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Lea Michele, Chris Colfer & Cory Monteith To Leave 'Glee' Next Season

The upcoming season of 'Glee' will be their last for stars Lea Michele (photosLea Michele photos), Cory Monteith and Chris Colfer.

Co-creator and executive producer Ryan Murphy tells THR that he wants to see the trio graduate from McKinley High after the third season.

"They are not going to be back at all for Season 4," says Murphy. "You can keep them on the show for six years and people will criticize you for not being realistic, or you can be really true to life and say when they started the show they were very clearly sophomores and they should graduate at the end of their senior year."

"We've never done anything by the book," he continues. "We made that decision and I involved Chris and Lea and they thought that was a good idea."

"They both trust the writing and trust me and felt that it would be great to have an open and closed experience for them to go out while they were on top."

Murphy says exactly who else will be leaving will be revealed on the show's season premiere. But he hints "more characters are leaving than are staying."

He explains that with the impending graduation, the upcoming season will focus on where the characters are going.

"I'm much more interested in Lea's character not so much on her relationship with Finn, but more on what her dreams are beyond high school and how she plans on getting them. That's what my senior year was about."

Michele says she's excited with the show's plan for her.

"We always knew we'd graduate in real time," she said on Twitter Wednesday as she tried to reassure fans that would miss her. "It's all part of the plan and it's all good! It's going to make Season 3 amazing!"

"To Gleeks everywhere, you're in my heart now and forever. Love you all!!! This is just the beginning."

July 14, 2011 |

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