The tragic passing of Cory Monteith won't be ignored by "Glee," according to FOX Chairman of Entertainment Kevin Reilly. At the network's executive panel at press tour, Reilly addressed questions about how the death will affect "Glee," though the storyline appears to still be in the works.
"The cast starting with Lea [Michele, who was Monteith's on-screen and off-screen girlfriend], who has the most personal wrapped up in it... and has been a pillar of strength, she was the first one to say, 'I want to get back to work,'" Reilly said. "The first episodes will deal with Finn being written out of the show."
Monteith's passing won't be tackled in the first two episodes, however. "The first two episodes of 'Glee' were already conceived," Reilly said. "They're Beatles episodes, and we have a very clear storyline on how to serve those up. We talked a lot about how those should go. It would be very difficult to come out of the gate right away [with Monteith's death]. They're going to be really fun, very celebratory... so [after that] we'll have the Cory episode, then go on hiatus [for baseball], which gives us an opportunity to reset a little bit."
The show "will deal directly with the elements of the passing." However, the storyline of "Glee" isn't the only focus for the network in addressing Monteith's death. "The cast members, speaking as friends of [Monteith], will speak directly to the audience [in PSAs]. I expect these will be very impactful."
Reilly continued. "It's incredibly sad. What we all said [at the funeral], what everyone knows, with some people, you see them struggling with addition, they partied too hard... it's easy to put them in a category. He was... a big, wonderful life force. He looked straight as an arrow. He was open about [his addiction] in his past, not as open in the present. Nobody was shocked, but everybody was shocked because it was an accident... Ryan [Murphy] is dealing with it."
As to whether Finn will die in "Glee," Reily hedged. "I can't confirm that as all. We're going to speak to that in the PSAs. We're also going to donate the music sales from the episode to a fund for Cory."
Though there is additional footage that has been shot of Monteith, Reilly was tight lipped about whether it would be used. "That's a possibility, but I can't confirm or deny."
How do you think "Glee" should deal with Monteith's passing?