'Glee' Exec Producer Ryan Murphy Reveals Season 3 Secrets: There Will Be Only One Tribute Episode (Q&A)

4:00 AM PST 06/22/2011 by Marisa Guthrie
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Who will graduate next season? What's the likelihood of a spinoff? And will viewers finally meet Rachel Berry's two dads? Murphy talks to THR.

Glee executive producer Ryan Murphy is plotting the third season of his hit series  -- and the senior years of many of the New Directions kids. There will be swan songs, to be sure. But perhaps less of them than you think. Murphy hinted that it’s possible that not everyone will graduate on time. And the “tribute episodes” will be scaled back drastically. In fact, Murphy and Glee co-creators Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan are planning only one with an artist they have been trying to land for two years.

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Meanwhile, Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) will get a major, 20-episode arc which will involve the winner of Oxygen’s The Glee Project, which bowed two weeks ago and is now down to 10 contestants.

Murphy talked to The Hollywood Reporter about the possibility of a Glee spinoff, what he’s learned from the lackluster premiere ratings for The Glee Project and whether viewers will finally get to meet Rachel Berry’s two dads.

The Hollywood Reporter: Chris Colfer and Lea Michele are clearly the stars of Glee. Will you really write them out of the show entirely after next season?

Ryan Murphy: You know, people have been asking me that a lot. The thing that I’m saying officially is, yes I do have a plan. The great thing about season three is we’re writing toward something [the characters’ senior years in high school]. There is a conclusion, which is great for a writer. We literally just started [planning out the season]. So I don’t know for sure what will happen with those characters I love and everybody else has loved. We haven’t really made that decision. Some of the characters clearly have academic issues. Like Heather Morris’ Brittany I’m sure gets straight Fs. I would not be shocked to see her flunk. I love her.

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THR: Is there a possibility of Glee spinoffs?

Murphy: I don’t know. Who would have the time to do that? Who knows? I don’t know. I was nervous about the second season of the show because it was like, will people accept new characters? And then we brought in Darren Criss and he is like a huge star now. So I think the show is always what we hoped it would be; about new voices and vision anchored by two great actors in Matthew Morrison and Jane Lynch. And I’ve been saying that the cast will eventually graduate since the first season so I’m kind of in the dark about why it’s just now ...  it’s not new news.

THR: Would you use more than one Glee Project cast member on Glee next season?

Murphy: I don’t know. I really love The Glee Project. I love the winner we chose. It was a really difficult decision because the people who were in the bottom three were all so good. I don’t know if I would bring those people on but I would defiantly consider them for things. I was really thrilled with the winner. And I’m excited about adding new voices to the show. But I’m also excited about giving characters that haven’t had A story lines big story lines in season three.

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THR: Who will get those major story lines? Might some of the show’s big stars fade into the background a little bit next season? 

Murphy: [Rachel and Kurt] are two characters who I am very fond of personally and they will always get great material. We have great stuff for them. I think Lea [Michele] is hilarious. So we’re going to write some big stuff [for her]. I’m really interested in seeing Rachel's gay dads who we’ve never met. I’ve said that I don’t want to do that. But maybe now is the time to do it. Also, we want to give Chris Colfer a really fun uplifting story line after the heaviness of last year.

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