For the last five years, fans have tuned into FOX to watch Naya Rivera play an honest-to-the-point-of-being-rude lesbian cheerleader who finds her passion in singing with a bunch of misfits.
But speculation is rampant that the 27-year-old singer-actress’ days on the hit musical show "Glee" are counted and she won’t be returning for season 6.
Rivera fueled speculation and might have tipped her hand when she posted a message on Twitter hinting that she might be leaving the show.
“On set with Glee shooting a very sweet Brit/Santana scene! #starttogetherendtogether,” she tweeted last month, when filming with co-star Heather Morris who is making her on-screen return to “Glee” after giving birth to her son in November.
Rumors of her imminent departure were amplified when co-star Lea Michele has on various occasions omitted from mentioning Rivera in the characters that will be part of the upcoming New York story lines.
Michele, along with co-stars Chris Colfer, Darren Criss, Chord Overstreet and Kevin McHale just finished filming around the Big Apple.
But there is no sign of Rivera, whose character Santana Lopez lives in New York with Rachel Berry (Michele) and Kurt Hummel (Colfer).
According to E! News, sources close to the show said Rivera will be missing at least two episodes this season. However, she is planned to return before the end of it in May, remaining as a series regular on the show without being in every episode.
This is normal for the large ensemble cast of “Glee,” even for the core cast, but what does it mean for the show’s final season? Could Rivera be pulling what other original cast members Dianna Agron, Amber Riley, Harry Shum and Mark Salling have done in which they appear in a handful of episodes?
The actress has stayed mum on the rumors as of late, but the show’s executive producer Brad Falchuck told E! News about season 6: “We do know exactly who is coming over and what the story lines will be.”
He would not further elaborate, just saying, “Comeback.”
Meanwhile, the cast is gearing up for “Glee’s” two-part 100th episode with the return of most of the original cast and guests stars Gwyneth Paltrow and Kristen Chenoweth.
"Being a part of something special makes you special". Glee has and continues to be one of the most special journeys in my life.— Naya Rivera (@NayaRivera) March 18, 2014
Thank you to the fans, crew, producers, directors, 20th, and most importantly the cast for making these 100 episodes truly magical. Enjoy!— Naya Rivera (@NayaRivera) March 18, 2014
Fans of the show can look forward to the reunion between Santana and ex-girlfriend Brittany as the cast says good-bye to their beloved Glee club. The show airs Tuesday at 9 p.m.