In several ways, Matthew Morrison says, life was easier at the bottom.That doesn’t necessarily apply to Morrison’s own life, in which he leapt from NYU drama student to stardom on Broadway and television, but he says it’s definitely the case for Will Schuester, the teacher he plays on the hit Fox show “Glee.”“Glee” launches its fourth season Thursday at 9 p.m. with major personnel overhauls that reshuffle life for Will as well.More than half the student cast has graduated, depopulating the Glee Club that over three years Will wrestled from the valley to the mountaintop. At the end of last season, just before graduation, the club won a national championship.“For three years, he’s been trying to turn this group of kids into what he saw they could be,” Morrison says. “He’s been trying to give them the passion that he has.”And he did. And now, in high school as in life, they’ve moved on.So now Will has a new challenge. Over the past three years, the Glee Club’s big problem has been simply finding enough bodies. Anyone who knew Beethoven from Bieber was cornered and cajoled.Pleading and begging were standard procedure in Glee Club recruiting, and those who accepted had to acknowledge they were now the school dorks and would have Slushies thrown in their faces.This year, that has changed. Mr. Shu posts a Glee Club signup sheet and he’s overrun by the stampede of aspiring dancers and singers.“Now that we’re the champions; we’re the coolest club in school,” Morrison says. “Suddenly, everyone wants to be in Glee. But now Will has to find who really has that passion and who just wants to get in on the glory.”This renovation creates major challenges for the show, too, because in series television, a rotating cast can be dangerous. Fans get attached to certain characters, and either don’t like the replacements as much or don’t want to put in the time to get to know them.So even though “Glee” will continue to follow stars like Lea Michele’s Rachel Barry and Chris Colfer’s Kurt Hummel for awhile, the core cast back at McKinley High is already getting new bodies.That includes Jacob Artist as Noah Puckerman’s semi-outlaw half-brother Jake and Melissa Benoist as a new kid who’s sweeter than the first Slushie that gets tossed in her face.As the club reorders itself, there are vacancies at the top, and the season premiere episode is pointedly titled “The New Rachel.”Morrison admits altering a winning cast is a risk. So will it work?“That’s what we’ll find out,” he says. “We’ll find out if you can continuously recycle

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Current Projects

American Horror Story: 1984
Release Date: September 18, 2019
Network: FX

The Greatest Dancer
Release Date: 2020
Network: BBC One

Matthew on Twitter

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