The death of "Glee" star Cory Monteith has already spurred the trivial-in-comparison media catechism of how the Fox show will address the actor's absence.
The obvious answer: It's too soon to tell.
Executive producers and executives at 20th Century Fox Television and the Fox network got wind of the news late Saturday. And, unsurprisingly, there hasn't been any discussion on how Monteith's sudden death will affect the show, according to a source close to production.
Monteith, who had long been public about his past battle with drugs and alcohol, had not been present in the final episodes of the fourth season as he sought rehab treatment in April.
It was a season that drew much speculation before production even began. There were conflicting reports over the likelihood of some of its lead lineup returning, including Monteith, real-life girlfriend Lea Michele and Chris Colfer. In the end, they all continued on the show, but the focus spread out as other new characters streamed in.
The fourth season saw Monteith's aw-shucks character Finn Hudson take over as McKinley High's glee club leader for a period of time. His last appearance was in an April episode in which Finn eases back on his partying college ways and realizes he wants to return to McKinley to teach. Though his storyline abruptly ended there, with revisions made to remaining episodes to accommodate the actor's real-life rehab stay, it had seemed his story could be picked up in the fifth season.
Production for the fifth season was to begin in the next few weeks, with the show's premiere date scheduled for Sept. 19. With the bi-yearly Television Critics Assn. press tour kicking off later this month, Fox will likely choose to address there, during a panel with its top executives, how the show will proceed.