This summer, the world of Glee is treading on calmer waters after last summer’s debacle when Ryan Murphy announced the three leads (Rachel, Finn, Kurt) would be leaving the show after they graduated, and then Brad Falchuk reversed that and said the complete opposite at Comic-Con.

Now, Comic-Con 2012 is upon us, and the Glee panel was held today. The panel consisted of producers Ian Brennan and Brad Falchuk, and cast members Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Naya Rivera, Kevin McHale, Jenna Ushkowitz and Darren Criss. After the season 3 finale that saw Finn breaking up with Rachel and announcing he’s joining the army, and Rachel being the only one accepted to NYADA, fans everywhere want to know what the show will be like when it returns in September.

Life After High School

In the closing moments of the finale, Rachel was in New York City. And it looks like she’ll have had the entire summer to settle in because the new school year will be starting (for both McKinley and NYADA) when the season 4 premiere opens. But when will Kurt make his way to the Big Apple? Will it happen right away or will it take a while? No one’s spilling the beans just yet. But at the moment, all we’re allowed to know, courtesy of Falchuk, is that Kurt will still call Lima, Ohio, home at the start of the season.

And then there’s Finn. Yes, Finn, the one who decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and join the military. While Rachel’s in New York and Kurt’s doing who knows what in Ohio, Finn will most definitely be in the army in September. (And I assume we’ll see him first in Boot Camp.) But after that storyline begins, they’re not saying what’ll happen.

The last we saw of Santana, it sounded like she could be New York-bound as well. And now Brennan says that she “might be” going there. And Mercedes, as we know, is planning on pursuing a music career, and we’ll see her either there or on her way there. Says one of the producers, “How it sort of happens for her is interesting.”

But Don’t Forget About McKinley

Now over to McKinley High. We already know that New Directions will go back to underdog status, and Brennan emphasized that again here. He says, “They’re underdogs again. That room is half empty and they’re desperately trying to get more kids for Sectionals.”

Falchuk is hoping that Chord Overstreet becomes a series regular. BuddyTV already confirmed that Overstreet has been in talks to return as a regular, so it sounds like nothing has been finalized as of yet. Speaking of returning cast members, The Glee Project‘s Samuel Larsen and Alex Newell are also in the middle of negotiations to return. (What about Damian?)

And expect a new character to roam the halls of McKinley High. His name is Jake, and as Hypable puts it, he “sorta just appears in the school.” Maybe he’s a student who’s already been attending McKinley?

Expect More Tributes

We already know that Glee will be featuring another Britney Spears tribute, to coincide with its Thursday night pairing with The X Factor, on which Spears is a new judge. Falchuk says, “What’s interesting is how we take the Britney theme to New York and how it affects Rachel.” So expect both Ohio (with Brittany S. Pierce coming back to the forefront for Round 2) and New York to be filled with the music of Britney Spears during season 4’s second episode.

Speaking of the music, what else can we expect in the fall? While we don’t know the exact songs, Falchuk promises that both classic rock and modern music will be featured at the start of the new season. Could the modern music include the biggest song on the planet right now, Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe”? Darren Criss believes it’ll be featured, but nothing’s confirmed yet.

And the musical tributes keep on coming. Britney’s already confirmed, but there’s another one on the horizon. Brennan says, “There’s an artist big enough who will take two episodes because the music catalogue is so big. That’s how large the person is. It’s a man.” Any guesses? My first thought was Elton John.

This is a lot of scoop to take in, with a lot of changes ahead. And we can look forward to this new journey when season 4 premieres (on a new day and time) on Thursday, September 13 at 9pm on FOX.

(Image courtesy of FOX)

Jeff Dodge

Staff Writer, BuddyTV

Jeff Dodge, a graduate of Western Washington University, has been a TV news editor for many years and has had the chance to interview multiple reality show stars, including Randy Jackson, Nick Cannon, Heidi Klum, Mel B and John Cena.