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Posted at 2:24 PM ET, 12/ 1/2010

'Glee' creator acknowledges cast members will eventually be too old to play high schoolers causing press to swoon

By Lisa de Moraes

Social networkers were all a doodah Wednesday morning when they spied a blog report in which the creator of "Glee" said he plans to get rid of actors on the show who are playing high schoolers, as they start to look too old to play, you know, high schoolers.


What happens when the "Glee" kids graduate? (Fox)

While we appreciate that any and all reporting on "Glee" must be done with the utmost hysteria -- this particular report, for example, ratcheted reporting up with the headline

Huge Glee News! Murphy To Replace Cast Members After Characters Graduate!

The actual information in Wednesday's blog post is utterly consistent with what Ryan Murphy has been saying whenever asked about what he will do when the cast members become too old to play high school convincingly.

That is, it's what Murphy has consistently said -- whenever he's not saying that they will never graduate.

Just this past August, for instance, Murphy was asked at Summer TV Press Tour 2010 how he planned to handle the whole aging actors playing high schoolers thing:

"One thing we found out is the character of Brittany that we love -- we decided she was going to be held back every year," Murphy responded.

"We obviously have to deal with the cast and the fact that, you know, the show will hopefully go many, many years," he continued.

While acknowledging the show had "an obligation to be true to the high school experience" he said he had "mapped out the first four years with our original cast."

"Glee" was unveiled in a single episode in May of 2009, but actually launched as a series in the fall of '09. You do the math.

The only wrinkle is that, in that first season, viewers were led to believe that at least some of the cast members were sophomores. That said, we were also expected to buy that the football team's star quarterback and the head cheerleader were both sophs - which, from what little I have not managed to block out in my brain of my high school years, seems vaguely implausible.

These comments of Murphy's, were delivered a few months after Murphy appeared on Oprah Winfrey's syndicated daytime talker and Oprah asked him:

"I'm already worried, what happens when everybody graduates?"

And he responded:

"They never will... It's a ten-year high school -- McKinley High."

A few weeks after Murphy's press-tour comments, he was asked - AGAIN - whether he would have to re-cast the high schoolers when they started to look too old for the roles. That time he responded that he knew he would have to do it eventually if the show ran many seasons, but that, for now, Fox had committed to air the show through May of 2012.

Meanwhile, since it somehow seems important still to do some actual, you know, reporting, even on a story so important as the cast of "Glee," here are some things worth remembering:

Typically, an actor on a broadcast show signs on to do seven years, but the studio typically retains the right, every season, to decide whether to bring back a cast member or bump him or her off.

So while the latest bit of "Glee"-steria isn't exactly news, it is a great way for Murphy and 20th Century Fox -- which produces the show for the Fox network -- to enlist the press to send a message to all those agents and managers representing "Glee" cast members, that if their client's salary demands become excessive they can always be "graduated."

By Lisa de Moraes  | December 1, 2010; 2:24 PM ET
Categories:  Glee  
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Comments

Proud to say that I have never seen one episode.

Posted by: ozpunk | December 1, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I don't know that he was a "star" but a guy in my high school class was starting quarterback for three years (sophomore-senior).

My bigger question with age is everyone driving. Last time I checked, you had to be 16 to get a license. Hence, everyone had to be at least 16 last season.

Posted by: LurkerNowPoster | December 1, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

A year of school does not have to equal one season of the show. As long as the actors are passable as teens they can drag out the shows timeline so that 2 or 3 seasons equals one school year.

Posted by: buffysummers | December 1, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

While I'll miss the original cast members, it could be fun to watch the show as it evolves over the next few years. I have my favorites though and it will be hard to watch them go - the present cast interacts so well!

Posted by: MILWI | December 1, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

I think Kurt is the only one(?) that we have seen driving. Well, not actually driving, but he does have a car. So he at least should be 16 (in Season 1).

As for Finn being star quarterback - I don't think it's implausible that he could be only a sophomore. On Friday Night Lights, Matt Saracen was QB and he was only a sophomore (of course, their star QB was injured and that's why Saracen was promoted). Anyway, McKinley's football team sucks. So maybe Finn was the best QB they had...

I think it was assumed that most (if not all) of the Gleeks were at least sophomores in Season 1. Or at least, I assumed that.

As to splitting up a school year over more than one season - they can't really do that. As it is, there's only about 2 competitions (Regionals and Sectionals; maybe also Nationals this year?) per season. Can you imagine 22 episodes building up to just Regionals? There's already too much fluff in the episodes as is!

Posted by: cookiebandit | December 1, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

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