The Panel: Lea Michele (Rachel), Cory Monteith (Finn), Darren Criss (Blaine), Kevin McHale (Artie), Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina), Naya Rivera (Santana), executive producers Brad Falchuk, Ian Brennan, Dante Diloreto.
The Big Revelations: The producers were mum on big revelations, but here are a few tidbits:
The next Britney Spears tribute will be the second episode of the season and feature Heather Morris heavily. The episode will also explore Rachel’s transition to New York. Fresh off her breakup with Finn, Ms. Berry will find herself as a big fish in a really, really big pond in New York City. Kate Hudson will play her negative-reinforcement-loving dance teacher.
The series regulars in season 3 will be back “in some capacity” for season 4, says Falchuk. Not every episode, though – the cast is too big to accommodate everyone on each episode. Chord Overstreet – recurring in season 3 – isn’t locked in to return as a season 4 series regular… yet. Producers are hopeful that a deal will come through, though. They feel the same way about Sam and Alex, contestants of The Glee Project, neither of whom are officially signed on for the new season.
Glee favorites will find themselves all over the place. Santana is cheerleading at the University of Louisville, Finn is prepping to join the army (which led the crowd to plead for Monteith not to shave his head), and Kurt is still in Lima, stuck in a bit of a rut. Will and Emma aren’t married yet, but they are living together, happily engaged, and “doing dirty things.”
We’ll be meeting Puck’s little brother this season, and if producer Ian Brennan has his way, Artie’s parents as well. While they haven’t been written into the show yet, he says he’s always dreamed of Artie’s mother being an obsessive hoarder. Kevin McHale says that if the character ever makes the show, he’d love to see Katey Sagal play his mom and Harry Connick Jr. play his dad.
Footage Screened: No new footage but they did show a fan-made tribute video that lasted TWELVE. FREAKING. MINUTES. The show’s fourth season starts production next week.
Most Incisive Audience Question: “Why did every couple except Kurt and Blaine get a featured kiss during the season finale?” Diloreto explained, “There is no conspiracy.” As he says, during the day they shot the confetti-drop scene, they had 50 actors on stage and had to set up 100 different shots. There was no intention to leave anyone out – it’s simply the nature of the beast when you’re dealing with a cast as big as Glee’s. Falchuk reinforced this notion, saying that no one at Fox is demanding less gay kissing.
Least Incisive Audience Question: “Darren, have you ever read a script and been like, ‘What?’” Guess what, readers. He has.
The Winner of the Panel: Darren Criss, for his off-the-cuff comment after a fan wondered whether the show would represent “Jewishness” in a more effective way. Things got somewhat awkward as the producers skirted around the question, but Criss broke the tension. Joking about his facial scruff, which Lea Michele had already called out earlier in the panel, Criss laughed, “ ‘I’m actually a rabbi this season.”