Glee Shocker: Lea Michele, Chris Colfer, Cory Monteith Won't Be Back For Season 4

Hold on to your berets, Gleeks, this one is going to blow. Your. Minds. Power-mad series dictator Ryan Murphy has just informed The Hollywood Reporter that the show’s arguably three biggest stars—Lea Michele, Chris Colfer, and Cory Monteith—will leave the series at the end of the upcoming third season. (Are you okay? Do you need water, some air, a paper bag to breathe into?) And here’s the clincher: Monteith is finding this out the same way you are.

“[They] are not going to be back at all for Season 4,” Murphy said. “You can keep them on the show for six years and people will criticize you for not being realistic, or you can be really true to life and say that when they started the show they were very clearly sophomores and they should graduate at the end of their senior year.”

Michele and Colfer were consulted on this decision, Murphy said, and agreed it “was a good idea. They both trust the writing and trust me and felt that it would be great to have an open-and-closed experience for them to go out while they were on top.”

The plan is to graduate not just the aforementioned trio, but other cast members as well—and their identities will be made known during the Sept. 20 premiere. (So don’t be surprised if Dianna Agron, Kevin McHale, and other familiar faces are on their way out, too.) But, yeah, poor Corey. He wasn’t given early notice of the news, but Murphy said he shouldn’t be surprised: “He knows he was a sophomore when the show started.”

But what about the folks at Fox? Don't they get a say in the matter? It's their series and they're footing the bill, after all. Well, this arrangement offers an attractive way for the network to keep costs down: by cycling in a steady supply of new faces, turning them into stars, and then sending them on their way without having to deal with any pricey contract re-negotiations. Murphy hasn't led Fox astray yet, so why shouldn't it follow his lead? The only losers in this scenario are the fans and actors themselves.


What's your reaction to the news? Are you glad the show's trying to be realistic by graduating Rachel, Finn, and Kurt, or has it already strayed too far from reality for their departures to matter? Which other cast members do you think will be leaving with them?

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No!!!! Not Lea Michele!!!!!! My proflie picture is her!!!
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I'm so happy they are leaving. They are keeping the pretty people and getting others to replace the "stars." I hated their voices but liked the show so I can't wait!!! =P
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how could you hate their voices?
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this isn't really news, they said at the beginning of last season the reason they were bringing in new blood was because they were going to keep it realistic and cycle cast members
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I suppose that this has been on the cards from series one and is inevitable however, when it finally happens it will seem very strange without any of them. On the bright side Santana and Brittany look as though they are staying for at least one more season (or part of) - yeah! The real problem I have with keeping the same cast is that they already look like the oldest students in a High School that there has ever been so really they should be all going!!! Obviously that won't happen as the show would fold completely and, as the writers are sitting on a gold mine, they will have to be very careful how the deal with the new characters as the 'old' ones leave. The fact that the programme is already unrealistic I wouldn't be at all surprised with anything that happens on future shows. While I will be sad when these three do leave, I will be a little relieved that there will be no more Finchel (possibly Brittana or Klain could take over). I will also miss Kurt who is the only one anywhere near the right age (and, of course, his dad). I won't miss Kurt's over acting and high pitched voice - I am sure that he could lower the key a little so that he doesn't sound as though someone has grabbed him by his delicate bits - he will take some replacing! I will be more devastated when it comes time for Santana to leave as she is by far my most favourite cast member and has the most flexible and varied voice of all the characters (IMO). The fact that she is a 'b**ch' just adds another facet to her character of course she might leave early if her recocding 'career' takes off. One or two mention that Puck should also be going, well that will probably happen anyway but shouldn't have gone at the end of season one!? Hopefully Lauren will not be in too many of the episodes in season three as there was too much of her (in more ways than one) in season two.
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It's sad to see them go, but ya, their set up is highschool. They can't stay in highschool forever...
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Character Development Wise: Yes, they need to move on, graduate from High School and move on with their TV lives. Finn and Rachel should get together and hit New York: Rachel on Broadway and Finn with a scholarship to a school doing something Finn-ish. Kurt should go with them, just to round things off. I agree with the re-freshening of the cast but this is where the selfish viewer in me comes out.

