For as much as we knew 'Glee' season 5 to be affected by actor Cory Monteith's death, airing two episodes and a tribute before pausing production to retool the series, we were surprised to hear such series stars as Heather Morris and Dianna Agron being left out of the Monteith tribute episode. And while the franchise remains a bit up in the air, Agron's absence may extend much further than "The Quarterback" farewell to Finn.

Via The New York Post, Agron herself stated that she had not been asked back for the 'Glee' season 5 tribute episode, and indeed might not receive an invitation for the rest of the year. "I think moving on might be the wrong choice of words because ['Glee'] is always going to be a part of me and with me and I would always go back," said Agron, who only made a handful of season 4 appearances. "So it’s not necessarily about a departure. It’s about what it's imparted in me and what it's given me."

Agron's exclusion from the tribute episode proved surprising, given the mutual character history, and returns from departing series regulars Amber Riley, Harry Shum Jr., Mark Salling and Jayma Mays. Dot-Marie Jones (Coach Bieste), Mike O’Malley (Burt Hummel) and understandably Romy Rosemont (Carole Hudson-Hummel) will of course appear, though it's said that "The Quarterback" may not focus on any actual cause for the character's death, or feature series star Lea Michele until the very end.

In addition to its exits, ‘Glee’ season 5 will feature prior recurring cast members Melissa Benoist (Marley), Jacob Artist (Jake), Becca Tobin (Kitty) and ‘The Glee Project‘ alumni Blake Jenner and Alex Newell ascending to series regular. ‘American Idol‘ runner-up Adam Lambert will also take a role as Kurt’s new NYC rival, while Demi Lovato will take a major recurring role and ‘Spring Awakening’ star Phoebe Strole guests as a new love interest for Sam.

We'll be keeping an eye on all things 'Glee' in the interim, but check out the latest (Finn-free) teaser for season 5 below, and tell us what you want to see from the new episodes premiering September 26!

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