Glee, The Quarterback Episode

Adam Rose/FOX

The curtain is coming down a little bit early on this season of Glee.

Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) and the rest of our musically inclined characters will continue to sing and dance their hearts out on Glee—but their season has been short. The hit musical comedy will finish out its fifth year on the air with a total of 20 episodes, as opposed to the traditional order of 22 that the series has produced for the past four seasons.

The Hollywood Reporter cites that Glee's shortened season can be attributed to the production hiatus the cast and crew took earlier this season, due to the sudden passing of star Cory Monteith. After shooting a two-part Beatles tribute premiere, and the emotional tribute episode honoring Monteith's time on the series, Glee took a month break from production.

As of last week, the musical series officially made the dramatic shift to now solely focus on the New York City storylines. Many of the show's stars have already successfully made the move to NYC, and now recent WMHS graduates Blaine (Darren Criss), Sam (Chord Overstreet), Artie (Kevin McHale) and Mercedes (Amber Riley) will join their fellow New Directions alumni in the Big Apple.

Despite the exciting setting switch-up and the highly promoted two-part 100th episode celebration, Glee's ratings this season have continued to slide. The Fox series recently fell below 3 million viewers and a 1.0 rating in the coveted 18-to-49 demographic, matching its series low this week with a 0.9.

"Glee is still a great property to have on our air," Fox COO Joe Earley told THR. "There have been some scheduling challenges…but what we see is still an incredibly popular show with a lot of time-shifting."

Glee airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on FOX.

The Hollywood Reporter was the first to report this news.

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