At their Television Critics Association panel today in Los Angeles, Fox confirmed that Glee season 5′s Cory Monteith tribute episode will focus on drug abuse.
While he did not confirm whether or not the Finn character will die due to a drug-related incident, Fox president Kevin Reilly told reporters that Glee season 5 will “deal directly with the drug abuse.”
Glee fans had speculated this would be the case for two reasons. For one, the show has never taken on the subject of drugs like they have gay marriage, school shootings, and other hot button topics. Two, Monteith died of an overdose of heroin and alcohol, a coroner’s report confirmed.
Reilly added that the tribute episode will include several drug-related PSAs during commercial breaks created by Ryan Murphy and Glee cast members. He would not confirm that the episode will run unused footage or outtakes of Finn, only saying “it’s a possibility.”
Following Monteith’s death, Fox pushed the season 5 premiere of Glee back one week to Thursday, September 26. The first two episodes will be Beatles-centric tributes. Episode 3 will be the Finn/Monteith tribute.
Numerous Glee stars have spoken out about Monteith since his passing. After several weeks, co-star and real life girlfriend Lea Michele broke her silence and thanked fans for their unwavering support. Kevin McHale and Mike O’Malley are others who’ve chimed in on the tragic news in recent days.