Ryan Murphy: ‘Glee’ Will End After Next Season

Ryan Murphy
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Fox series boss becomes latest showrunner to map out final story arcs long in advance

The next season of “Glee” will be its last, so says co-creator of the series Ryan Murphy.

At a Paley Center event honoring FX Network last night, Murphy said the Fox dramedy will not go on beyond its sixth season. Murphy also admitted that the death of star Cory Monteith in July has forced him to come up with a different ending for the show.

PHOTOS: FX Networks Honored at Paley Center Gala

In setting the end date so far in advance, Murphy becomes the latest showrunner to set a clear path to mapping out the conclusion of the show’s overarching storylines, which revolve around students and teachers at a high school in Ohio.

TVLine’s Michael Ausiello was first to report the news of “Glee’s” final season.

“The final year of the show, which will be next year, was designed around Rachel and Cory/Finn’s story. I always knew that, I always knew how it would end,” Murphy told TVLine. “I knew what the last shot was, he was in it. I knew what the last line was, she said it to him. So when a tragedy like that happens you sort of have to pause and figure out what you want to do, so we’re figuring that out now.”

News of “Glee” coming to a close after its 2014 run arrives after the dramedy received a hearty double renewal in April, well before Monteith’s untimely death. Murphy’s confirmation of the plan to wrap the show after season six appeared to catch Fox and studio 20th Century Fox TV off guard on Thursday morning.

The lack of comment from either the network or studio indicated that the timetable for “Glee’s” finale has yet to be formally hammered out. Moreover, Fox and 20th TV camp may pursue ample opportunities for spinoff projects tied to one or more of the series’ vast cast of characters.

“Glee” said goodbye to Monteith in last week’s episode. In his review, Variety’s Brian Lowry called the episode “emotional and heartfelt” but also “a missed opportunity.” The episode gave “Glee” its best ratings of the season, delivering 7.4 million total viewers, or a 75% spike over the previous week.

Overall, however, the series has seen a steady decline in ratings since its sophomore season. September’s season five bow drew 5.2 million viewers, a 30% drop off since the season four premiere.

“Glee” was co-created by Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, who exec produce with Dante Di Loreto, Russel Friend and Garrett Lerner. The show bucked TV conventions by incorporating music into the storytelling — breaking the “Cop Rock” curse that had hung over TV tuner projects for nearly 20 years. The show has also earned accolades for its candid portrayal of teen issues, particularly in the area of sexuality and LGBT-related issues.

“Glee” yielded a bonanza of ancillary business for Fox and 20th TV, from music downloads, a slew of merchandise to a concert tour mounted in the show’s early seasons. It even sparked an unscripted show on a non-Fox network, “The Glee Project,” which ran two seasons on Oxygen and revolved around a competition to win a small role on the series. And 20th Century Fox also released a 3D “Glee” concert pic in 2011.

“Glee’s” overnight success following its May 2009 debut (in a sneak peek, with the series commencing in earnest that fall) made stars out of its ensemble, most notably Jane Lynch, a veteran character actress; Lea Michele, a legit vet; and tyro thesp Chris Colfer.

But more than anyone else, “Glee” revved up Murphy’s reputation as a master showrunner, after a cool period in his career. He and Falchuk have since collaborated on FX’s “American Horror Story,” while Murphy and another “Glee” scribe, Allison Adler, on last year’s NBC comedy “The New Normal,” which was canceled after one season.

At present, Murphy is shepherding 20th TV’s first-ever pilot for HBO, the relationship-driven ensembler “Open,” also with Adler.

AJ Marechal and Cynthia Littleton contributed to this report.

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  1. cartoons8 says:

    The script by Susannah Grant, Rick Parks and director Andy Tennant successfully maintains the story’s period trappings while introducing a heroine with modern resonance.

  2. Darrien says:

    I don’t think he should end glee because its only season 6 and the haven’t even went to regional s yet cant I like glee very much since 2009 and I really think it should end at 2045 that is how much I LOVE GLEE and I am only 13 and Lot of glee fans probably feel the same way and curt and Blaine just got married and Santana and Britney to it is a lot of major things happend in 2015 glee Mr. Ryan don’t stop now

  3. The issue of paying tribute to fallen cast member Cory Monteith is complex. Producers were initially quick to suggest an episode titled Chasing the Dragon, which would feature a safe injection site being added to the school curriculum, as well as a new character playing a homeless addict who just wants to sing. Let’s put on a show!

