Comic-Con 2011: ‘Glee’ graduates not necessarily leaving show

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You think you know all about ‘Glee,’ but you have no idea. And neither do the show’s producers -- well, they do, but they like confusing us.

At the ‘Glee’ panel held Sunday in Hall H at Comic-Con International, some things got murkier when co-creator and executive producer Brad Falchuk’s attempted to clear things up. Remember all those reports in which Ryan Murphy was quoted as saying stars Chris Colfer, Lea Michele and Cory Monteith would be graduating this season and not returning for the show’s fourth? And remember Chris Colfer commenting on it as well? Well, Falchuck is saying the exodus isn’t so.

‘Just because they’re graduating, doesn’t mean they are leaving the show,’ he said. ‘It is not our intention to let them go ... they are not done with the show.’

Later, Falchuk said the executive producers had explored the option of a spin-off with with Kurt (Colfer) and Rachel (Michele) but are ‘leaning against doing it.’


Hmmmm ...

Other dispatches from the panel:

--Falchuk reiterated that the upcoming season would be less heavy on stunt casting and special episodes. But he didn’t deny that a tribute episode was a possibility. If it does happen, it will likely occur in the second half of the season. --Coach Sue is running for Congress. ‘She doesn’t just want to end the glee club. She wants to end all glee clubs,’ said show writer Ian Brennan.

--As for the status of Kurt and Blaine: ‘They’re not breaking up,’ Falchuck said. ‘They’re good, they’re solid ... they’re two stars, so there will be problems, but they’re not breaking up.’

‘They’re kind of in the honeymoon phase,’ Criss added. ‘I’m a big fan of Klaine’

--As for reports Criss is heading to Broadway to replace Daniel Radcliffe in ‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,’ the actor -- recently named a series regular on the show -- isn’t confirming anything. ‘It’s very cool it’s out there in the air,’ he said. ' ‘Glee’ is a hectic schedule. I’m not opposed to the idea. ... I’m sure it’d be two seconds. I’d blink and then i’d be back [doing ‘Glee’].’

--Now that Criss has been made a series regular, might we be seeing him join New Directions? ‘You will have to tune in,’ Brennan said.

--Falchuck said Chord Overstreet declined an offer to come back to do some episodes. So Sam really is gone (sorry, fans of the trout mouth!). But don’t cry a river for Mercedes (Amber Riley). She will be getting another love interest whom she will have met over the summer. He’ll drive her arc in the first half of the season.

--Dot Marie Jones, who plays Coach Beiste, will be coming back despite being cast as a guest star in the Chelsea Handler pilot ‘Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea’ on NBC. ‘We have some great stuff for her,’ Falchuck said.

--Team Artina (that’s Artie and Tina for the unschooled), hold tight! You’ll have to weather through more of Tina and Mike this season. The duo are ‘fine this year.’ And, speaking of Mike, we’ll be meeting his parents. The topic actually got the writers talking about the other characters’ parents and it seems viewers were supposed to be introduced to Rachel Berry’s fathers in the first season. The actors were even lined up but the scene got cut. We’re just as bummed as you.

--Criss fans already know the crooner can channel his inner Belle from ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ When asked what other Disney song he’d like to perform, he said something from ‘Aladdin.’ But he’s not the only one feeling the Disney magic. Jones said if she were to take on a Broadway part, it’s be Ursula from ‘The Little Mermaid.

In case you’re interested in the other actors’ answers: Jenna Ushkowitz (who plays Tina) said she’d like to play Kim in ‘Miss Saigon.’ Harry Shum Jr. (Mike) would like a part in ‘Singing In the Rain.’ Criss wants to be the emcee in ‘Cabaret.’

--Oh, and scenes from the ‘Glee: The 3-D Concert Movie,’ which hits theaters in August, were shown. Let’s just say Heather Morris’ chest region woke the crowd up. And a mini-Blaine (in a Warblers suit and everything) had the crowd swooning.


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-- Yvonne Villarreal

Photos, from top: A scene from ‘Glee’; Darren Criss as Blaine in ‘Glee.’ Credits: Fox