At Comic-Con, all the “Glee” ado about Lea Michele, Chris Colfer and Cory Monteith allegedly getting fired from the Fox series appears to have been resolved. They’re graduating, but they’re not off the show, executive producer Brad Falchuk told the masses in San Diego during the “Glee” panel. Falchuk also blamed an article in the Hollywood Reporter for mischaracterizing what series co-creator Ryan Murphy said about the trio’s future on the seies.
“They’re series regulars, and they’re under contract to 20th Century Fox, and hopefully we’ll all work together for a long time,” his fellow executive producer Dante Di Loreto told me in the press room afterward when I specifically asked if the three actors will be regulars again during Season 4.
In a new interview with Deadline, Murphy provides a bit more clarity, as well as some non-clarity, on the issue.
Murphy tells Deadline correspondent Allison Hope Weiner that he did indeed say the actors would not return for Season 4 of “Glee” during that interview with the Hollywood Reporter. “I said two things in an interview: I said, yes, they are graduating and they will not be back on the show for Season 4,” he says. So the reporter didn’t exactly get the story wrong, as Falchuk implied at Comic-Con. But the subsequent use of the word “fired” was inaccurate.
That’s because the showrunners had spent a few months exploring the possibility of a spinoff that would take the actors’ characters — Rachel, Kurt and Finn — to New York for their own series, a spinoff that has now been put on indefinite hold. This, too, was mentioned during the “Glee” panel at Comic-Con, and Falchuk did indeed say that they decided not to do the N.Y.C. “Glee” series, at least for now. Murphy reiterates that in the Deadline interview.
Murphy also suggests he and officials at Fox were initially irritated when Chris Colfer said he found out via Twitter that he had been fired from the musical-number-laden series.
“I think that some of those actors’ representatives spun it in a certain way, to be quite honest, I don’t understand,” he says. “We weren’t allowed to talk about a spinoff. It was too premature. We didn’t want to do it then. The idea was to do it this fall when ‘Glee’ gets back on the air. Then, to pick up and read the actors saying, ‘We found out we were fired from Twitter.’ All of us, the studio, the network, were like, ‘Okay, that isn’t exactly cool,’ because we involved all three of them in that decision. So then what happened is that we decided, ‘Okay, let’s not do it.’ So that’s where we are today.”
He goes on, referencing Colfer specifically: “I think what happened is Chris Colfer did an interview and the timing probably was a little bit unfortunate. I think that he was getting a lot of calls with people saying, ’You’re fired. You’re fired.’ And all of them knew they weren’t fired, but it was an awful thing to read. And I felt for them. And they couldn’t come out and say, ‘No, we weren’t fired. We’re talking about a spinoff.’ Because we told them not to. And this has blown up. So now we’re not doing the spinoff. It’s not my call. Those actors have a contract for seven years. So just because they’re graduating and so many of them are beloved, if they don’t go to New York, maybe they’ll do something else. We haven’t even thought of that.”
In other words, it’s still not 100 percent clear exactly what will happen to these characters after Season 3. But they’re not fired. And apparently Ryan Murphy is a wiser man because of all this confusion, which honestly, is still kind of confusing: “I’ve learned a lesson from this experience. I’ve learned to really really monitor what I say.”