Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
BREAKING: In his first public comments since the tragic death of Cory Monteith from an overdose of heroin and alcohol, Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy tells Deadline that a quick return to work was a collective decision made by cast and crew, which decided the best way to deal with the grief of losing the show’s breakout star was to return to work and mourn together. That decision was made after consulting with Monteith’s longtime girlfriend and co-star Lea Michele, as well as Monteith’s heartbroken costars and crew.
“We will begin shooting in late August the two shows we had already written, so that people can physically go back to work,” Murphy said. “We will then do an episode that will deal with the death of Finn’s character and follow that with a long hiatus. I don’t know exactly when we will come back, and we are trying our best with this attempt at damage control. We are planning a memorial for the cast and crew sometime this week on the Paramount lot.” Murphy will write that episode with co-creators Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, but acknowledges they aren’t sure at this early stage what form it will take. They will have to have it ready when they finish the first two segments, which is a tribute to The Beatles, and the trio will write the episode using Michele as a creative barometer.
An autopsy will be conducted on the body of Glee star Cory Monteith today, as Fox execs begin discussing how to handle the return of the series on which he was a breakout star. The show’s writers, meanwhile, will consider what to do about the first two episodes in which the return of Monteith’s character was to have played an important part. Fox network had planned to open the Glee’s fifth season early — Sept. 19 – in order to get a batch of episodes broadcast before the network’s annual post-season baseball messing up of its primetime schedule. The first two episodes of the fifth season had been written before the traditional long summer hiatus, in order to get a jump on the new season; production had been scheduled to start next week. The return of Monteith’s character, hunky high school football star turned glee club darling Finn Hudson, was much anticipated by fans, Monteith having been absent from the final episodes of last season to check himself into a drug treatment facility late last March. The 31-year-old Monteith had been open about his substance abuse problems in the past, revealing two years earlier he’d first entered a rehab program in his late teens. Along with Lea Michele and Chris Colfer, Monteith had been prominently featured last season despite his character graduating from McKinley High at the end of the previous season as part of a show “reboot.’ When the announcement was made that he was temporarily leaving the show, Glee production house 20th Century Fox TV said in a statement, “Everyone at the show wishes him well and looks forward to his return.”
Cory Monteith, who broke out as one of the original stars of Fox‘s Glee, was found dead in his hotel room Saturday in Vancouver, BC. He was 31. No foul play was suspected and Vancouver police said the actor had been dead for several hours when he was discovered this morning; acting police chief Doug Lapard says an autopsy will be performed Monday. The Vancouver Sun reported that Monteith’s family, which is from BC, were notified late Saturday of his death. “We are deeply saddened by this tragic news”, said Fox, series producer 20th Century Fox TV and Glee‘s executive producers in a statement. “Cory was an exceptional talent and an even more exceptional person. He was a true joy to work with and we will all miss him tremendously. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones.” According to police, Monteith had checked into the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel July 6 and was due to check out today.
Fox Fall Premiere Dates: Network To Debut Lineup Outside Of Premiere Week, Launches Staggered From September To November
As usual, given the number of pre-emptions for postseason baseball, Fox is getting ahead of the pack with early fall launches to give affected series longer uninterrupted runs. Last fall, Fox premiered The X Factor, Glee, Bonesand Mob Doctor in the two weeks leading to premiere week. The same shows (with newbie Sleepy Hollow in for the defunct Mob Doctor on Mondays) again will launch early this year, joined by Fox’s Tuesday comedy block. Only Friday entry Masterchef Junior and the Sunday animated block will open during the official premiere week, with Almost Human, Raising Hope and Enlisted held back until the end of baseball season. Check out Fox’s fall premiere dates after the jump:
Related: Fox New Series First Looks
The new 12-episode 24 event series, titled 24: Live Another Day, will likely launch in early May 2014 running into the summer, Fox‘s entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly said during an upfront conference call this morning. The original idea to continue 24 was as a feature, which died after 24 showrunner Howard Gordon and his team concluded that ”24 being compressed into two hours is not 24,” Reilly said. But after Fox announced its event series push six months ago, Gordon sparked to the idea of resurrecting 24 that way. The 12-hour version will keep the real-time nature of the original series, skipping some hours in the 24-hour period it covers. That would actually benefit the show, Reilly said, noting that 24 producers always felt that the spine of each season of 24 were 12 episodes containing major events, with the other 12 providing connective tissue. “Now we’ll get the best part,” Reilly said. While Fox envisions its limited series as stand-alone, one-time events, some, including 24, could become franchises with multiple installments though it is unlikely to have a new 24 every year.
Related: Fox 2013-14 Schedule
After lengthy negotiations, Fox‘s musical dramedy Glee has been picked up for next season. And the season after that. The network has given a two-year renewal to the series for Seasons 5 and 6. The negotiations took longer because the network starts footing the bill after Season 4. Given the complications of the talks, a two-year pickup is common practice so the network won’t have to do it again next year. Even if Glee‘s ratings continue to slip, the dramedy has an off-network syndication deal with Oxygen, which makes a longer run attractive for Fox sibling 20th TV, the studio that produces Glee with Ryan Murphy TV. Glee now joins veteran Bones, freshman drama The Following and comedies New Girl, The Mindy Project and Raising Hope, which all have been renewed for next season.
Oscar winner Patty Duke and Emmy-nominated Meredith Baxter will guest star on the Fox series, Deadline has confirmed. The duo are set to play a lesbian couple in Glee‘s season finale, as first reported by E!. The …