"Glee" cast members will be recording public service announcements to air after the third episode of the new season, which will deal with the exit of Finn Hudson, the character that was played by the late Cory Monteith.
"Ryan [Murphy] himself is going to shoot some PSAs with the cast in which, as cast members, as friends of his, they're going to speak directly to the audience," Fox Chairman of Entertainment Kevin Reilly told reporters on Thursday at the Television Critics Association Summer Tour in Beverly Hills.
Cory died last month in Vancouver. His death was ruled to be the result of a "mixed drug toxicity, involving heroin and alcohol," according to autopsy and toxicological analysis conducted by the coroner.
On Thursday, the Fox boss said he thinks the PSAs will be powerful.
"I think they're gonna be very, very impactful," he said. "And my hope is that the good... that we talked about at Cory's service last week, which was both a celebration and incredibly sad of this really vibrant young kid, what we all said, what everybody knows is... you see some people struggling with addiction [and]... they're very easily put into a category, 'Oh, he was dark, oh, she was always a partier.' Cory was a big open wonderful life force," Reilly said of the late star, who was 31. "He was not a problem. Everybody loved him. He didn't look like that. He looked straight as an arrow.
"It was not an intentional thing, it was an accident that happened to somebody struggling with an addiction and I think that's hopefully what'll come of this, of illuminating that particular kind of addiction," Reilly continued. "So that's what Ryan will be doing in the show."
Reilly said the third episode of the show, "will deal with the direct incidents involved in Cory's passing, and the drug abuse in particular."
Asked by one reporter if that meant the character of Finn would die as a result of drug use, Reilly said, "No, I can't confirm that at all."
"We're gonna speak to that in the PSAs," he added. "We're gonna also donate the proceeds from our music sales in that episode to start a little fund for Cory, in addition to other efforts we're doing."
Reilly also praised Lea Michele, Cory's girlfriend, calling her, "a pillar of strength through all of this."
"She was the first one to say, 'I want to get back to work,'" Reilly noted.
The Season 5 premiere of "Glee" was pushed from September 19 to September 26.
-- Jolie Lash
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