The cast of Glee were not fired, really, nor did creator/ executive producer Ryan Murphy mean to make it sound as though he had no further use for them. He really just had a secret spin-off in the works.
It had been reported, after a few lengthy interviews with loud-mouth production including Murphy, that the cast would be culled as there would be no direct use for them once their characters graduated. Then producer Brad Falchuck stepped in to say SIKE! the cast weren’t fired. Now Murphy’s saying the same and he’s apologising for any confusion in an interview with Deadline. It basically takes 1,500 words to say “The cast knew months ahead of time they were being used in a spin-off after the graduation they also knew about… some of them milked reports of a firing and that p**sed us off, so now we’ve stopped pre-production on the spin-off that was scheduled for September. It’s punishment for throwing us under the bus for publicity.” Here’s an excerpt, the Cliffs Notes version, of his interview.
Murphy told Deadline that as early as March of this year, he talked to Glee stars Lea Michele, Chris Colfer, and Cory Monteith about a possible spin-off in which their characters would graduate from high school and go on to college at NYC’s Juilliard which he called. Murphy said he opted to include the actors in the plans for a spin-off because he wanted their input on how they saw their characters changing and because he wanted to know whether they’d be willing to relocate to New York to film the series.
So what is accurate and inaccurate about Lea Michele, Chris Colfer, and Cory Monteith staying, leaving, what they claim, and what you told them? “I said two things in an interview: I said, yes, they are graduating and they will not be back on the show for Season Four. And when I did that interview, what was happening was we were asked to investigate doing a spin-off and it was a spin-off specifically for three of them, Chris, Cory and Lea. In March, Brad Falchuk and I started talking to all three of those actors about it because you can’t make people do spin-offs. So, we went to them and asked, ‘What do you think about this? Are you interested? If you are interested, what would you want your character to do? Where do you think we should shoot it?’ So, it was a discussion with all three of those actors about it. At the time, all three of them expressed interest. They were involved in the process for 3 to 4 months to the point where we were even talking about cities and relocations and we called Julliard and what would that mean and how would we do it. So, for any of those actors to say, ‘I found out that I was fired off the show from Twitter,’ is absolutely 100% not true.”
How did it get so wrong? “I think that some of those actors’ representatives spun it in a certain way, to be quite honest, I don’t understand. We weren’t allowed to talk about a spin-off. It was too premature. We didn’t want to do it then. The idea was to do it this fall when Glee gets back on the air. Then, to pick up and read the actors saying, ‘We found out we were fired from Twitter.’ All of us, the studio, the network, were like, ‘OK, that isn’t exactly cool,’ because we involved all three of them in that decision. So then what happened is that we decided, ‘OK, let’s not do it.’ So that’s where we are today. Maybe we’ll talk about it in April or May, but for now let’s just concentrate on making Season 3 the best that we can do.”
So is anyone getting things ready for a spin-off? “We were. Not now.” - via Deadline.
Murphy clarifies that not one of the cast learned of the firing non-event on Twitter, 1) because they weren’t fired, really 2) because there were meetings and conversations about plans for character development post-graduation over the course of months. They ruined it, basically. There may never be that hour-long special now.