A television showrunner can anticipate or plan for any number of things — say, a cast member walking away from the negotiation table and a role he/she long inhabited. But the sudden, tragic death of a key player is something one never can, or wants to, expect.
As Fox’s Glee in the coming weeks mourns series star Cory Monteith, who was found dead on July 13 at the age of 31, TVLine recounts how 22 other TV series responded to, and sometimes incorporated, a cast member’s death.
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The path that Glee ultimately chooses won’t be determined for several weeks — if not longer, should Fox and the showrunners elect to push back the season premiere and allow the devastating news more time to sink in. One thing is certain, however: The musical comedy faces special circumstances, appealing as it does to a youthful demographic, swaths of which idolized or even “carried a torch” for Monteith. Viewers also will know the pain his on-/off-screen love, Lea Michele, herself must feel, every time they see Rachel.
Review this gallery of how other shows worked through similar tragedies (or in some cases didn’t), then share your latest thoughts on how the show might go on for Glee.