'Glee' Cast Update: Who’s Staying? Who's Going?

by 11:23 AM PDT, July 25, 2011
Photo: FOX

"Glee" fans can rejoice to news that is music to their ears: Cast favorites Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, and Chris Colfer will be returning for the show's fourth season!

When co-creator and executive producer Ryan Murphy announced that beloved characters Rachel, Finn and Kurt would be graduating at the end of season three, fans were devastated by the prospect of losing some of the series' brightest stars. But Murphy seemed confident that his decision was the right one. He told The Hollywood Reporter, "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 when they started the show they were very clearly sophomores and they should graduate at the end of their senior year." He believed this would be an opportunity for the actors to "go out while they were on top."

But the creative minds behind "Glee" are now saying that graduation does not mean the end of the road for Michele, Monteith or Colfer. At Sunday's Comic-Con panel in San Diego, co-creator/executive producer Brad Falchuk explained, "They're seniors. They're graduating. But that doesn't mean they're leaving the show. If you have Lea Michele under contract, you don't say, 'We're gonna let you go.'"

It wasn't all good news for the Gleeks at Comic-Con, though. Earlier in July, it was reported that Chord Overstreet had not been promoted to series regular, but it was generally believed that he would continue to be a strong presence on the show. Fans learned Sunday, however, that Overstreet is one cast member we will have to say "good-bye" to. According to Falchuk, "We wanted him back because we like Chord personally and had some good stories planned for him and with Mercedes (Amber Riley)." But despite being offered a 10-episode return, the actor decided to explore his opportunities elsewhere. "We can’t force him to work," Falchuk added. "We told him to go with God."