It looks like the cast of Glee will eventually graduate. Unlike Bart Simpson who appears to be perpetually trapped in the purgatory of fifth grade for twenty years, the Glee producers are hoping to make the series believable in a true-to-life application.

From Lea Michele’s Rachel Berry to Chris Colfer’s Kurt, some of Glee’s most beloved characters face replacement – if the show breaches the four season mark.

Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy stated in a recent TV Guide interview that he expects some of the stars of his hit show to depart in 2012:

“I think you have to be true to the fact that here is a group of people who come and go in these teachers’ lives – they graduate and they’re gone. When some of them finish their run at high school it will be very teary episodes. For me it will be particularly tough but a new crop (of actors) will come in.”

If Saved by The Bell: The New Class or the ninth season of Scrubs happen to be entering your mind at this point, you’re not alone. Replacing established talent in a proven formula is never easy. And Murphy knows it. In the past, Murphy has claimed he would “hold back” Brittany year after year due to her questionable intelligence. But, while tricky, replacing several members of the cast may ultimately prove beneficial to the life of the series, especially since both Mark Salling and Cory Monteith are each a full decade older than their on-screen characters.

“Every year we’re going to populate a new group,” Murphy says. “There’s nothing more depressing than a high schooler with a baldspot.”

Glee, which premiered September 9, 2009, is only halfway through its sophomore season. As a result, some expect the Glee phenomenon to fade long before the decision to proceed with a fifth season ever has to be made. The program’s biggest stars, however – Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Chris Colfer, etc. have all become established talents in their own right. Consequently, they will likely have no shortage of career options after “graduation.”

At this juncture, it isn’t clear if Fox is in agreement with the eyebrow-raising comments made by Ryan Murphy. The network may be far more reluctant to let the kids go and trust the life of the series to Mr. Schu and Sue Sylvester until another captivating class of characters is fashioned. For now, the public response to Murphy’s comments as expressed on fan message boards and via news article feedback, suggests that Glee‘s most loyal viewers – and there are many – can’t bare to think of “their kids” departing after graduation.

If that viewer loyalty remains intact two seasons from now, it’s a safe bet the necessary creativity – and money – will be available to keep the kids in high school a tad longer than the Glee creator originally anticipated.

Source: TV Guide