After The Hollywood Reporter broke the news Wednesday that Lea Michele, Cory Monteith and Chris Colfer won’t be returning for the fourth season of Glee, Michele took to Twitter to reassure fans lamenting their upcoming departure.
“The end of Glee,” wrote one Twitter user, while another weighed in: “WHAT!!!! OMG NOOOOOOOOOOoooooOOOOoooo Glee without them it wont be tha same!”
But Michele took the time to reassure fans that the move wouldn’t be a bad one for the show.
“We always knew we’d graduate in real time,” she tweeted. “Its all part of the plan and it’s all good! Its going to make Season 3 amazing!”
She later added: “To Gleeks everywhere, you’re in my heart now and forever. Love you all!!! This is just the beginning.”
Series co-creator Ryan Murphy told THR on Wednesday that Michele, Monteith and Colfer are not going to be back at all for Season 4. “You can keep them on the show for six years and people will criticize you for not being realistic, or you can be really true to life and say when they started the show they were very clearly sophomores and they should graduate at the end of their senior year,” he said.
Murphy added that planning for the future beyond high school will be a big focus of Season 3, noting that “more characters are leaving than are staying” when graduation time comes at the season’s end.
The news followed the announcement that Chord Overstreet would not be returning to Fox’s musical dramedy as a series regular, while Harry Shum Jr. and Darren Criss were upped to cast members for Season 3.