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'Glee' back to basics

The cast FOX television comedy GLEE.

The cast FOX television comedy GLEE. Photo Credit: Fox

"Back to basics."

Those are the three words Gleeks will want to remember as the third season kicks off this fall. No big guest stars. No big tribute numbers. No controversy.

Kevin Reilly, Fox Entertainment's president, today promised all three as he sought to unravel the odd contortion "Glee" found itself in this summer when showrunner Ryan Murphy said three key cast members — including likely Emmy winner Chris Colfer — would leave at the end of the season, only to have one of his creative partners on the show, Brad Falchuk, later say they would not be leaving.

Reilly  said, "As you well know, there are many shows that have genuine infighting and controversy — this is not one of them." He did confirm that three cast members will graduate (as did Falchuk) but not necessarily leave the show to join a long-rumored spinoff, which he also confirmed "remains in the wind." Nevertheless, without the big three (Colfer, Lea Michelle and Cory Monteith), it's unclear how much in the wind it still remains.

Reilly declined to say which cast members would graduate, but he did declare a "back to basics" for "Glee," which ascended a soapbox last season and (occasionally or frequently, your choice) lost some of the charm, ingenuity and fun of the first.

By basics, Reilly said, the show'll focus on the "core characters," and there will be a season arc that'll carry three through to graduation.

Separately, he was asked about the big new sci-fi drama, "Terra Nova," which after a couple of delays joins the schedule in the fall. Noting that special effects (hey, this is about dinosaurs, after all) had in fact taken a while to get straight, he said the production team had finally gotten in front of the challenge and the show would be delivered to the network (and audiences) in a timely fashion.

And if you've read this blog post this far, then I guess I can tell you the obvious by now: No new J.Lo news. He said that right at the upfront. What to read into this? Honestly, no idea, but everything — and by "everything" I do mean those omnipresent reports you get everywhere from TVline.com to TMZ.com — indicate she is back and everything is just peachy-keen.

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