Makes sense, right? Well, yes and no. First, some of the actors concerned -- who are still under contract with the series -- expressed surprise at the news, with Chris Colfer saying that he'd found out via Twitter.
Then, last week Amber Riley said that the actors are all fine with the decision, and Lea Michele tweeted that "It's all part of the plan and it's all good."
Now, however, has Murphy's co-creator Brad Falchuk tossed a wrench into the works?
He told a Comic-Con audience that the characters are graduating, but they're not leaving the show: "It was never our plan or our intention to let them go. ... They are not done with the show after this season."
Oh, but he still had bad news for Sam fans: Chord Overstreet's is done with the show.
According to 'TVLine,' Overstreet was offered a deal to return for 10 episodes with an eye towards becoming a series regular at midseason, but the 22-year-old actor declined.
Falchuk told his Comic-Con audience that "We wanted him back because we like Chord personally and had some good stories planned for him and with Mercedes. He decided he would have opportunities elsewhere that he would like to pursue, and we can't force him to work, so we wished him well."
So, what's going on with the main trio? Back in June Murphy told Ryan Seacrest's radio show that their characters would graduate high school -- "we didn't want to have a show where they were in high school for eight years" -- and that Matthew Morrison and Jane Lynch would stay on, with their characters Will Schuester and Sue Sylvester acting as "the male and female lynchpins of the series."
Falchuk clarified these remarks at Comic-Con by saying that Michele, Colfer and Monteith are not being let go from the show upon their characters' May 2012 graduation and may very well be back for Season 4.
"Here's the exact thing: [Rachel, Kurt and Finn] are seniors, so they're graduating," Falchuk explained, "but because they're graduating doesn't mean they're leaving the show. If you have Lea Michele under contract, you don't say, 'We're gonna let you go.'" Plus, he pointed out, "A number of the original [cast members' characters] are not graduating this year."
Falchuk also revealed that the producers had discussed a possible spin-off show, which would feature the three graduates in New York trying to start careers on Broadway, but he added that he was "leaning against doing it."
'Glee' Season 3 premieres Tues., Sept. 20th. 8PM ET on Fox.