All of Glee's McKinley High graduates are coming back for Season 4, but will they appear in every episode?
"I want them to come back," co-creator Ryan Murphy told reporters after a TV academy event for The Glee Project, when asked about Mike and Mercedes, who are moving out of Lima but not following Rachel Berry's footsteps to New York. "I think it'll be a different way. I mean, no one is really going to be doing 22 episodes except Lea [Michele]. We haven't figured it out, but I know what the stories are. I just don't know how many episodes."
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Does that mean less screen for longtime leads Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Finn (Cory Monteith) as well? When asked about the two fan favorites, Murphy backtracked on his earlier comments and stressed that the number of appearances will be up to cast members. "I shouldn't say that actually because I had a list and then we were writing today. I think we want to keep our options open," he said. "I think I have to talk to the actors and say, 'What do you want to do?' That's how we've been dealing with that. I've only talked to Lea so far. So maybe yes, when I talk to them. That's all happening in the next two weeks."
Murphy also wouldn't confirm whether the musical show would follow Finn to boot camp or into battle after he announced his plans to join the Army in the season finale. "That's a big secret," he said.
Although Murphy said Glee's writers room just started working on the Season 4 premiere, he only had positive things to say about writing for the new format that will split time between Ohio and New York. "It's fun. It feels re-energized," he said. "The Kate Hudson part is really good. The Sarah Jessica Parker part is really good. It's fun to have those people."
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In addition to bringing on the Oscar nominee and the Emmy winner, Murphy is optimistic that some of the four Glee Project Season 1 winners — Damian McGinty (Rory), Samuel Larsen (Joe), Alex Newell (Wade/Unique) and Lindsay Pearce (Harmony) — will be a part of the new season. "Definitely some of them," he said. Larsen, for one, said during the panel that he is happy to walk the halls of McKinley High as long as the writers will have him. "If they're still doing Glee [in 10 years], I hope I'm still doing Glee," he said. "I'm so down to stay forever. I'll be the janitor on the show."
Meanwhile, Season 2 of The Glee Project (Tuesdays at 10/9c on Oxygen) will welcome more Glee cast members as mentors. Colfer, Amber Riley, Darren Criss and Jane Lynch will join previously announced mentors Michele, Monteith, Larsen and Naya Rivera. "The funny thing about the mentors for this season is that the Glee cast really wanted to do it. The first season, they did not want to do it," Murphy said. "But then they all watched the show and they became fans of the show. They, for the most part, called me and said, 'I want to do it!'"
The Glee Project airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on Oxygen. Glee returns for Season 4 this fall on Thursdays at 9/8c on Fox.