Glee Exclusive: Is Ashley Fink In... Or Out?

Prepare to not get Zized when Glee returns this fall.

Sources confirm to TVLine exclusively that Ashley Fink’s screen time will be drastically reduced following the Sept. 20 season premiere, which finds her recurring (and somewhat polarizing) character, Lauren Zizes, abruptly [MAJOR SPOILER ALERT] quitting New Directions and breaking up with her steady beau Puck (Mark Saling), who spent much of Season 2 wooing the demanding, plus-sized tough girl.

Glee Spoiler Alert: Brittany For President?

The news comes a week after Fox released the show’s official Season 3 gallery pics, which featured practically every major cast member — including recurring performers Dot Marie Jones and Lauren Potter — but not Fink.

Lauren’s sudden estrangement from the New Directions crew marks a dramatic turnaround from Season 2, where her character was frequently front and center — fist-fighting with Santana, briefly serving as a manager to Mercedes, and even scoring a solo on “I Know What Boys Like.” In fact, Fink often had more screen time than established series regulars like Amber Riley.

So what’s going on? A Glee spokesperson declined to comment and Fink’s camp could not be reached. An insider, however, downplays the news, maintaining that as a recurring player, Fink’s storyline ebbs and flows much the same way Max Adler’s (Karofsky) does. Additionally, the show has to service 16 regulars, as well as arcs for four Glee Project winners. And that’s not even including new recurring castmembers Vanessa Lengies and LaMarcus Tinker.

New Glee Promo: Quinn’s In the Pink, Finn Looks Blue and Britt’s Planing… Time Travel?

Still, another source admits the decision to have Lauren quit New Directions and split with Puck — effectively severing the character’s only two ties to the show’s central action — is strange. “It’s odd to go from being the ‘It Girl’ last season to getting tossed on the backburner,” concedes the insider. “But this is Glee. Just when everyone thinks she’s out, they may pull her back in.”

Thoughts? Are you OK with this development? Or are you already missing Lauren? Hit the comments! And for more Glee scoop/spoilers, follow me on Twitter via @MichaelAusiello

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. AT says:

    It sounds like this show doesn’t quite know what it wants. If they don’t get the behind the scenes drama under control, then this show could start to have a very big tumble. The audience will get fed up. Too bad for the actress. Her character as well as her relationship with Puck was hilarious.

  2. sam says:

    yeah, i see no problem with this. glee’s second season suffered from giving fun background characters huge storylines because of the charisma of their portrayers and/or fan admiration. they really need to tighten the show up.

  3. Melanie says:

    I’m going to miss Lauren! She was the making of Puck and had more swagger than all the other characters combined. I’m more concerned about Max Adler’s status, though. A lot more fans connected with Dave Karofsky: it’s a bitter pill to leave them in the dark as to whether their favourite character will get any resolution. Ausiello: WHAT is the scoop on Max Adler and Dave Karofsky in season 3???

  4. Allie says:

    If this is going to help bring back Quick in anyway then I’m more than okay with this

  5. Vic says:

    Glad she won’t be on much and out of new directions. I don’t think she can sing, yes they needed someone new to join for the # they needed but she really can’t sing or dance. She is obnoxious and not a pleasant person at all.

  6. Romain says:

    Best piece of news today so far. I have nothing against her, but I’m fed up with Glee shoving the recurring guest stars down our throats, when several of their regular cast members are severely underused. Your article mentions Amber Riley, but let’s not forget Kevin McHale and Jenna Ushkowitz who have been there from day one yet have spent the largest part of Season 2 in the background while people such as shley Fink, Dot-Marie Jones, Darren Criss, Chord Overstreet and Charice took center stage. And don’t even get me started on Gwyneth Paltrow. I’m willing to bet series regular Jessalyn Gilsig’s total screentime for Season 2 did not exceed 60 minutes, which ultimately led to her being dropped from the regular cast for Season 3. Enough is enough. When you have 15 series regulars, the least you can do is write for them.

  7. Aki says:

    It’s really too bad. I, unlike a lot of these people, really liked seeing Ashley around. She’s a darling and Lauren was pretty funny. I kind of wish they’d given Max/Dave the same amount of attention last season as they did her.

