McKinley High's halls just got a little less crowded.
Four original Glee castmembers will not be returning as series regulars for the Fox hit's upcoming fifth season, E! News has confirmed. So which actors will fans be seeing a lot less of come the season five premiere on Sept. 19? Mark Salling, Heather Morris, Harry Shum Jr. and Amber Riley.
All four stars, as well as Dianna Agron, another original castmember who had a brief presence in season four, could return for guest appearances, TVLine, who first reported the news of the series' downsizing their roles, notes.
All four of the actors play beloved characters: Salling is resident bad boy Puck, who moved to Los Angeles after graduation but was moving back to Lima at the end of season four to spend more time with his half-brother Jake (Jacob Artist); Morris stole scenes as the daft cheerleader Brittany, known for her hilarious one-liners and popular relationship with Santana (Naya Rivera); Riley's character Mercedes was the big-voiced diva of the group before moving to Los Angeles after leaving McKinley to pursue a career as a recording artist, and Shum's Mike Chang was New Direction's best dancer.
Though Morris' character was the only one to remain at McKinley High after season three, Brittany was offered early acceptance by MIT in the season four finale. Morris, 26, is currently expecting her first child with boyfriend Taylor Hubbell.
The news about Morris, Salling, Shum and Riley shouldn't come as much of a surprise to fans: Back in May, a show source told us that no one was contracted for season five, with the whole cast up for renegotiations. At the time, our insider spilled that it was "unlikely" Morris would return as a regular but would return "in some capacity" for season five.
After several of the show's main characters graduated, newbies Jacob Artist, Melissa Benoist, Becca Tobin and Glee Project winner Blake Jenner joined Darren Criss, Chord Overstreet, Kevin McHale and Jenna Ushkowitz in the choir room.
Glee returns for its fifth season on Thursday, Sept. 19 at 9 p.m. on Fox.
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