  4. Broadway Joe says:

    This is actually what ruined the show. Not that I have anything against gay people; however, it became a show about gay people. It left the roots it started with. which was the hopes and dreams of talented kids and how they coped with adversity. When it went way too gay, it ruined what we all loved about the show. It was great to see the acts and the awesome talent, but if I want to see two girls kiss, I’ll rent a prono and if i want to see two guys kiss, I’ll rent a gay prono.

    • Wow, how does it feel to be a complete douchebag of a human being?! News flash dude, gay people are everywhere ESPECIALLY in choirs/musical theatre etc..and the issues the kids, gay or not, dealt with on the show are the same things kids in real life are dealing with. Sorry you can’t handle reality under the weight of your bigotry.

  5. tyler says:

    It’s about time this stupid show ended. Why is it this mind numbing, brain cell killing monstrosity stayed on air when good thought provoking shows with great concepts last 1 to 2 seasons? Honestly prime time television has been on a steady decline just like Hollywood in creating shows with true originality. There are maybe a handful of good shows on now between every single network. The rest are just used up ideas with the same story, same outcome and new faces who can’t act.

  6. Claire Nedzela says:

    like to say is Glee is my favorite now, Thank You to Ryan Murphy for make the story, directing the actors, a Big Thank you to Cory Monteith is in our hearts, special Thanks to The Main cast of Glee Dianna Agron, Chris Colfer, Kevin McHale,Amber Riley, Mark Salling, and Jenna Ushkowitz for acting and The New Directions and a big thanks to the New people, including Matthew Morrison, Jayma Mays, Jane Lynch and Jessalyn Gilsig for the Best series I ever watch and Keep up with your good work special Thanks to Lea Michele for the Best speach for Cory Monteith I hope In my heart it is the Best way the End of Glee, Bestest Thanks to Adam Anders and Peer Åström for the best Columbia Records, special Thanks to Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan for Best Show on Earth Glee merchandise and the trilogy of Glee is fantastic Music and choreography,are Great Including Broadcast,Production and the Music is Great Wonderful Cast and characters of Glee Thank You so Very Mush

  7. alissa loves glee says:

    I understand why it’s ending, and I think it’s really great how they are so involved with the big issues in life, i don’t have most of those issues but lots of people do and they need something that they can relate to and be inspired about. I absolutely LOVE glee and I fully support any decisions the crew makes.

  8. Julie says:

    I shall miss Glee. I have been a die-hard fan since the beginning but, I understand why they want to end this. It was bound to happen. I will miss it so very much. Fantastic show.

  9. Bill Corless says:

    In the first season our family were true fans of the show, until they kept repeating gay themes. We decided not to watch the show after that. Sorry to hear about Corey, he was one our favs along with lea michelle.

    • Edward says:

      Get over it. Had the show been “too straight”, then that roils have been okay??

    • Get with the times dude..*Gasp* OMG the gay are taking over!!

    • Broadway Joe says:

      This is actually what ruined the show. Not that I have anything against gay people; however, it became a show about gay people. It left the roots it started with. which was the hopes and dreams of talented kids and how they coped with adversity. When it went way too gay, it ruined what we all loved about the show. It was great to see the acts and the awesome talent, but if I want to see two girls kiss, I’ll rent a prono and if i want to see two guys kiss, I’ll rent a gay prono.

    • Blog Monkey FL says:

      OMG you whimps. Go dig up some Sesame Street or Veggie Tales if you want mambie pamby television!

    • justanother says:

      Bill – I’m with you. It’s not so much just the “gay themes” as you stated for us, but the show seemed to get too “preach-ie” about social issues. It was great when it was just lighthearted and fun, while still sending good messages for kids.

  10. Lizzie says:

    In light of everything, most prominently Cory Monteith’s sudden & tragic death, I believe Ryan Murphy is making the best decision to shorten the show’s run, and I am hoping he & his team revives Glee back to its former glory days when the story finally ends.

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