Deadline Comic-Con TV correspondent Gary Hodges Files:

Their characters may be graduating, but Lea Michele, Chris Colfer and Cory Monteith will not be leaving Glee at the end of this coming season, the series’ co-creator and executive producer Brad Falchuk said at the Glee Comic-Con panel this morning moderated by TVLine‘s Michael Ausiello, contradicting recent remarks by fellow co-creator/exec producer Ryan Murphy. “Here’s the exact thing: They’re seniors. They’re graduating. But that doesn’t mean they’re leaving the show,” Falchuk said. “It was never our intention or plan to let these people go… They are not done with the show after this season.” Later on in the panel he revealed they had discussed the possibility of a spin-off show depicting the three graduates in New York, trying to start careers on Broadway, but that it probably wouldn’t happen and he was “leaning against doing it.”

Falchuk also addressed the departure of recurring guest star Chord Overstreet, who was offered a deal to return for 10 episodes with a possibility to become a regular at midseason but declined, the producer said. “We wanted him back because we like Chord personally and had some good stories planned for him and with Mercedes (Amber Riley),” Falchuk said. “He decided he would have opportunities elsewhere that he would like to pursue, and we can’t force him to work. “We told him to go with god.” Here is more from the Glee panel:

With no major movie panels on Comic-Con’s last day, the convention center’s enormous, legendary Hall H was home for the biggest TV panels, starting with Glee. The panel both teased the upcoming film (Glee 3D: The Concert Movie, the staff handing out glasses at the door) and season 3 of the series.

The panel kicked off with an extended preview of the movie, starting with fans sharing their favorite characters, then cutting backstage to Britney (Heather Morris) bragging that her boobs looked great in 3D. It then returned to one of her fans, a young woman who explained she had been diagnosed with Asperger’s at age 15 but that Glee and Britney “…picks me up and gets me through it.” Cut to Britney on stage, performing the other Britney’s “Slave 4 U”, complete with racy dance number, to a huge audience. Thankfully the 3D is restrained, and in fact not even present for every scene, mostly used in closer shots of the performers to help them “pop” from the backgrounds.

Next we see a young boy at home, singing and dancing to Teenage Dream – then cut to Darren and the rest of his Dalton Academy kin live onstage, performing the same song. The clip finally closed with the movie’s title card, and moderator Michael Ausiello introduced the panel, which was disappointingly light on cast members: Director Kevin Tancharoen, castmembers Darren Criss, Harry Shum, Dot Marie Jones and Jenna Ushkowitz, then producers Zack Woodley, Dante di Loreto, Ian Brennan, and Brad Falchuk.

Starting with talk about the movie, Tancharoen explained that as we saw in the preview, it would be a mix of the live show and fans talking about how their lives have been affected by being a “gleek.”

Not much concrete about what fans can expect to see in upcoming shows, but a few tidbits did get revealed:

– They’ve talked about doing another tribute episode, and if it happens it would air in the second half of the season.

– Mercedes met an encouraging, supportive boyfriend over the summer, who we’ll see this season.

– Viewers will meet Harry’s parents.

– Darren Criss described Blaine and Kurt in season 3 as “in the honeymoon phase” and about to take the next step in their relationship. Most of the audience questions were directed at Criss, asking about his rumored participation in a Broadway show and a solo album, though he shied from both. “Between Glee and, hypothetically, a Broadway musical, an album is tough to pull off,” though he was careful to say he couldn’t confirm his participation in the latter.

– Of course, fans asked what Sue Sylvester will be up to in the new season. Brennan said she is still running for congress, and has taken her war against Will national. “She’s running on a no-arts platform,” added Falchuk. Asked if they could share any new Sue bon mots, they said at one point she objects to the presence of a purple piano, complaining it looks “like Liberace died on it.”