Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly relayed the news Thursday during the network's portion of the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Beverly Hills.
"The third episode will write Finn Hudson out of the show," Reilly said, noting that the first two episodes, which are Beatles-centric, had already been written. While the hour will "deal directly with the incidents involved his death," which would include Monteith's drug use, that doesn't necessarily mean storyline-wise. Reilly indicated that PSAs would air throughtout the episode. Reilly did not offer details on how Finn's death would play out.
Reilly also said there was a possibility that previously shot footage of Monteith could be used in the third episode, though nothing has been finalized.
The 31-year-old actor, who had long been vocal about his battles with addiction, died of mixed drug toxicity involving heroin and alcohol on July 13.
After Monteith's death, the network decided to push back the dramedy's premiere date one week — now airing Sept. 26 rather than Sept. 19. After the airing of the third episode, the show will go on a three-week hiatus to make way for Major League Baseball playoff coverage.
Music proceeds from the episode will be donated to a fund in Monteith's name.