Fall TV Preview

Fox Boss Previews Glee's Finn Tribute Episode and PSA Plan, Confirms Keith Urban's Return to American Idol, Talks Bones' Friday Move

glee season 5 finnGlee‘s farewell episode to Finn will “deal directly with the drug abuse” that felled his portrayer Cory Monteith, Fox president Kevin Reilly told reporters Thursday at the Television Critics Assoc. summer press tour in Beverly Hills. However, Reilly stopped short of saying Finn’s death would be the result of an overdose.

“The third episode deals with writing Finn out of the show,” Reilly confirmed, adding that the hour will be accompanied by a series of drug-related PSAs featuring series creator Ryan Murphy and members of the show’s cast.

“Cory was a big, open wonderful life force,” Reilly continued. “He was not a problem. Everybody loved him.”

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Reilly would neither confirm nor deny rumors that the episode will make use of never-before-seen footage and/our outtakes of Monteith, saying only that “it’s a possibility.”

The other big headline coming out of Fox’s exec session: Keith Urban will back on American Idol‘s judging panel next season, and Jennifer Lopez may join him.

Reilly confirmed to reporters that Urban “is going to return to the show,” adding, “He’s a really funny guy. I don’t think he got a chance to let his personality shine through” alongside feuding (and now-former) colleagues Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj.

RELATED | The $250 Million American Idol Racism Lawsuit: Is Something Off-Key?

Regarding reports that the network is talking to ex-judge Lopez about a return engagement, Reilly said, “Jennifer has been a close part of the show all along, so there have been discussions. [But] there is no deal with her or anybody else. ” Reilly also hinted at “dynamic ideas to tinker” with the show’s format, particularly in the middle rounds between the audition phase and live shows.

Other highlights…

FALL FRIDAYS | Fox isn’t sending Bones to Friday night post-baseball to die. “It’s a quality show with a really passionate audience,” maintained Reilly. “That’s going to help us [grow] Friday night. We’re putting a show that people want to watch on a Friday night to begin building that night.”

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SUPER SLOT | On the decision to follow the Super Bowl with a special episode of New Girl, Reilly said, “We’re still in building mode with New Girl. We think it has a long life ahead of it.”

IT’S THAT TIME AGAIN | The 24 writers and producers recently returned “with a new vibrancy” as they approach the 12-episode season, which debuts in spring 2014. The next chapter in the adventures of Jack Bauer “is going to have an international setting,” he teased. “They have a great idea.”