Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy axed plans to create a spin-off for its leading stars after becoming incensed when actor Chris Colfer alleged he'd been "fired" from the hit TV musical.
The writer recently stunned fans when he told The Hollywood Reporter that Colfer and his co-stars Lea Michele and Cory Monteith would not return to the show after its upcoming third season. Murphy revealed the actors would 'graduate' from the TV high school, but kept his plans for a secondary series for Colfer, Michele and Monteith a secret as he'd yet to finalise details.
The interview caused a stir online when reports suggested the trio had lost their jobs completely - and Colfer went on to claim he'd discovered he'd been ousted via Twitter.com.
Murphy has now spoken out to clarify the situation and insists the stars knew exactly what was happening - because he'd been discussing his hopes of launching a Glee spin-off with the actors for some time.
He tells Deadline.com, "They were involved in the process for three to four months to the point where we were even talking about cities and relocations... So, for any of those actors to say, ‘I found out that I was fired off the show from Twitter,’ is absolutely 100 per cent not true. None of them were fired. It was never about that. We were going to do a spin-off where the three of them were going to go on. They all knew what was happening, they all had approved it, they all said they wanted to do it."
Murphy is adamant he doesn't hold a grudge against the stars themselves - he's convinced their management team are somewhat to blame.
He says, "I think that some of those actor's representatives spun (the news of their departures) in a certain way, to be quite honest. We weren't allowed to talk about a spin-off. It was too premature."
But the controversy prompted Murphy and his team to rethink their spin-off plans - and they decided to scrap them altogether.
He continues, "To pick up (the newspaper) and read the actors saying, 'We found out we were fired from Twitter' - all of us, the studio, the network, were like, 'OK, that isn't exactly cool.' So then what happened is that we decided, 'OK, let's not do it.'"
Glee producer Brad Falchuk admitted last week (24Jul11) that the three main characters would be returning to the comedy in future episodes.