After Cory Monteith's tragic death last month, the producers at "Glee" were left with the difficult decision of how to handle the fate of his beloved character, Finn. Now, they've reached a solution, and fiction will imitate life.
"The third episode will deal with the Finn Hudson character being written out of the show," Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly announced at the Television Critics Association 2013 Summer Press Tour, according to the Huffington Post. "That episode will deal directly with the incidents surrounding his death and drug addiction … Ryan Murphy is going to film PSAs with the cast, as cast members, as friends of his, they're going to speak directly to the audience [about Cory]."
Monteith, 31, died in a Vancouver hotel room from mixed drug toxicity, the British Columbia Coroners Service said. The actor, who had long struggled with addiction, consumed a lethal combination of heroin and alcohol.
However, Reilly added that he could still appear in the season five episode in old footage. "It's a possibility because we do have some of that," he said. "But I can't speak to it because [creator] Ryan [Murphy] and the guys are working through it right now."
Reilly, who said "Glee" would probably end after season six, also praised Lea Michele, who dated Monteith on-screen and off, calling her "the most extraordinary human being and a pillar of strength throughout."
The season five premiere of "Glee" will air Sept. 26, and Reilly said the first two episodes will be "celebratory."
"It's a little difficult to come out of the gate right away then have to recover," he said, adding that music sales from the special third episode will benefit a fund in Monteith's name. "We'll have the Cory episode, then we'll go on hiatus for three weeks for the World Series, and that gives us a natural break to reset."
"You see some people struggling with addiction, they're very easily put into a category, 'She was always a partier,' you know. Cory was a big, open, wonderful life force, he was not a problem," he added. "He looked straight as an arrow, he was very open about it in his past, not so open about it in his present. Nobody was shocked, but everybody was shocked - it was not intentional, it was an accident, it happened to somebody struggling with an addiction."