the back half of the [season] when it should be visited,” he explained. “It got out [in the media early] and then got a little bit crazy.”
And what about reports that the brouhaha strained relations between Glee co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Fulchak? “Those guys get along really well,” Reilly maintained. “Brad is the most even-keeled, mild-mannered guy in the world. And Ryan is who he is. He is a creative force… When that spinoff came around, I think his wheels started turning… and this got out. And I think the second it did, I think all of us were really surprised at how it took on a life of its own. This is something that was probably a two-day issue, that somehow it has taken on a bigger life.”
Reilly was bullish about the direction of show’s upcoming third season, which he described as “focused” and “back to [the] basics” that made it so successful. “There aren’t going to be any big guest stars, there aren’t going to be any tribute [episodes],” he said. “We’re focused on our core characters and relationships. [There will be] an incredibly clean arc. There will be a graduation at the end [of the season]. We know the three characters who will be graduating. How that’s going to play out I’m not going to say. There are some surprises; it’s not going to be predictable.”