The FOX hit Glee had a controversial third season when series creator Ryan Murphy announced that many main characters would graduate and leave the show. Glee fans were relieved to learn later that the likes of Lea Michele and Cory Monteith would remain on the show in some capacity.
Today speaking with the Television Critics Association, Fox Broadcasting president of entertainment, confirmed that the characters who have moved on will have limited appearances in the show’s fourth season.
“Now thatI’ve read the first three scripts, I’m very, very happy how seamless it is,” Reilly said. “There’s going to be thematic links between the two. Although we’ve not severed any relationships, we obviously won’t be servicing that large a tapestry of characters. We have characters in New York, Ohio, fresh faces in Ohio.”
Reilly continued that the multiple locations means some storylines will fade into the background, that also reflects a true high school experience, as Glee has always presented.
“To mirror real life, people leave and new faces come in. Just as in real life, people tend not to stray too far away from [home.] They go away but they come back for holidays and reunions. Because we have good relationships with all the actors, the idea is to keep that relationship where it can be fluid and fun for the audience who’s going to show up when. We have a core of new and returning characters each week, and limited deals with others throughout the season. Clearly we can’t be in two locations moving a huge tapestry forward. I think it’s going to be a huge breath of fresh air for the show. I love the New York flavor. We get coming of age in a new chapter of life.”
To further clarify, Reilly explained how an episode of Glee might work between Ohio and New York. “We will be in both locations in most shows. There’s not a rigid formula. When Ryan first introduced the idea of graduating some characters, at one point I even thought we would split the season down the middle, half in Ohio and half in New York. Ultimately I don’t think that’s the way fans are going to want to watch the show. It seems to abrupt. Really what Ryan said is, ‘Let me get in with the writing staff. We think this is going to work seamlessly back and forth. Let’s try it.’ It is working seamlessly. Some episodes may take place half and half. The ones we’ve read so far do cut back and forth. They have thematic linkage between the two. Because we’re following characters we know to new york, it’s not confusing.”
Glee airs Thursday nights on Fox this fall.