The third episode of the new season of "Glee" "will deal with the character Finn Hudson being written out of the show," Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly told reporters Thursday, adding that the show would address the circumstances under which Cory Monteith, who played Finn, died.
The Canadian actor, one of the show's stars since its first season, died July 13 at age 31 in a Vancouver hotel room of a lethal combination of heroin and alcohol.
The show's writers are still at work on the episode and Reilly would not say whether or not Finn would die of drug-related causes but said that cast members would appear in public-service announcements -- presumably to air during the episode -- that addressed the issue directly.
He called "Glee" star Lea Michele, who was Monteith's girlfriend in real life as well as on screen, "a pillar of strength" and said she was the first to say she wanted to get back to work.
Of Monteith, he said, “You see some people struggling with addiction, it's clear," but that wasn't Monteith.
"Cory was a big, open wonderful life force" who didn't look like a problem to most people. "He was very open about his past, not so open in the present,” Reilly said.
"Glee" returns for its fifth season on Sept. 26, a week later than it was originally scheduled.