Glee: Lea Michele, Chris Colfer, Cory Monteith to leave

14/07/11

Lea Michele, Chris Colfer, Cory Monteith

Lea Michele, Chris Colfer and Cory Monteith won't be in the fourth season of Glee, the show's co-creator has said.

Ryan Murphy told The Hollywood Reporter that the trio, who play Rachel Berry, Finn Hudson, and Kurt Hummel would "graduate" at the end of season three.

He said the show wouldn't be realistic if the characters stayed on at the school after that.

Murphy also said "more characters are leaving than are staying".

"You can keep them on the show for six years and people will criticise you for not being realistic," he added.

"Or you can be really true to life and say when they started the show they were very clearly sophomores and they should graduate at the end of their senior year."

He confirmed that Michele and Colfer had discussed the decision with him.

"They thought that was a good idea.

"They both trust the writing and trust me and felt that it would be great to have an open and closed experience for them to go out while they were on top," he said.

He added that Monteith "knows [Finn] was a sophomore when the show started".

Chris Colfer, who plays Kurt in the series, said about his departure.

"We pretty much found out about (it) yesterday along with everyone else. But no, I think we all knew that it was coming.

"I don't think any of us wanted to leave so soon. But it is what it is. I mean, kids grow up".

Glee's third season starts in America in September, with a UK premiere date yet to be confirmed.