It’s only been a little over a month since Glee‘s season 2 has ended. But co-creator Ryan Murphy and his team, which now includes a brand-spankin’-new writing staff including Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum Marti Noxon, have already begun thinking about the third season of the Fox hit. “Officially, we start on Monday, but we’ve broken a lot already,” says Murphy. “We know where we’re headed. We know what some of the arcs are.” One definite plot point this coming season will be the introduction of the winner of Oxygen’s The Glee Project, which airs Sundays at 9 p.m., and boasts Murphy as a judge and executive producer. “The person that we found is so perfect,” reveals Murphy. “I think the person is going to be a huge star in the tradition of Lea Michele and Darren Criss and Chris Colfer.” EW pressed Murphy for more details on what would happen in Glee‘s third season, who Sue will target next, and what graduation day means for the characters.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Your comments to Ryan Seacrest about the New Directions teens graduating created quite a stir.
RYAN MURPHY: Which I find strange because I’ve been saying it for years. Maybe because the moment has come and people are like, “Wait! No!”
So the ENTIRE class will graduate by the end?
To that I would say there are some people who are not seniors and there are some people that are REALLY intellectually challenged. Like, you know that Britney is pulling straight Fs.
Who’s NOT a senior? Chord?
Chord is not a senior. I believe Darren is not a senior. There’s a group of them. But this year we will be adding new people.
How many do you imagine adding?
I’ll be honest with you: Glee is going to be different this year than it was last year. It’s going to go back to the broadcast model of the first season where there was a fall semester and there was a spring semester. I don’t know what we’re going to do with the spring semester because we’re having so much fun with the fall semester right now. But I know there’s going to be The Glee Project winner and we’re casting for two other female parts. This year, the thing that’s different is we’re doing a lot of stories with characters that people love but don’t know a lot about. There will always be huge stories with Lea. There will always be huge storylines with Chris Colfer. But like I wanna know more about Tina and Mike. I wanna know more about Mercedes. We have a great storyline planned for Sue which will involve the Glee Project winner who will become the person Sue has hated the most in the entire history of her life. She’s done destroying the glee club and she just wants to destroy the Glee Project winner!
Is she really running for Congress?
Yes! We just got in that rut that she can’t be against the glee club forever. Maybe she can. The glee club is small potatoes. She should be going after the Obama administration. She should be going after Sarah Palin. Her enemy should be the U.S. government. [Matthew Morrison’s] character will be involved in the election, which will be really funny. We have great plans for Sue.
There are also new writers? Did you all just want more help with the workload?
Well we never really planned for the three of us to do it. That was just like a 13-episode thing and then it became, okay, let’s do the back nine. And then before we knew it, it was season 2 and we never really had time to pause and breathe. I really wanted season 3 to be the best season we could make it and I really wanted a lot of ideas and that’s what we’ve had. We’ve added some really great heavy-hitter writers that I love and they’re all fans of the show.
At the finale, it sorta felt like you were setting up a spin-off with Rachel and Kurt.
People keep saying that! It was not the intention. I have always felt that those two characters in particular were too big for Ohio. I also just kind of like the idea of them like graduating and going off into the ether and you hope they become successes but you don’t know. I don’t know what we’re going to do — we’re only concentrating on the fall this far.
Even if they graduate, could they still stay on the show?
I don’t think that I like that idea.
And are you doing a tribute episode this year?
We’re doing one. We’re doing one tribute episode this year that’s two years in the making and I finally got [it] cleared. I can’t announce it until the artist does it with me but it’s a great one. It’s one I’ve always wanted to do.
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