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No Season 4 for 'Glee's' Michele, Colfer

Jane Lynch (C), winner of the favorite comedy series actress award for Glee, poses backstage with Cory Monteith (L) and Chris Colfer, who accepted the favorite comedy series award for the same show, at the People's Choice Awards in Los Angeles on January 5, 2011.UPI/Jim Ruymen
Jane Lynch (C), winner of the favorite comedy series actress award for "Glee", poses backstage with Cory Monteith (L) and Chris Colfer, who accepted the favorite comedy series award for the same show, at the People's Choice Awards in Los Angeles on January 5, 2011.UPI/Jim Ruymen | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, July 13 (UPI) -- Ryan Murphy, the co-creator of "Glee," says Lea Michele, Cory Monteith and Chris Colfer won't return for a fourth season of the music-themed U.S. TV series.

Murphy told The Hollywood Reporter Wednesday the trio's popular characters will graduate at the end of the upcoming third season, which is to begin in September.

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"You can keep them on the show for six years and people will criticize you for not being realistic, 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," Murphy told the entertainment industry trade newspaper. "We made that decision and I involved Chris and Lea and 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."

Murphy said he has not yet discussed the move with Monteith.

Michele, Monteith and Colfer are all in their 20s in real life.

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