"Glee" graduates face tears, fears, uncertain futures

Tue May 22, 2012 11:19pm EDT
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By Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Eight stars of Fox TV's musical comedy "Glee" bid farewell to McKinley High and headed down separate paths to pursue their dreams, leaving fans guessing how the show will follow their stories next season.

Fox has said "Glee" will split time between McKinley High in Ohio and New York City, where two characters were heading, and creator Ryan Murphy has said all the current stars will return in some fashion.

During Tuesday's third-season finale, the seniors who graduated were Rachel (Lea Michele), Finn (Cory Monteith), Kurt (Chris Colfer), Quinn (Dianna Agron), Mike (Harry Shum Jr.), Puck (Mark Salling), Mercedes (Amber Riley) and Santana (Naya Rivera). Brittany's (Heather Morris) poor grades kept her from getting a diploma.

Amid tearful goodbyes and covers of Bruce Springsteen and Beatles songs, show-choir star Rachel won acceptance to a New York performing arts school. But in a surprise, she traveled to the Big Apple solo after classmate Kurt didn't make the cut and fiance Finn was rejected by an acting studio. Finn joined the Army and told Rachel to pursue her Broadway dreams on her own.

Santana planned to move to New York with her mother's blessing using money she had saved for college. Dancer Mike Chang was headed to Chicago, and Mercedes was going to Los Angeles to try a singing career.

With the characters heading in different directions, it is unclear how "Glee" will weave them all into next season.

When it returns in the fall, the program will feature a "show within a show following some of the characters to New York," Fox executive Kevin Reilly told reporters last week.

"A couple of fresh faces in Ohio" will join the castmates still in high school," he said. Returning students include Artie (Kevin McHale), Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) and Blaine (Darren Criss). Actresses Kate Hudson and Sarah Jessica Parker will appear as guest stars on some episodes.   Continued...

Actors Cory Monteith (L), Chris Colfer (C) and Lea Michele are seen in this July 14, 2011 combination photo. REUTERS/Staff