Last summer was a tense time in the world of Glee. Creator Ryan Murphy said that many of the main characters, including Rachel, Finn and Kurt, would be graduating at the end of season 3. And he went even further by saying that they would be leaving the show. Then there was the awkward backtracking where he and other producers and FOX said this wasn’t true, Murphy said these things prematurely, etc.

Over the weekend, FOX held their Television Critics Association winter tour. Along with promoting and discussing all their other shows, they also talked about Glee, of course. And we got major clarification on what will happen with season 4, the graduating cast members, and that much talked about spin-off show.

As reported by EW, FOX entertainment president Kevin Reilly said, “We’re graduating the characters that are arcing toward graduation. What’s come out of it is [Murphy] has come up with a really cool idea. There will not be a Glee spin-off. But those characters will graduate and that’s led to a really interesting idea that I think will give us something to dig into next season, and it [starts with] the spring batch of episodes. That’s all I can say about it now.” Let’s digest this for a moment.

It’s now been confirmed that there will be no Glee spin-off, and the graduating characters will be used in some capacity in season 4. “[Murphy] told me his plan,” Lea Michele said, “and I will tell you it’s incredibly groundbreaking and it’s revolutionary for television, the way he’s figured out how to use these graduated high school characters on this TV show.” Chris Colfer also confirmed his return (as did Cory Monteith and Naya Rivera), and used the word “revolutionary” as well.

What kind of revolutionary idea could this be? We all know Glee hasn’t been the most realistic show, but if the graduating seniors will be staying, then they can’t realistically keep them at the school. Rachel and Kurt have applied to a music school in New York. It would be really disappointing if they didn’t get in. Would Glee go back and forth between showing what happens at McKinley High and what happens in New York? Or if they aren’t accepted into the school, I still can’t see the two of them staying in Ohio. And what about Santana? After graduation, I haven’t a clue on what kind of a storyline she could have going forward.

We’ve seen other shows over the years move their characters from high school to college during the run of the show. So they’d have to do something quite different than that if it’s going to live up to this “revolutionary” term that’s being attached to season 4.

And regarding the spin-off, I think it all came down to numbers. Glee‘s ratings this season have been down quite a bit. So if they were to do a spin-off, only part of the Glee audience would be watching it, so the ratings for that show would be less than 6 million, most likely. I believe FOX looked at the numbers and told Ryan Murphy that it wasn’t a viable option.

What do you think of all this major Glee news? Are you disappointed there will be no spin-off? Or will this season 4 idea be able to keep the show going?

Glee returns January 17 at 8pm 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.