    And that’s the thing, we know what’s going on with Ashley, but nothing at all has really been pinned down concerning Max Adler and Dave Karofsky. Not a single word has come out about him from anyone in the production staff since Ian Brennan’s interview at the end of the season. Where is he? What’s he up to? When can we expect him to show up. Ashley is in the first episode of season three, but I’m more interested in finding out about Max. Dave is my favorite character, so his fate matters most to me.

    • Anna says:

      I totally second you, Aki… I know what you mean!
      I think Dave is the only character who’s keeping me interested in Glee by now! :(

  8. Markella says:

    I don’t want Lauren to leave and I do not want Dave to leave. This is actually the best information out there on Dave’s status as a character and it’s in an article about Lauren Z…it’s disheartening but I’ll cling to whatever I can get. Maybe this article only means that Ashley’s role will be more like Max’s and that Dave’s character development isn’t getting smaller, just staying the same…

  9. Kara says:

    Screw the new cast members, stop getting rid of the old ones we love. If this is the way you go with Max Adler, too, I’m done.

    Lauren was awesome, Puck/Lauren was awesome, and if I really have to watch Puck/Quinn AGAIN I’m going to throttle a swan. That ship is old, tired, and done.

  10. Debbie says:

    I loved Lauren Zizes aka Ashley Fink!! And as for the comments about her being just blah… Lauren Zizes is a character. I’m sure to be seeing Ashley in

  11. Mel says:

    I could take or leave Lauren but this just proves even more so than RIB need to STOP adding characters when you can’t even write continuous, coherent story lines for your main characters. There is NO reason to add FOUR brats from the epic fail known as The Glee Project. There is a reason it was in ratings hell. RIB need to stop sucking each other off long enough to realize that their show is going to get canceled before the 4th season barely makes it to air.

    • sm says:

      YES!!!!!!!!!!! Way too many characters as is with so little 1 hour time to showcase any single character out with a good storyline that is cohesive and thought provoking and to be humorous. Tina and Mercedes are 2 of the original characters left in the dust. While they shoved guests stars in our faces they promoted Blaine to the forefront Sam on the back. Wemma lost to thin air. The only thing good this s2 was the establishment of Santana and Britany, Bartie. Sam was a fill in for filler content. Quinn was almost non existent exept for the Finn/Quinn couple nonsense. Sheesh. So I’m hoping the newbies from Glee project and the 2 new characters will be oozed into the show slowly. Like very little story arc for Damian to settle in as a planted character. For me IMO these new guys need to trickle in to the established story base and take a back seat for a season as did Santana Mike and Britany s1.

  12. Debbie says:

    I disagree with you haters of Lauren Zizes! She added depth to the second half of what had become mundane. I’m sure to see more of Ashley in the future!

  13. Nate says:

    What? First of all, Mike, Lauren is hardly more of a “somewhat polarizing” character than any of the other characters on Glee. In fact, she is the only one with any confidence, which is especially jarring considering Ryan Murphy’s history of self-loathing characters. She transcends stereotypes and promoting an overall positive and strong teenage image, something that I don’t think can be said of any other Glee character.

  14. courtney says:

    I never thought of Lauren as polarizing because I didn’t think that many people really cared about the character one way or the other. Blaine is the definition of polarizing. There may be a lot of people out there who love Blaine and Klaine, but there are just as many if not more who can’t stand the character or relationship at all.

  15. AT says:

    Why are they bringing in so many new characters if they’re trimming down the cast?? It would make sense if they were getting rid of people because they want to focus on the core cast but with all these new people they’re bringing in they’re going to have to spend a lot of screentime developing them. This show is getting more ridiculous by the second and the more news that come out, the more this whole “back to basics” and “focusing on the core members of ND” thing sounds like a huge steaming pile of crap.

  16. JLCOLLINS says:

    I never hated Ashley’s character, but I didn’t love her either. She had some funny lines but mostly, she was not a big help to the story in my opinion EXCEPT as a catalyst for Mark Sallings Puck. If the focus goes back to the original cast then I’ll be happy.

  17. MC says:

    This can’t be surprising…the actress couldn’t sing, dance or, well, ACT at all. On top of that she was saddled with an annoying character. Given that Glee can’t even manage to write quality stories for its quality actors (Lea, Chris, Cory, Jayma, Jane) I don’t see why they would waste time with a poorly written, poorly conceived and poorly acted character.

