Fox‘s entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly today confirmed that the planned Cory Monteith tribute will air in the third episode of Glee upcoming fifth season, which is slated to air October 10. “That is the episode where Cory’s character will be written out and will deal directly with drug addiction and with the circumstances surrounding Cory’s death,” he said. That does not mean Cory’s character Finn Hudson necessarily dies of a drug overdose, Reilly cautioned. But series co-creator Ryan Murphy will shoot PSAs with the cast that will air during the episode. They will speak to the incident and drug addiction, Reilly said. Additionally, proceeds from the music in the episode will be used to set up a fund for Monteith, who died July 13 in a Vancouver BC hotel room after an overdose of alcohol and heroin. It will provide scholarships to kids. Monteith had left the show with two episodes left to shoot in Season 4 to enter rehab. “It is a celebration and really sad of this really vibrant kid,” Reilly said of the tribute. The Cory Monteith episode will follow the two-part Beatles-themed Glee season opener, which had already been in the works. After Episode 3, Glee goes on hiatus for baseball “as a natural break to reset,” Reilly said.
Reilly later talked about the private memorial service the Glee cast and crew recently held for Monteith. “Kids sang songs, it was beautiful,” he said, adding that the network and studio 20th TV were ready to push back production on the upcoming season but “the cast was ready to continue. He called star and Monteith real-life girlfriend Lea Michele “pillar of strength” who was the “first to say, ‘I want to get back to work.’”
As for the future of Glee beyond this season, Reilly indicated that he doesn’t envision the show continuing beyond Season 6 though left the door open. “If we discover a new crop of kids and there’s some breakout, who knows, but right now, we’re thinking about two seasons.” (Glee has a two-year pickup for Seasons 5 and 6.)