After much speculation over how Glee will handle the death of one of its stars, Cory Monteith, who played lovable jock Finn Hudson, FOX entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly revealed that the series will air a tribute episode for the actor. The episode will be the season's third episode, scheduled to air Oct. 10. Specifics on how the show will handle Finn's departure, i.e. whether he will die of a drug overdose like Monteith, are unknown.
Said Reilly of the tribute, “That 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 also confirmed that Glee is likely to end after its sixth season, when its current deal with FOX expires.
“I would not anticipate it goes beyond two more seasons,” he said. “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.”
Monteith died suddenly on July 13 from a combination of heroin and alcohol. He had previously been open about his substance abuse issues, and had completed a stay in rehab only three months before his death.
Glee's co-creator Ryan Murphy, as well as members of the cast, will shoot PSAs to air throughout the episode dealing with drug addiction. Like all Glee episodes, characters will sing several songs during the tribute, but all proceeds from selling the music will go towards a fund set up for Monteith.
The idea of Glee, not exactly a show known for its subtlety, acknowledging Monteith's death with a tribute is worrisome, but hopefully, Murphy and the other showrunners won't make the episode feel exploitative. Seeing as it likely already has Lea Michele's blessing, there's a good chance Finn's death on the show will be handled with grace.