Glee's sixth and final season is starting to take shape.
Following the July death of star Cory Monteith — whose Finn Hudson was the cornerstone of the show’s Ohio-set high school storyline — showrunner Ryan Murphy shifted the Fox musical to New York full-time. The move, he says, has rejuvenated the series that he admits stumbled a bit at the start of its current fifth season when it attempted to hold on to its McKinley High School setting.
"The big plan of what the series was going to be and how it was going to end was radically changed when Cory passed away. His character, Finn, was going to take over the glee club and Rachel was going to go off on her New York adventures," Murphy told a small group of reporters Monday during a semi-exclusive conference call that included The Hollywood Reporter. "Once Cory passed away, that part of the story as we had imagined it just didn’t make any sense anymore — and it felt bad, to be quite honest. [The writers] made a decision that the freshest thing to do would be a complete clean start, so we really accelerated all those New York stories."
The move, he stressed, has helped Glee return to its roots. The show now focuses on a smaller group of original core characters, including Rachel (Lea Michele), Kurt (Chris Colfer), Santana (Naya Rivera), Sam (Chord Overstreet), Artie (Kevin McHale), Blaine (Darren Criss) and, most recently, Mercedes (Amber Riley), rather than the sprawling cast with a long roster of fresh faces brought in to repopulate New Directions. In New York, the writers have found a greater emphasis on “firsts” — one of the show’s original themes — as it tells new young adult stories about post-high school life.