Glee: Will Massive Cast Departures Save or Sink the TV Series?

Glee cast leavingIn an interview with THR, Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy revealed that several actors on the hit FOX TV series will be leaving at the end of season three. Though they are some of the most popular performers on the series, Lea Michele (Rachel), Cory Monteith (Finn), and Chris Colfer (Kurt) will be exiting the show for sure and won’t be back at all in season four.

Murphy said, “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.”

Murphy went on to say that “more characters are leaving than are staying” and it will be clear which characters will be departing when Glee returns on September 20th. It was previously reported that the contract of Cord Overstreet (Sam) had not been picked up for the 2011-12 season but the door was being left open for guest shots.

The ratings for Glee have been on the decline last season but the musical-comedy series is still FOX’s highest-rated scripted series, averaging a 4.7 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 11.64 million viewers.

Clearly this is a big gamble on the part of the network and co-creators Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan. Time will tell if this bold move will help to reinvigorate the series or sink it even faster.

What do you think? Will all of the cast departures help or hinder the Glee’s popularity? Will it be cancelled after three seasons? Which characters are too important to leave?

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20 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Craig says

    The other half of the story that they haven’t said out loud is that the rest of the student cast were all at least Sophomores too. They should all graduate at the end of the 3rd season, and the show will have a new cast based on whoever they bring on during season 3 and then introduce new in season 4. Season 3 should probably be the last season for two reasons. First, look at the posts above related to Lea’s character. The show won’t be able to easily find talent that can bring in that kind of fan response. Second, the creator has done a pretty poor job of creating a sustaining story line that people can enjoy, and I don’t think he has the skill to bring in a new cast and write new story lines based on how poorly he wrote for Lea and the rest during season 2.

  2. Janey says

    You made my day! Rachel’s leaving. No more slow sappy songs to grind the show to a halt. Now if they could just rid the show of Gwyneth Paltrow the show would be worth watching.

    More Brittany (Heather Morris)!

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  4. TJ says

    I would hope they would try a spinoff with Rachael and Kurt becuse honestly from an adult perspective they were the most talented. Finn I could take or leave but I do think I would still try and watch because Mercedes, Santana, Quinn, & others are very good as well but I would think at least Quinn is a senior as well so she must be going also?

  5. adam says

    I like the idea. If the story is really about the Glee Club, then a lot of folks are going to move on. That’s how it works. Lea Michelle’s attitude is tiresome and I’ll be glad to see her leave, but I’ll miss Chris Colfer.

  6. SlayerKat says

    I also think it’s sad to see main popular characters leave a show. It’s a difficult one because on the one hand characters can MAKE a show but on the otherhand, if the show is strong enough it can evolve. But there is the risk of turning Glee into a soap opera. In soaps main characters come and go all the time and the show carries on, gradually introducing new characters and hoping noone notices. Perhaps Glee will be more soapy and the show will carry on. It’s a bold move!

  7. Yeam says

    well, It’s Not a bad thing. The Show is not All about Rachel and Finn, I am sick of seeing these two idiots, us teenagers are not like them and they make us look bad…!! I want to see more of other characters, like Quinn and Santana. Anyone but Rachel !! and Chris (Kurt) was one of the best things on the show and if he leaves I’m not gonna be mad, because we have others … I don’t know why every one thinks Rachel is the star, Santana (Naya) and Mercedes (Amber) are just as good.

  8. Samara says

    I will be very sad to see them go, but it makes the most sense! I really hope Lea Michelle has a fantastic career and puts out some great albums! As for the show’s ratings, I believe that it all comes down to who “joins” the glee club! Lea’s talent is far superior to the others and exceedingly greater than the show, she is one-of-a-kind! The creators shouldn’t even attempt to replace her – they should just try to put in actors whose talent level more closely matches the remaining cast – which is still good! I will continue to watch – I like Jane Lynch and Matthew Morrison – it’s a good show! On a side note – I wish they would have Mandy Patinkin guest star – his voice is beautiful!

  9. KevN'sync says

    rachel is the STAR of the show so its a mystery to me why they would let her go unless she is ready to strike whilethe iron is hot and record a album and make some movies in which i would pay for both.Quinn and Santana are my other 2 favorites.

  10. Beth Coccaro says

    I find several contestants on The Glee Project show real potential and after watching the contest series, can see how easily new characters can be written in. The show’s premise is of the Glee club, and should remain that way. So many high school memories…lol.

  11. Ole Vizer says

    It’s a bold move but runs the high risk of becoming unrecognizable to those that still watch the show. It sort of makes me think of Harry’s Law and especially Law & Order: SVU without Meloni and very soon Hargitay. Big fans of Danny Pino & Kelli Giddish but like Glee, the show will be very different without the popular characters the fans have come to love.

  12. J says

    They should really use this as a way to re-engineer the show. Instead of keeping the same format (which is slowly falling in ratings) they should have the three graduate and have the show follow Kurt, Rachel, and their journey in getting to New York.

    It’s already been established hat Kurt and Rachael are going to end up there and Finn will follow Rachael wherever she goes. They could still bring in the old characters in from time to time and keep the idea of the show’s storyline being bolstered by a lot of msuic and dance. It would also be a good excuse to have Kristen Chenoweth on a lot since her being on broadway, or more believably on off broadway, would be plausible.

  13. me says

    It can’t hurt. Glee has been horrible lately. Rachel is annoying. The show is annoying. I stopped watching it mid-season.

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