'Glee's' Ryan Murphy Prepping Potential Cliffhanger, Location Changes for Season 5
The showrunner tells THR that he wants to do something different and shy away from things he's done before -- like graduation.
Glee has yet to be formally renewed for a fifth season (talks are under way), but co-creator Ryan Murphy already wants to make some big changes to the Fox musical.
After graduating the bulk of its core cast during the season-three finale and sending Rachel (Lea Michele), Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Santana (Naya Rivera) to New York, the series has adopted a split-location storytelling format between the East Coast and Lima, Ohio. At McKinley, meanwhile, a roster of new characters have joined the dramedy -- Marley (Melissa Benoist), Jake (Jacob Artist), Kitty (Becca Tobin) and Ryder (Glee Project season-two winner Blake Jenner) -- as graduates including Puck (Mark Salling), Mike (Harry Shum Jr.), Quinn (Dianna Agron) and Mercedes (Amber Riley) have all returned for episodes here and there during season four.
The show's dual location, however, may not be long for this world, Murphy hinted when discussing potential changes for the series. The Hollywood Reporter caught up with the prolific writer-producer at the Paley Center for Media, where he was being honored with the organization's inaugural PaleyFest Icon Award, and asked if his goal was to have the core cast all eventually migrate to New York, where Santana recently set up shop in Rachel and Kurt's crowded loft.
"No. I think what we're going to do, and I have to wait until that moment to announce, but what we're going to do with the show is very different," he said of the idea of an entirely New York-set location. "Not everybody will go to New York, because I think that's really unrealistic. I really like this season, and I liked going back and forth, but I would really like at one point for a huge chunk of them to stay in one location, which we'll probably do next year. We just started to talk about that."
While nothing is set in stone and Murphy still needs to meet with studio and network executives about his vision, he noted that the series has to "grow and change," which it has done in its move to Thursdays at 9 p.m. This season, Glee has featured its core cast grappling with adult themes that come after graduation, including Rachel's unplanned pregnancy and Finn (Cory Monteith) struggling to finding his calling.
"I loved going back and forth, and I think we'll always have one foot in both, but I would like a big chunk to follow one particular story that we're getting ready to launch at the end of this year," he added of the storyline that will include Rachel and other characters. "It's going to be a big cliffhanger."
And while another graduation would appear to be on the table for characters including Blaine (Darren Criss), Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz), Artie (Kevin McHale) and Brittany (Heather Morris), Murphy says that may not be the case.
"We're doing some weird s--- on the show, just wait," he said with a smile. "I don't want to do what we've done every year; I want to do something different."
Pressed for details on whether Finn could wind up in New York and what Blaine's future might look like, Murphy remained tight-lipped and noted that it was his job as a showrunner to provide obstacles for everyone on the series. "I like conflict, and I think great romances are about creating obstacles and coming together and conquering those obstacles," he said. "My job, much to the outrage of some fan groups, is to build obstacles, and then by the end of the series -- whenever that is -- hopefully have a tremendous happy ending for everybody. The show is about including everybody."
What do you think of his plans for a potential fifth season? Do you think it should be set in New York or McKinley or an entirely different location? Hit the comments with your thoughts. Glee airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on Fox.
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