Murphy had previously said that Michele, Colfer and Monteith, who play seniors Rachel Berry, Kurt Hummel and Finn Hudson, respectively, would depart the program following their graduation in the upcoming third season. Producer Brad Falchuk later announced at the "Glee" Comic-Con panel in San Diego that although the trio would graduate, they would not leave the show.
Murphy recently told Deadline.com that Michele, Colfer and Monteith were all informed about a "Glee" spin-off where the three would pursue their dreams at New York City's Julliard School, but it was "too premature" to announce.
"[The actors] couldn’t come out and say, 'No, we weren’t fired. We’re talking about a spin-off.' Because we told them not to," Murphy told Deadline.com.
When the actors expressed that they heard the news of their "Glee" departure via Twitter, all talks of the spin-off ceased.
"To pick up and read the actors saying, 'We found out we were fired from Twitter,' all of us, the studio, the network, were like, 'OK, that isn’t exactly cool,' because we involved all three of them in that decision," said Murphy. "So then what happened is that we decided, 'OK, let’s not do it.' So that’s where we are today." Currently, Murphy says that the actors have a contract for seven years and that the creative team is strictly focusing on the third season of "Glee." When filming is underway on the third season, the idea of the spin-off may be reintroduced.
"I would prefer and I know Brad would prefer and I think the actors will prefer to roll up our sleeves and do a really good season and if there is a spin-off, talk about it in April," said Murphy. He adds, "I’ve learned a lesson from this experience. I’ve learned to really, really monitor what I say."
The New Directions from McKinley High School will be back Sept. 20 when "Glee" returns to its Tuesday-night slot at 8 PM ET on Fox.