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Following its gut-wrenching tribute to Cory Monteith‘s Finn Hudson, Glee co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk are taking a “the show must go on” approach to the future direction of the Fox musical.
“We’re picked up through season six, and we had to get back on the horse after episode three,” Murphy told reporters during the American Horror Story: Coven premiere. “I just made a decision: we keep mentioning Finn. We don’t just say this is done and we’re never going to go back to it. [Finn’s death] resonates throughout the year.”
PHOTOS: Cory Monteith Remembered: THR’s Exclusive Images
The tribute featured six emotional performances from Glee stars new and old, including Amber Riley (Mercedes), Mark Salling (Puck) and Naya Rivera (Santana) but — as Murphy warned — stopped short of revealing how Finn died. After a baseball hiatus, Glee will return Nov. 7 with a very upbeat episode featuring guest star Adam Lambert (see the promo below), a decision Murphy said felt fitting.
“We’re trying to be sensitive and also have some fun with it, to go back to some optimistic stories. I think he would have wanted that. He always loved that about the show,” says Murphy, who with fellow Glee co-creators Falchuk and Ian Brennan penned “The Quarterback” episode.
Monteith was found dead July 13 at the age of 31. An autopsy revealed that the actor died of mixed drug toxicity involving “intravenous heroin use combined with the ingestion of alcohol.”
STORY: ‘Glee’ Creators, Stars on Cory Monteith Tribute Episode: ‘There Is No Happy Ending’
For Falchuk, who told THR that directing the tribute to the show’s late star was the hardest thing he’d ever done, pushing forward after Monteith’s death serves as an example of what Glee is all about at its core.
“The show goes on. What can you do? That’s the biggest tragedy of it all: we’re going to keep making this show. [So it becomes a question of] why did you do that?” Falchuk tells THR. “It’s very hard, but this show is about overcoming adversity, charging ahead no matter what, and expressing your feelings through song and humor, so we’re going to keep doing that. What choice do we have? We could stop but nobody wants to stop. I’m not stopping for that. We just miss him every day.”
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The cast paid their respects to Monteith’s star quarterback during Thursday’s hour with the Pretenders’ “I’ll Stand By You” and Bruce Springsteen’s “No Surrender.” But it was Lea Michele — Monteith’s on-screen love interest and real-life girlfriend — who owned the episode with her incredibly stirring performance of “Make You Feel My Love,” which proved to be the most powerful performance in the episode.
What did you think of Glee‘s tribute to Monteith? Hit the comments below with your thoughts. How would you like to see Glee continue to refer to Finn? Glee returns Nov. 7 following the baseball playoffs on Fox. Watch the promo, below.
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