I DON"T WANT THE STORIES TO END! I want more drama and confusion and singing and silliness and Kurt and Finn brother stuff and Rachel's crazy and Quin's selfishness and more of everyone! I want to delve deeper into each character and "get to know them better". *pouts*

But just like the show, we all need to grow up and move on. So what ever happens, happens. I'll deal with it or change the channel.
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Just another reason to show how much of an a$$hole Ryan Murphy is. Wouldn't it be a nice piece of professional courtesy to let Cory Monteith know ahead of time, instead of hearing it through the press?
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i don't know how much i'm going to enjoy the show without colfer, the man was hilarious. jesse st james graduated high school, HE SHOULDN'T BE ALLOWED ON SCREEN! oh, the story line worked around this? cool.. mind. blowing.
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duh they are in high school... i hate to see them leave too but they need to graduate.... MAYBE Ryan Murphy will have an episode arc in season 4 that is about the success or failure of finn/rachel/kurt in new york on broadway... that'd be cool... but i really didn't see any of the current cast staying at mckinnley forever
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Horrible idea. Sure, Rachel and Finn can say their bye byes, but Chris Colfer pretty much makes the show, along with Sue Sylvester(which I admit, even though I'm not a big fan.) Lea Michelle and Chris Colfer are two of the four nominees from the cast of Glee for the Golden Globes last year. And the Emmy's were pretty much the same thing, except that Kurt's dad was also nominated as well, which I assume will be fired as well since Kurt won't be there.
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I was prepared for Finn and Rachel, as well as Puck and Quinn. They seemed like the oldest of the group. However, Chris Colfer will be greatly missed. Does this mean we can only expect Darren Criss for one more season too? I would prefer to see Tina, Artie, Mercedes, Brittany, and others to get more significant storylines rather than all new leads.
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I'd have given up watching Glee last season if it hadn't been for great Chris Golfer, guess the decision whether or not to tune in anymore is going to be made for me by Ryan Murphy.
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Why do I always get the feeling that Ryan Murphy is trying to kill the show, whether he makes a good or bad decision. Maybe it's because he's a total troll. But anyway, it makes sense that they will go, but annoying or not, these 3 make Glee and to have to get used to several new leads at the same time will be a turn-off to many. I'll miss them all.
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it is realistic and i trust ryan murphy, but i doubt it`s going to be the same without them.

