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'Glee' to address addiction in fifth season

  • Glee cast members, from left, Amber Riley, Cory Monteith and Lea Michele perform during a scene from "Glee." Fox says Cory Monteith’s addiction-related death will be addressed in the “Glee” episode bidding farewell to his character, Finn Hudson. (AP Photo/Fox, Adam Rose, File) (AP/Fox)

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Cory Monteith's addiction-related death will be addressed in the "Glee" episode bidding farewell to his character, Finn Hudson, a Fox executive said Thursday.

Fox Entertainment Chairman Kevin Reilly declined to specify how the character would exit, saying he couldn't confirm Finn would be felled by drugs.

Monteith, 31, was found dead in a hotel room in Canada last month. Tests showed his death was caused by a mixture of heroin and alcohol.

Fox intends a "celebration" of a vibrant young man, Reilly told the Television Critics Association. "You see some people struggling with addiction, it's clear: 'He was dark, she was always a partier.' Cory was a big, open, wonderful life force. He wasn't like that."

But Reilly said that while Monteith was open about his past — the actor had spoken publicly of his addiction struggles — he wasn't "as open about it in the present."

Reilly said the show's producers are working out the details for the episode. Public service announcements related to Monteith's death are planned.

Lea Michele, the "Glee" star who played Finn's girlfriend and was in a relationship with Monteith, has been "a pillar of strength in all this," Reilly said.

Proceeds from music sales for the tribute will go into a fund in Monteith's honor.

The episode will be the third aired in the new season of "Glee," which begins Sept. 26. The first two episodes will be upbeat celebrations of Beatles songs, Reilly said.

"Glee" will take a break of several weeks after the Monteith tribute as Fox airs baseball's World Series.

"Glee," about a high school's glee club and its graduates, will be in its fifth season. Its return was delayed a week by Monteith's death.

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