If you ask her, Amber Riley's time on Glee has been a "blessing."
Appearing on Thursday with her Dancing With the Stars partner, Derek Hough, on Arsenio Hall's namesake talk show, the 27-year-old actress weighed in on series creator Ryan Murphy's recent announcement that Glee will come to an end next year after its sixth season.
"It's been a couple of years and it's been a really good run. Glee's been an amazing blessing in my life, and to so many other people," Riley told the funnyman, revealing this was the first she had heard of the decision.
After wondering if there were any Gleeks out there in the studio audience, she added, "I'm sure everybody can attest to a story, or a character they love, or something that really touched their heart so I was really blessed to be a part of that for so many years."
An original cast member, Riley reportedly won't be returning as a series regular this season but will rather be making recurring guest appearances. She was, however, in the touching tribute episode to Cory Moneith titled "The Quarterback" where her character, Mercedes Jones, sang the Pretenders' classic "I'll Stand By You" in his memory.
When asked by Arsenio whether she wanted to say anything about her late costar, who died tragically on July 13 at age 31 from an accidental overdose of heroin and alcohol, Riley replied that she was proud of Murphy and his cowriters for "putting so much heart" in the episode.
"It was really for the fans. That's what the episode was really for, for the fans to be able to say goodbye," she said. "And I consider all of us one big family and they got to say goodbye and it was a beautiful episode. So it's something we're always gonna have and I'll be able to go back and watch that."
While Murphy has signaled plans to bring the popular musical-comedy drama about a high school glee club to a close, E! News reported yesterday that Glee's fate isn't set in stone. Multiple sources from the show and network told us that no official end date has been set and it's possible the show could live on into a seventh season.
No doubt Riley would be thrilled about that!