Take Two®

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by A Martínez

What should a TV show do when a lead actor dies?

by Take Two®

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Fans of the hit TV show Glee remember one of its stars, Cory Monteith across the street from Paramount Studios in Hollywood. Courtesy of Sammi Lanthier

Fans of the show "Glee" are mourning the loss of actor Cory Monteith. The 31-year-old Canadian actor died last weekend from a combination of heroin and alcohol.

In Monteith's last appearance on the hit Fox show, his character Finn was preparing to come back to his old high school and help coach the glee club.

But production on the next season of "Glee" was slated to begin in less than two weeks: the show's writers reportedly held an emergency meeting this week to devise a way to work Finn out of the story. 

So how do you go about dealing with a sudden death of a show's actor? 

It's a situation Bill Fordes knows well. He's a co-executive producer of the "Law and Order" series, which had to address actor Jerry Orbach's passing in 2004.

Orbach's health had been failing for some time before that, so the writers had time to properly send off his character Det. Lennie Briscoe. But Fordes offers his advice to the writers and producers of "Glee" of what he might do in their shoes.

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