  18. Corinne says:

    I loved that character! Ashley Fink is so sweet and her character, Lauren, was SO BADASS and AWSOME. She was putting the “t” in tough. But if she’s still on the show, that’s what I’ll take. It’s better than if she just mysteriously desapears. Lauren is a funny character with attitude. A little dose of her is better than none. :)
    Also, about Max Adler (a.k.a. David Karofsky), what about him? Dave is my favorite character! I know that some people don’t like him, but his storyline is the most interresting of all. I hope that we’ll get to see more about him and I hope that RIB see what a talented actor such as Max can do with a character this complex and inspiring. ♥

  19. Casey says:

    I like Lauren, but I’m kinda glad she’s quitting New Directions. She didn’t really contribute much to glee club, and her one and only solo drove me absolutely insane. I still love her character though. She’s pretty funny sometimes.

  20. Colin says:

    I’m really disappointed to read this. I really enjoyed the character and Ashley Fink did a great job.

  21. Helen says:

    THANK GOD! She was a funny minor character but then she was everywhere and just ugh. Sooooo Finns back with Rachel…Sams gone….Laurens gone….ahem i smell Quick in season 3!

  22. deanna says:

    whelp! just when you think couple won’t be judged from their appearance/body mass/etc. but of course people don’t want the stud and the chubby girl together. some of you may say that it’s not because of her body but because her awful personality etc etc but guess what? quinn was a total biyatch last season but you all overlook that coz omg she’s so pwetty~
    so much hate for this news aaargh!!! gimme my bb laureeeeeeeeeennn!!

  23. Captain says:

    This is actually quite sad. She was one of the best parts of last season. I really loved her and her relationship with Puck. Basically she got dumped because of the Glee Project? I completely understand playing down her screentime since the focus of the season is on the graduating cast but removing her entirely????

  24. calirosesfly says:

    How is “Lauren” annoying? eh? Is it because she portrays a STRONG big girl in high school that doesn’t put up with anyone’s bull? What was she supposed to be a simpering girl, crying over how mean people are because of her size? I hate that GLEE producers are basically caving in to peoples beliefs that large girls/guys are supposed to be these sniveling, low self-esteem teens. The traits people find annoying are traits that made the “Lauren” character a great role model for girls who don’t exactly fit the norm…everyone else in that club from Rachel to Santana are supermodel thin and they even had Mercedes struggle with her weight issues sending out the worst message to young girls right now. Moreover, that she had Puck, PUCK of all people on the show as her love interest…making him work for her attention may annoy people because apparently she should be grateful that she gets male attention? Shows can juggle as many characters as they want, so weak excuse producers!

  25. A. says:

    I, for one, would like to voice an opinion that does not stem from a bitchy deluded tween girl like so many out there. Lauren as a character and Ashley as an actress were Gold in a VERY uneven year last season. What is up with this show? Dropping solid people for “Glee Project” wannabes and new characters who only serve the supposedly “graduating” class?

    Call me crazy, but cutting back on Ashley Fink, as well as neglecting the awesomeness that is Max Adler and Karofsky, SMACKS of typical Hollywood Anti-Weight bull. Nevermind the thousands of kids out there who watch and see a strong overweight character or a struggling closeted teen. No, lets force more Lea Michele generic-mania down their throats. Not all of us are pretty and talented and confident. GLEE is drifting away from EVERYTHING it stood for.

  26. ty says:

    LOL…. so Ryan said no break ups this year and yet they break up Luck as early as they can……
    good job on your trolling Murphy……

  27. PuckleberryGleek says:

    As a big girl myself, I really enjoyed seeing a show actually use a big girl in a lot of the story lines. For the show that values the underdogs, it was nice to see my group represented. However, I felt that Lauren’s character lacked some vulnerability and realness even though she was pretty cool. And really if I can’t have what I really want (which is obviously Puck being with Rachel) then Puck with Lauren wasn’t a horrible second choice…better than Quick anyway.

    I think it’d be awesome if they brought on Hannah from the Glee Project though. She’s a great role model imho.

  28. Ella says:

    I liked Lauren and Puck/Lauren actually grew on me but I’ll be glad to have some Puck/Quinn after it was ignored for an entire season.

