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Apparently you can go home again. Or back to school, at least. At a panel at last weekend's San Diego Comic-Con, Glee executive producer Brad Falchuk told a standing-room-only audience of Gleeks and geeks that three of the most popular actors on the show -- Chris Colfer (Kurt), Lea Michele (Rachel), and Cory Monteith (Finn) -- will not be canned after this season, as previously reported. When creator Ryan Murphy told The Hollywood Reporter the trio would be graduating and leaving McKinley High, it caused an uproar. (Gay fan fave Colfer, in fact, said he learned of the change via Twitter, though he took the announcement in stride).
Turns out, according to TV Line,the kids will be graduating in May, but, says Falchuk, they may very well be back for season 4 -- if not beyond.
"Here's the exact thing: [Rachel, Kurt and Finn] are seniors, so they're graduating," Falchuk explained, "but because they're graduating doesn't mean they're leaving the show. If you have Lea Michele under contract, you don't say, 'We're gonna let you go.'" Plus, the executive producer pointed out, "a number of the original [cast members' characters] are not graduating this year."
Falchuk reiterated, "It was never our plan or our intention to let them go. ... They are not done with the show after this season."
At the Comic-Con panel, which was moderated by TV Line editor in chief Michael Ausiello, Falchuk also said Chord Overstreet (pictured, who plays Sam) was offered a deal to return for 10 episodes, but the 22-year-old actor declined, "which we were really disappointed by."
Added Falchuk, "We wanted him back because we like Chord personally and had some good stories planned for him and with Mercedes [played by Amber Riley]. He decided he would have opportunities elsewhere that he would like to pursue, and we can't force him to work, so we wished him well."
Some other cast members won't be back, namely most of the big celebs. Kristin Chenoweth, who played Broadway-bound boozy floozy April Rhodes, told Zap2It she's somewhat bummed that Murphy plans to do season 3 of the show without guest stars, as she loves her character, but she understands his rationale. "I think he's trying to get his show back," Chenoweth said. "I think he's trying to really concentrate on his characters. I actually understand that. I get it. People want to see those characters."