Cory Monteith Death: 'Glee' Delays Season Premiere

UPDATED: Production season five of the Fox musical has been pushed back following the unexpected passing of one of its core stars.
Eddy Chen/FOX
Cory Monteith in "Glee"

In the wake of star Cory Monteith's death, the start of production on Glee has been delayed.

Producers 20th Century Fox Television and Fox said in a statement Friday that production on season five of the musical will now move from its late July start to August.

The premiere date for season five has been moved from its planned Sept. 19 return to Thursday, Sept. 26 at 9 p.m. as producers grapple with the passing of a friend and one of Glee's original stars and ponder how to address the late actor's on-screen absence. 

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No additional details were available on how -- or whether -- Monteith's death will be addressed on the show. In the past, series that have been rocked by the death of a star have either written it into the story, waited to address it head-on or simply written the character out. Few, however, have opted to end the series.

Glee has only twice handled death during its four-season run: a brief flashback to Kurt's (Chris Colfer) late mother and the passing of Sue's (Jane Lynch) sister. Glee has a penchant for addressing heavy issues -- teen pregnancy, school shootings, among others. 

Monteith, who played Finn Hudson, was found dead in his room in a Vancouver hotel on July 13. An initial autopsy report by the British Columbia Coroner's Service stated that he died of "mixed-drug toxicity, involving heroin and alcohol."

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Monteith played Finn Hudson, the backbone of the series and was slated to return to Glee as a series regular for season five -- one Glee's few original stars to return in that capacity.  

Fox and 20th TV noted that three charities are now accepting donations in Monteith's honor: Project Limelight Society, Virgin Unite and Chrysalis.