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Lea Michele, Cory Monteith and Chris Colfer not done with "Glee," producers say

Lea Michele, Chris Colfer and Cory Monteith.
Glee cast members Lea Michele, Chris Colfer and Cory Monteith. CBS/Getty

(CBS/AP) SAN DIEGO - "Glee" stars Lea Michele, Chris Colfer and Cory Monteith's characters are graduating, but they'll still appear in future seasons of the hit show.

Co-creator and executive producer Brad Falchuk told thousands of Gleeks gathered at the Comic-Con fan convention on Sunday that Rachel, Kurt and Finn "are not done with the show after this season."

Pictures: Stars at Comic-Con 2011
Pictures: Scenes from Comic-Con

"They're seniors, they're graduating, but just because they're graduating doesn't mean they're leaving the show," Falchuk told fans, noting that the actors remain under contract.

Earlier this month, "Glee" co-creator Ryan Murphy said that the three characters would be graduating at the end of the third season, which premieres this fall.

"You can keep them on the show for six years and people will criticize you for not being realistic, or you can be really true to life and say when they started the show they were very clearly sophomores and they should graduate at the end of their senior year," he told The Hollywood Reporter.

"We've never done anything by the book," Murphy added. "We made that decision and I involved Chris and Lea and they thought that was a good idea. They both trust the writing and trust me and felt that it would be great to have an open and closed experience for them to go out while they were on top."

Pictures: Lea Michele
Pictures: Chris Colfer

Michele, Colfer and Monteith did not appear at the presentation at the San Diego Convention Center, where show writers and cast members Jenna Ushkowitz, Darren Criss, Dot Marie Jones and Harry Shum Jr. talked about the new season, which is set to return in the fall.

The new season will be split into two "mini-seasons" that mimic school semesters, Falchuk said.

Fans can expect a deeper look into the characters' lives and their post-high-school aspirations. Broadway star Idina Menzel will return, and Sue Sylvester, the mean-spirited cheerleading coach played by Jane Lynch (who won an Emmy last year for the role), will be running for Congress in season three in an attempt to destroy all glee clubs.

"Sue is running on a no-arts platform," Falchuk said.

The presentation also included a peek at "Glee: The 3D Concert Movie," which is set for release Aug. 12.

The film includes footage shot during the cast's national concert tour and offers a look into the lives of passionate "Glee" fans.

Among the highlights shown include Criss performing "Teenage Dream" and Heather Morris, who plays Brittany S. Pearce, singing and dancing to Britney Spears' hit "I'm a Slave 4 U."