i really hope we`ll see the actors again in other shows/movies. all of them are extremely talented.
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Awesome, they are the three most irritating characters on the show. This way, they can introduce new talent each year and hopefully better story lines.
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I'm not a Glee by any means, but I feel like it is really strange for a show like Glee to be doing this. This is comparable to killing people off in a show, but people won't be watching Glee to watch big characters get "killed" off, they'll be watching CBS. That said, I think this might actually be a smart move though. Sure, it'll probably lose some fans in the short run, but in the long run, people won't ever get tired of the main characters, since they'll be changing every few seasons.
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It's hard for us as fans of these very talented actors/singers, but it is realistic for them to move on and graduate. Unlike other shows (i.e., 90210) when they stay in high school for 15 years. This will give opportunities for other young talent to join the show and give us fresh storylines. I love Glee
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Kurt is the only reason I watch the show on Hulu. Now I won't be watching at all.
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We all know that it is television. We all have invested time and effort into getting to know the characters. Keep it the same show. Same characters. Geese.
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no no no no no no no no no!!!
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what i dont understand is that theyre making a big deal out of the fact that rachel, finn and kurt will be graduating, but its like, what about the rest of them? on the show they're all the same age so shouldnt they all be graduating? i mean in theory they could do the degrassi thing and bring in new people but everyone has become so fond of these and to that point the original kids on degrassi (and im talking about degrassi tng, not any of the ones that came before it) they were on it for eight years, so no one really felt cheated when they left. in a perfect world glee would end after they all graduate which would be at the end of season 3, but the show makes too much money and is too popular to let that happen, so im guessing they;ll get new kids for season 4 and the ratings will drop like a rock
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I understand the reasoning, but Glee is going to tank big time with the loss of most of the major characters. Some of the "newer" ones, like Sam, are pretty much gone now any way. Why would almost an entire new cast make any difference?
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They're angling for a spin-off. The original cast gets a new show that follows them out of high school, and the original show digs up some more twenty-something actors to pretend to go to high school.
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First off let me say that Im a fan of the show and Im sure everyone has their own opinion on this. I personally am not happy with the direction of the show. Ryan Murphy has a history of destroying his shows after a few seasons and Im sure this will be no different. If you need proof of said destruction of the show, I give you the Glee project. It wasn't enough to have a really great idea, and fairly original execution of said idea, he had to turn it into a reality show. Im actually fine with Cory going as he can't sing, dance or act and he looks like a constipated toddler. (Yes, I know, I'll get letters.) But Lea and Chris are two of the more talented ones in the group as well as some of the only charachters with lives that anyone REALLY cares about. I just think its a little early in the shows lifespan to start dismantelling the cast. Especially when you consider that season one was only so so to begin with, so Murphy only has one really great season to speak of. Remember I said this even if you disagree, this marks the beginning of the end of Glee. Im not saying it will be taken off the air, (After all we love to keep shows past their prime while cancelling the promising ones.) but enjoy season 3 because it will probably be the last decent one if it's decent at all.
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I understand the reason behind why they doing it, so i'm sad, but ok with it...

I will for sure miss the voice of Lea...i thought that was a perfect voice...!

Wish them all the best...!!
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OMG!... there's going to be a fourth season?
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I like Cory Monteith but the guy is nearly 30. He doesn't look 17 and really should go. I will also be glad to see the back of Lea Michelle. Can't tell if its her or her character that annoys me so much but either way, Glee will be better off without her. She gives theatre geeks a bad name.
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The sooner Leah Michelle is out of my life the better, she is the worst thing on the show by far. Chris Colfer is great but I'm not gonna cry over it. The one I'm sad about is Cory Monteith. Finn is pretty dumb, maybe he can get held back a year?
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I agree they should change the cast. It is obvious that Finn, Rachel, Kurt and especially Puck are too old to be in the show now.

