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Glee's Lea Michele, Cory Monteith and Chris Colfer Not Returning for Fourth Season

Cory Monteith, Lea Michele, Chris Colfer AP Photo/Matt Sayles; Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Chopard; Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Prepare the swan songs!

Ryan Murphy has not been secretive at all about his desire to graduate main castmembers of Glee after next season (the show's third), but a new interview with the Hollywood Reporter makes the situation much more…final. The Glee boss confirmed what we already kind of knew: Lea Michele, Cory Monteith and Chris Colfer would not be back for season four.

Still, fans were kind of hoping that Glee's graduating class would at least pop up in season four. Murphy spoke to that theory, plus a lot more…

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Well, don't hold your breath for cameos by Rachel, Finn and Kurt.

Murphy told the mag that those three are "not going to be back at all for season four." He continues: "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."

In fact, Murphy says he plans on cleaning house in season four, noting that "more characters are leaving than are staying." So, Chord Overstreet isn't the only one lining up post-Glee jobs.

Glee: 3D Poster

But on the plus side, Glee fans will soon be able to see all their favorite New Directions members in theaters on August 12 with Glee: The 3-D Concert Movie! Check out the poster and maybe cheer up a bit?

Murphy also reveals that we will find out in the season-three premiere (Sept. 20) who's graduating and who's staying. To that, he insists that there aren't any hard feelings about graduating castmembers, at least regarding Lea and Chris. "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."

And now for some bad news for Finchel fans. Murphy says that while he's interested in Lea's character, he's not so focused "on her relationship with Finn." In the end, he wants her graduation to be about her dreams past McKinley High's halls and "how she plans on getting them."

When asked about whether Cory knows the plan for his character's graduation, Murphy reasons, "He knows he was a sophomore when the show started."

So Glee fans, who will you miss the most when season three comes to an end? Who else do you think is graduating besides Rachel, Finn and Kurt?

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