What happens to 'Glee' without Monteith?

2:16 PM, Jul 16, 2013   |    comments
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VANCOUVER -- On Monday, the British Columbia Coroners Service began its autopsy on Cory Monteith, who was found dead on July 13, with results expected this week.

And it's back to work on the show that made Monteith famous: the ensemble dramedy Glee, which was slated to premiere its fifth season this fall.

FOX, the network that airs Glee, is discussing internally how to handle the show's new season, which was originally slated to premiere Sept. 19, before taking a break for the baseball playoffs. If the network opts to delay the air date, it would likely happen after the World Series, meaning late October or early November.

Another big issue: how to handle his death on the show, especially in terms of story lines. Complicating the issue is that Monteith dated his show co-star, Lea Michele.

Plus, there's the additional task of shooting season five promos, which have been delayed in the wake of the news.

TV historian Tim Brooks says that the show can't ignore Monteith's death and needs to address it.

"I don't think (the death) will hurt the show, assuming they handle it right. The show can certainly survive it and can perhaps even fashion a tribute in a way that honors not only him but something viewers can learn from," if it's determined he died from drug use.

And for Glee's young audience, ""There could be a larger lesson that life is fragile and you need to live it in a way that's meaningful," says Brooks.

The investigation into Monteith's death has been turned over to the Vancouver coroner's office; toxicology reports could take several more days.

Officials have ruled out foul play and Sgt. Randy Fincham tells the AP there's nothing to indicate Monteith's death was due to illicit drug use.

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