Production is about to begin on season 5 of Glee, with everyone waiting to find out how they will address the death of Cory Monteith, who died July 13 of a drug overdose. At Thursday’s TCA Summer Press Tour, FOX chairman Kevin Reilly gave a little more insight into the planned tribute episode, and revealed when the show might come to an end.

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On when Glee might go off the air, Reilly said, “I would not anticipate it goes beyond two more seasons. Never say never, but there’s two very clear [story] arcs to get to that end and conclude. If we discover a new crop of kids and there’s some breakout we like … [but] right now, we’re thinking two seasons.”

It was announced back in April that the hit FOX musical would be renewed for seasons 5 and 6, and some fans wondered if it would be fitting to end the show after that run. And now with word straight from the head of the network, it looks like that will most likely come true.

Cory Monteith was on everyone’s minds at the TCA tour, with Reilly providing more information on how Glee plans on saying goodbye to their leading man. Ryan Murphy already announced that the first two episodes will feature music by The Beatles, and the third episode will be a tribute to Monteith.

Fans have been speculating for the past several weeks on how Finn will make his departure. Will the character live on, but just not on screen? Or will he pass away as well? It’s obviously a very touchy subject for everyone involved, and Murphy has sought the input of Monteith’s on and off screen girlfriend Lea Michele.

Episode 3, airing on October 10, “is the episode where Cory’s character will be written off and will deal directly with drug addiction and with the circumstances surrounding Cory’s death,” Reilly admitted. But he stressed that a drug overdose won’t necessarily be Finn’s cause of death. “It is a celebration and really sad of this really vibrant kid.” The script has not been finished yet.

Some have wondered if previous footage of the actor will be used at all, but the head of FOX didn’t delve into specifics, only to mention that “It’s a possibility.”

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Murphy is set to film some Public Service Announcements on drug abuse and addiction with the cast of Glee — and they plan on airing them during this tribute. In another bid to address the real-life tragedy, all proceeds earned from the songs featured in the episode will go towards a fund set up in memory of Monteith.

“When you see some people struggle with addiction, they are easily put in a category. ‘He was dark, she was always a partier,'” Reilly went on to say about Monteith. “Cory was a big open life force. He was not a problem, he looked straight as an arrow. He was open about his addiction in the past, just not as open about it in the present. Everybody was shocked, but this was an accident. It happened to someone struggling with addiction.”

After delaying the start of production on season 5 (which subsequently pushed the premiere date back a week to September 26), filming will commence on Monday. This comes on the heels of a private memorial held July 25 with the showrunners, producers, cast and crew in attendance.

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(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.