The only problem with doing a television show about high school kids is that most only take four years to finish the curriculum. Already pushing it with a 29-year-old and a 25-year-old playing high school seniors, Glee creator Ryan Murphy announced that stars Cory Monteith, Lea Michele and recent Emmy Nominee Chris Colfer will leave the cast after graduating from twelfth grade at the end of the Fox hit’s third season.
“You can keep them on the show for six years and people will criticize you for not being realistic, or you can be really true to life and say when they started the show they were very clearly sophomores and they should graduate at the end of their senior year,” said Murphy.
The 29-year-old Monteith will portray Finn Hudson for one more season, while 25-year-old Lea Michele will finish up Rachel Berry’s story line over the next 20 or so episodes. Colfer is one of the few Glee stars who’s approximately the same age as his character — he’ll be 21 when his Kurt Hummel graduates next year.
“We made that decision and I involved Chris and Lea and they thought that was a good idea. They both trust the writing and trust me and felt that it would be great to have an open and closed experience for them to go out while they were on top,” continued Murphy. As for Monteith? “He knows he was a sophomore when the show started.”
The trio won’t be the only characters bidding farewell to the show next May. Murphy also reported in the interview that “more characters are leaving than are staying.” More graduation information will be revealed in Glee’s September 20 third season premiere.