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Glee to pay tribute to Cory Monteith with special episode

Cory Monteith

Story by Jack Foley

GLEE creator Ryan Murphy has announced plans to make a special tribute episode to honour Cory Monteith who died last weekend.

Speaking in a number of interviews in the US, Murphy said the tribute would feature as the third episode of the forthcoming fifth series, which begins in September, although it has yet to be decided exactly how the actor’s death will be addressed on screen.

His character would not be re-cast, though.

According to Murphy, “the right thing to do” is to let the character “pass”, adding that the show itself will take an extended hiatus following that episode to evaluate its future.

“When you’re faced with something so sad and so shocking, what do you do? Do we cancel the show? Do we start shooting in January? What do we do?” Murphy is quoted as saying in The Hollywood Reporter.

“Ultimately, we decided the best thing for everyone is to get back to work and be around people who knew him and loved him so that everyone can grieve together.”

In a separate interview with E! News, meanwhile, Murphy discussed the difficulty he was faced with in paying tribute to Monteith without asking fellow cast members to revisit their feelings in the wake of his death on-screen.

He also confirmed that the decision to return to work was done with the blessing of Monteith’s girlfriend and fellow cast member, Lea Michele, explaining: “If Lea had said to me, ‘I could never do this again and I don’t want to do this again,’ – you know, she is sort of the show… I would’ve, out of respect to her as a person, said ‘OK’.”

Elaborating on the tribute episode itself, he said: “When we do the tribute episode to that character, we’ll have to do it in a way where the cast members will not have to re-create feelings of grief that they’ve had this week – but do it in an upbeat way.”

Prior to the third episode tribute, the first two episodes of the fifth season will continue as normal and will include a Beatles tribute which will be filmed next month.

Monteith was found dead in a hotel in Vancouver on Saturday (July 13, 2013). A post-mortem said he died from a heroin and alcohol overdose.

Next story: Comic-Con 2013: Dexter cast bid emotional farewell