By Tim Stack
June 20, 2011 at 03:19 PM EDT

Could some of Glee‘s most popular characters, like Lea Michele’s Rachel and Cory Monteith’s Finn, be seeing their final season on the Fox hit? Apparently so, according to an interview that series co-creator Ryan Murphy gave to Ryan Seacrest on Friday. There have been rumblings that the show’s seniors would indeed graduate from McKinley High at the end of season 3 and Murphy seemed to confirm that. Said Murphy, “That is true. I don’t think of it in terms of eliminating or replacing. Because I think the thing about this cast is people love them and they are incredibly talented. They’ve left sort of an indelible mark.” He added, “The thing that I wanted to do and the cast wanted to do, we didn’t want to have a show where they were in high school for eight years. We really wanted it to be true to that experience. We thought it would be really cool if we were true to the timeline.”

Murphy used Darren Criss and Chord Overstreet as examples of the show incorporating new characters, and finding fresh Glee faces is the focus of the Oxygen reality series The Glee Project, which Murphy is an executive producer and judge; the winner of the reality show will get a 7-episode role on the third season of Glee. Said Murphy, “We’ve got Matt Morrison and Jane Lynch who will stay and be the male and female lynchpins of the series, but I think the fun thing about the show is it’s a celebration of youth and talent and I think that just like with the original cast, I think finding those young unknown people and giving them an opportunity to break into the business and become stars is a really fun and exciting thing and is the spirit of the series.”

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