TV Line is reporting that original Glee cast members, Heather Morris (Brittany Pierce), Mark Salling (Puck), Amber Riley (Mercedes Jones) and Harry Shum, Jr. (Mike Chang) will not be returning to season 5 of the FOX musical comedy as series regulars.
Additionally, Dianna Agron (Quinn Fabray) will not be back at all except for a possible guest appearance here and there. Dianna dropped her series regular status last season, only appearing in 3 episodes. She’s pursuing a movie career, so it’s not a surprise she’s leaving Glee behind.
Heather Morris’s character left Lima for good at the end of last season to attend MIT. That, coupled with her pregnancy, made it pretty clear she wouldn’t be returning this season on a regular basis.
The 4 actors will still be available as guest stars to appear on the show occasionally.
Despite staying on as season regulars for season 4, the characters played by Mark, Amber and Harry had graduated at the end of the previous season and only appeared in episodes set around the holidays and at competition time to coach and lend support.
Phasing out some of these characters is necessary. With the addition of the newbies, the cast had become bloated. The split narrative between Ohio and New York was a bit much for the show to cover as well.
I’d be happy if, once the current class graduates sometime midseason, the show moves to New York City altogether to follow the adventures of Chris Colfer (Kurt Hummel), Lea Michele (Rachel Berry) Darren Criss (Blaine Anderson), Naya Rivera (Santana Lopez) and Kevin McHale (Artie Abrams). Move Cory Monteith (Finn Hudson) and Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina Cohen-Chang) to the city too, and call it a day.
Via TV Line