It would be great to get some new characters. There are plenty of good singers/dancers around. I only heard today that Joe McElderry (X-Factor and Popstar to Operastar winner) would love to be in the programme. Not sure if his South Shields accent would work though.
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I think they've all gone on for too long. Should have been let go at the end of this season!
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Good maybe now the show will get cancelled.
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Let me be the only one saying this is the worst idea. Not because I thought they were gonna stay in high school forever nor because I love rachel &co "so much" but simply because IMO the people who watch glee do so mostly because they like (or like to hate) the characters and their storylines (the contest is irrelevant). I think it will be the end for glee. I realize glee club is supposed to be in high school and I agree they need to graduate in a way that makes real life sense, but they should just follow them to college. They could have sue called to teach at some college and mr schue follow his broadway dream or whatever. (I don't really care). Of course it would be completely unrealistic to have all cast members going to the same college, so they would have to rotate some of them for sure but definitely not the main ones. It would have been nice to see them move forward, new contest, new challenges, instead of starting all over again (which I won't do!).
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I'll be sad not to hear Lea Michelle' s stunning voice.
Ecstatic about Kurt leaving. I've always hated his character.
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Good for them for being realistic but I'm sad to see Kurt go
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good, finally someone with half a brain in the movie business. smart move, i like it
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And why this is a huge mistake is is in the last sentence: "only losers in this scenario are the fans..." I, and others of my mindset, will just bail on the show now and make a clean break of it. I'm not wasting time remaining invested in the most popular characters if they're all just leaving. And going forward, who wants to watch Glee with a half-dozen Cousin Olivers?
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good it needed to happen I am not shocked at all. I was highly upset by season 2 and hoped murphy would redeem himself with season 3 by actually graduating his characters like i feared he wouldn't now gives me hope.
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I don't give a **** about Cory Monteith, since I never liked the character, but I'm going to miss hearing Lea Michele singing, or see Chris Colfer's drama-acting.
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We have known about this graduation thing for a long time now, so it didn't come as a surprise. But now we'll really get to see what effect this dramatic change in the cast will have on the ratings. The show really is about the characters and how much viewers have invested in them. Every time characters leave a show, people therefore lose a part of that emotional investment to the show. The more of them leave, the bigger is the hole left behind. And then the viewers have to fill up the hole again when the new characters arrive. And the question is always if viewers are willing to do that. When the show started it was new and shiny, viewers were sucked into it and willing to follow the initial characters for three years. But now they have to make the decision if they want to get to know a new set of characters only to stay with them for another three years. Even if people know this change in cast is inevitable, they will still feel slightly betrayed by it. A show, any show for that matter, is usually connected with the original characters. The new characters will always feel like replacements, second best, cheap copies for the viewers, no matter how good the new ones are at acting. I'm definitely not against this change, I understand it completely. But I am worried about what effect it'll have on the show's popularity. It might have some pros, too. To many people the show has taken a slight dive and lost the fun and innocent spirit it had in the beginning. Now with the new cast the show could have a fresh start and bring back the joy without all the messy drama. On the other hand, if the show continues the sob stories with the new cast (which people don't feel connected with) viewers will abandon the show. The only reason people have stuck with the more dramatic plot lines in recent episodes is precisely because they had an investment with the old characters and they knew them.
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This is bad.considering that season 2 waS not as good as the first one.make it better.the plot and the selection of songs.make them leave next year.they were only senior.besides they haven't won the nationals yet.even if I hate them specially rachel.I luv to hate.let finn go back to quin.luv her.I luv britney and sam too.drop rachel.rachel only
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And this is bad news how? Three of the most unneeded and unnecessary characters on the show are leaving and that's a good thing.
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A show stands or falls with the characters and what I love about a series is that you get to know them and see them grow, I guess not in Glee.
I was hoping the show would grow with them as they start a job, university, ... realistic? It's a tv show we all know that! Apparently the writers wanna keep it all in highschool, whether that works or not we'll have to wait and see but I'm disappointed with this decision.
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I'm excited. Of course they're great, but getting stuck in a show that's unrealistic and too stubborn to change would be awful. I can imagine new characters coming into the club every season, with a plethora of possible new personalities, issues, and styles to have. Of course, maybe the alumnae can visit. Especially Darren Criss.
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No Finn, Rachel, OR Kurt? Wow. Well if Fox is calling the shots and want to keep costs down, look for them to be replaced by Ryan Seacrest (He's under contract and we don't see/hear enough of him with his 14 shows every day.), A Kardashian, and "the Hoff". M-m-m-m-m. toasty.
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this could be interesting. I could be like Degrassi with new cast but then i could also be like One Tree Hill when they lost Peyton and Lucas. I mean these three eve if you can't stand some of them are the core of the cast. All plot lines revolve around them and could break the show. The only thing that would be good if characters now could shine and actually speak more then one line in an episode. How often does Mike say anything or TIna. They had two lines in the Prom episode and he was promoted to a main character. Glee really has to show interest in the rest of the cst if this is going to work.
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im glad theyre gone because there was the same storylines about rachel and finn, finn cannot sing. Chris is alright though and rachel had too many solos
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I'm kind of glad - I think too much focus was being placed on these three, and the rest of the cast didn't really have room to get equal face time. Maybe this will be a good opportunity to focus on other cast members for a change. I'm tired of Rachel belting out all the solos.
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good riddence to Finchell:p
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I think it's a good idea. I hate it when shows find excuses to keep characters around that have clearly graduated.
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id be bolting out of that show as fast as i could too.
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