  29. Angie says:

    And people wonder why Chord left? Remember they insisted Ashley was staying on for season three and would be seen regularly… I heard Max Adler hasn’t been filming either.

  30. Mr. M says:

    I love her character! Bummer.

  31. StarlingDoll says:

    This was super disappointing to read. I adored Lauren and Puck together, and it was one of the first times that Puck actually seemed likeable to me. Sure, he was hot and all, but him falling for Lauren humanized him in a really beautiful way. It was nice to see him actually have to work for female attention. I’m extremely bummed out; I can only hope they’re breaking up now to give me a twist later and put them back together.

  32. Jimmer fredette says:

    She is terrible. This whole show is just made so they can force the gay agenda down our throats.

  33. Ruby says:

    I stopped watching glee after the fiasco of season 2 but this is good news she was never funny and I never liked her. I will not be watching but I hope this season the writers will respect their
    r audience and focus on proper tv storylines

  34. j says:

    And here we have the first broken promise of this season.

    I thought that Ryan Murphy said that no couple were breaking up this season, but I guess that is in regards of Finn/Rachel and Kurt/Blaine.

  35. DJ says:

    ZIZES was my favorite. This news blows. Agree with a previous poster–she was one of the few bright spots in a very uneven season. Not happy…

  36. Leigh says:

    YAY! The talentless tonnage is going away!

  37. Jane says:

    I don’t really care for Lauren, but I’m surprised Max Adler’s role is supposed to be reduced. I really hoped Dave Karofsky will have coming out storyline but apparently Blaine’s solos and cute exchange student from Ireland are more interesting.

  38. I.C. says:

    NO!!!! I love Lauren! AndI love her even more with Puck. This sucks.

  39. Lisa says:

    Doesn’t surprise me. God forbid they have two plus-size characters on the same show.

  40. Traci says:

    I loathe the character of Ashley- her attitude, her lack of vocal talent, and the chemistry-free and ridiculous pairing of Ashley and Puck. Last season was horrible all-around, but she was the worst part. I’m very thankful for the reduction in her screen time. Now if Brittany would transfer to another school and be permanently off-screen, I’d be thrilled.

  41. Bella says:

    What surprised and disappointed me about her is that she didn’t have a very good singing voice. I couldn’t figure out why they cast her in the spot. If they were looking for a plus-size character, there are plenty of actresses that fit that niche and can sing, too. I never bought her romance with Puck, but I did like her confidence.

  42. Amy says:

    I am very okay with this. She annoyed me.

  43. Miss Eddie says:

    I love Lauren and I am mad as heck that she’s not coming back….This is another reason why I am not watching glee…

  44. Marco says:

    Buh-bye, Lauren. And speaking of Max Adler, why not give his character as big a part as Ashley’s Lauren had last year, maybe a bit more? If the writers are as good as they say they are, it wouldn’t take any time away from the other interesting storylines on the show (unlike Lauren, who was just a lot of dead weight.

  45. Kerry says:

    Hated Luck almost as much as Puckleberry. Absolutely no chemistry in either pairing! Bring on Quick- they are so not over! Hottest couple on glee!

  46. Kate says:

    What’s upsetting to me about this is that for once a TV show portrayed an overweight teen girl as funny and engaging and as a love interest — the love interest of an incredibly hot dude. It was nice to see that on TV for once.

    It was also nice to see that “Glee” showed there is more to overweight people than just fat.

    And Ashley is hilarious. She played the role perfectly. I will miss the sass she brought to “Glee.”

  47. K says:

    To be honest, I had a hard time understanding half the lines Lauren mumbled. Ashley seems like a nice girl, but I’m not upset her character is getting less screen time. As long as I get to see Blaine, Kurt, Rachel, Artie, Tina, and the others, I’m good. From what I’ve seen of the promos, I’m already looking forward to season 3.

  48. Mai says:

    This is a shame. Lauren was one of the very few good things about the godawful S2 imo. So, no Sam and now no Lauren. I’m hoping that characters like Tina, Mercedes, Mike and Coach Beiste get more emphasis this year because if S3 is another interminably boring year of tedious Rachel, Kurt, Blaine and Quinn drama-fests I won’t be watching for much longer.

  49. Kat says:

    I feel bad for Ashley Zink but I’d like to see Quinn and Puck get back together.