When Overstreet was not picked up as a series regular for the show's third season, he declined a recurring role. The actor had been offered a deal to return for 10 episodes with a possibility to become a regular at midseason, but turned down the offer.
However, he is in final talks with producers to make a return. Since Overstreet did not sign on for the current season, the show's producers found Mercedes (Amber Riley) a new love interest, played by Lamarcus Tinker. In the season's first episode, Mercedes said that Sam Evans was old news and that they broke things off over the summer. Also, his dad landed a new job, forcing him to relocate.