Following a TV Academy Emmy consideration panel Thursday night in North Hollywood, Glee co-creator — and Glee Project executive producer — Ryan Murphy told reporters that the trio — along with three-time Season 1 guest Darren Criss — would be serving as guest mentors.
“The funny thing about the mentors for this season is that the Glee cast really wanted to do it,” Murphy said. “The first season, they did not want to do it but then they all watched the show and they became fans of the show and for the most part they called me and said, ‘I want to do it!’ Lea [Michele] does, it Cory [Monteith] does it, Naya [Rivera] does it, Amber [Riley] does it, Darren does it, Chris Colfer does it, they all do it. Jane does it. They each have an episode.”
While all of the cast members of the Fox musical dramedy are set to return, Murphy reaffirmed that talks are under way to see who returns in what capacity. “We’re literally just writing the first script now,” he said. “We’re figuring out who’s doing what, who’s coming back.”
Pressed for details on how the series will incorporate characters like Riley’s Mercedes and Harry Shum Jr.‘s Mike — whose story lines took them to L.A. and the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago, both outside of Season 4 locations Ohio and New York — Murphy was vague.
“I want them to come back, I think it’ll be a different way,” he said. “We haven’t figured it out but I know what the stories are, I just don’t know how many episodes. We want to keep all our options open. I think I have to talk to the actors and say, ‘What do you want to do?’ That’s how we’ve been dealing with it. I’ve only talked to Lea so far. That’s all happening in the next two weeks.”
As for how Monteith’s Finn would be handled, with the character enlisting in the Army, Murphy was tight-lipped, only offering that it was a “big secret.”
Murphy, who was in a jovial mood Thursday, said working on the fourth season felt “energized” and pointed to new cast members Kate Hudson and Sarah Jessica Parker, who will both recur early on. (Murphy told THR last month that Hudson will likely begin her arc in the Season 4 premiere, with Parker appearing a few episodes afterward.)
Oxygen declined comment on what episodes Lynch, Colfer, Riley and Criss would be mentoring.