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Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Chris Colfer Won't Return to 'Glee' Season 4

July 14, 2011 (1:34 am) GMT
Trying to be realistic, co-creator Ryan Murphy reveals it has been decided that Rachel, Finn and Kurt will graduate at the end of third season.
Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Chris Colfer Won't Return to 'Glee' Season 4

, and are "not going to be back at all" for "" season 4, Ryan Murphy told The Hollywood Reporter. After many speculations about who will depart the show, the co-creator of the hit musical series has stated that Rachel, Finn and Kurt will graduate from McKinley High School at the end of the upcoming third season.

"You can keep them on the show for six years and people will criticize you for not being realistic," the 45-year-old writer/director explained decisions to cut the three regulars, before adding "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."

"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."

On what is planned for Rachel this season, Murphy teased, "I'm much more interested in Lea's character - not so much on her relationship with Finn, but more on what her dreams are beyond high school and how she plans on getting them." He added, "That's what my senior year was about."

He has not talked to Monteith about the graduation plans for Finn, but believes that the actor is aware his character will be among those graduating. "He knows he was a sophomore when the show started," he additionally told THR.

Murphy and co-creators Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, who came up with the decisions of Rachel, Finn and Kurt's graduation, are already writing story lines that include several characters' parents since the college talk heats up. "" judge additionally claimed that new writers have supported their ideas.

There will be other New Directions members joining Rachel, Finn and Kurt as Murphy stated that "more characters are leaving than are staying" at the season's end. Those who are graduating and staying will be revealed in season 3 premiere on September 20.

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