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So long, Rachel! Original 'Glee' cast to graduate next season

Despite the over-the-top song and dance action, “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy has always maintained that the show should reflect a real high school experience. That means the students of McKinley High not only have to break up, make up and get bullied — eventually they have to graduate.

For the founding cast members, that eventuality is right around the corner.

When “Glee” began, Rachel, Finn, Mercedes, Kurt and the rest of the original gang were just sophomores. By the end of the next season, barring some really bad grades, they’ll all put on their caps and gowns and leave the Glee club behind.

"The thing that I wanted to do and the cast wanted to do, we didn't want to have a show where they were in high school for eight years,” Murphy recently explained during a radio interview with Ryan Seacrest. “We really wanted it to be true to that experience. We thought it would be really cool if we were true to the timeline."

But not every character will be affected by that timeline.

“We’ve got (Mr. Schuester) Matt Morrison and (Sue Sylvester) Jane Lynch who will stay and be the male and female lynchpins of the series,” Murphy said. “But I think the fun thing about the show is it’s a celebration of youth and talent. And I think that just like with the original cast, I think finding those young unknown people and giving them an opportunity to break into the business and become stars is a really fun and exciting thing and is the spirit of the series.”

Which means, just like a real school, “Glee” will have a revolving door of new students entering as the old ones exit.

“This year we introduced two new people to success, Chord Overstreet and Darren Criss and those guys have done pretty well,” the executive producer added. “So, I think every year, what will be fun about the show is a new class comes in.”

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