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Glee's third season will be 'back to basics'

Finn, Rachel and Kurt in Glee

Story by Jack Foley

GLEE‘S third season will be ‘back to basics’ and will avoid tribute episodes and guest appearances, especially during the opening episodes.

That’s the word coming from Fox’s programming president Kevin Reilly as he looked to divert some of the media focus away from the show’s controversies during the network’s Televisions Critics’ Association press tour.

Speaking candidly to reporters about some of the issues the show has faced over casting decisions and falling ratings, Reilly said: “The [third] season feels so focused this year. It’s a very back to basics year.

“There’s not going to be any guest stars or tributes. There will be a graduation at the end and three will graduate. There will be surprises about how that will play out.”

So, does that mean that stars Lea Michele, Chris Colfer and Cory Monteith would, in fact, still be departing?

Reilly confirmed they will graduate but swiftly added: “How [that’s] going to play out I’m not going to say. It’s not going to be predictable.”

Pressed by another critic on whether Glee really wouldn’t have any guest stars or tribute episodes for all of season three, Reilly added: “Initially, there’s not going to be any big guest stars or tribute in the first batch of episodes. And in general, [back to basics] will be the focus for the season.

“There’s an arc that will drive the year. The competition will be alive and well. You will have the winner for The Glee Project joining at some point down the road.”

Asked whether there was any friction caused by Ryan Murphy’s decision to publicly announce the departure of three of the show’s most popular stars, and the subsequent rebuttal of this news at Comic-Con Reilly maintained that the controversy had been overblown.

“All of us were a little surprised on how it took on a life of its own,” said Reilly. “I think it’s taken on a little more momentum than it actually [deserves].”

He also firmly endorsed Murphy, saying: “I think that Ryan and his associates there do a fabulous job of managing that every day. [Co-creator] Brad [Falchuk] is the most even-keeled guy in the world. And Ryan is who he is. That’s why I love him. Ryan is a creative force.”

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