Life will not imitate art on the new season of Glee.
Co-creator Ryan Murphy told Deadline.com that Finn Hudson's death will not mirror the passing of star Cory Monteith, who died from a toxic mixture of heroin and alcohol on July 13.
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"At one point, we were going to have his character die after an accidental drug overdose — that was something we had considered," Murphy tells the site. "But we have decided that we're not going to have him pass from that. Basically, what we're doing in the episode is we are not telling you yet, or maybe not at all, how that character died. The idea being, how somebody died is interesting and maybe morbid, but we say very early on in the episode, 'This episode is about a celebration of that character's life.' That might be weird for some people, but it felt really exploitative to do it any other way."
Following two "celebratory" Beatles-themed episodes — which were reworked following Monteith's death — the third episode of Season 5 will be a tribute to Monteith's character. Murphy said production on the episode will begin next week, followed by a two-to-three week hiatus.
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Despite the possibility of never revealing how Finn died, Murphy said that the episode is "a lovely tribute, and it's a very heartfelt look at how young people grieve." Murphy will also produce a series of PSAs that will air during the episode, and all proceeds from music sales for the tribute episode will be used to launch a fund in Monteith's name. "We loved Cory and we loved Finn and it feels like a huge loss and a huge heartache not to have either of them around. We're trying to craft an episode that's not just about us grieving but about a lot of the young fans grieving."
Glee returns on Thursday, Sept. 26 at 9/8c on Fox.