LOS ANGELES: The death of Glee actor Cory Monteith over the weekend comes just weeks before production of the fifth season of the Fox musical comedy begins, throwing it into disarray at a time when the creators need to revive the waning series. Canadian actor Monteith, 31, was not only a founding cast member, but also an integral player in promoting Glee’s overarching message of tolerance.
Making matters more complicated for producers was his off-screen relationship with another of the show’s top actors, Lea Michele, who plays his love interest on the show. It is unclear how their story would have proceeded in season five. And in the wake of Monteith’s death in a Vancouver hotel on Saturday, representatives at Fox Broadcasting, a unit of 21st Century Fox, were not commenting on the future plans of the show which was scheduled to return to production later this month.
The show was renewed by Fox for two more seasons earlier this year, running through 2015. But producers for Glee, which has been one of Fox’s top shows, were facing some tough truths even before Monteith’s death.
Glee garnered an average 10.1 million viewers according to Nielsen during its peak in 2010, but its viewership has been dwindling. Season four, which concluded in May, dropped to the show’s lowest ratings average yet, with 8.7 million viewers.
Fans want ‘happy ending’
Monteith had talked openly about his struggles with substance abuse. In April, he completed voluntary treatment at a rehab facility for an unspecified substance addiction. An autopsy was conducted on Monday and results will not be available for several days.
MTV Buzzworthy editor Tamar Anitai, who monitors social media buzz on pop culture topics, said Glee fans known as “Gleeks” were eager to see a tribute paid to Monteith in the show and a happy ending for his and Michele’s characters.
“Unfortunately you can’t control what happened to Cory in real life, but the creators have control over what happens to him in the show. Fans would really like to see a happy ending, even an off-screen wedding, for Cory and Lea,” Anitai
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2013.
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