Since its intentions to introduce new characters were well-documented, FOX’s “Glee” surprised many by announcing that virtually all of its originals would return to the cast for season four.
Lightning will not strike twice.
TV Line reports that Heather Morris, Mark Salling, Harry Shum, Jr., Dianna Agron and Amber Riley will not be returning as regulars in the fifth season. Guest appearances are possible (perhaps even probable), but given how little some appeared even this past season, it is unlikely any will be involved in a major, lengthy arc.
While Salling’s Puck became a major fan favorite in season one and Heather Morris’ Brittany has cultivated a rabid fanbase, neither their characters–nor those portrayed by the other three–have any required footing in the show’s storylines.
The characters played by Salling, Shum, Agron and Riley all graduated from the central McKinley High at the end of season three, while Morris’ Brittany, in a storyline presumably rushed due to her pregnancy, left high school early to begin at MIT.