Cory Monteith's tragic death has left a "major hole in the heart" of his hit TV show Glee, says a top Hollywood entertainment expert.
The 31-year-old actor was found dead in a hotel room in Canada at the weekend, after he failed to check-out at the agreed time.
Monteith is famed for playing much-loved character Finn Hudson on the hugely successful Fox television series.
Entertainment expert Scott Huver says the star's presence will be sorely missed.
"Not only has Monteith's character Finn been part of the show's most significant romantic relationship opposite Lea Michele's Rachel, in the fourth season he appeared to be being long-term positioned to eventually assume the role of glee club coach and overall student mentor should Matthew Morrison's Mr Shue leave the series," Huver told FOX411's Pop Tarts column.
"He leaves a major hole in the heart of the show that will be challenging for the writers and producers to address.
"While the Glee staff and especially series creator Ryan Murphy have never shied away from handling controversial, tragic or dark subject matter, translating Monteith's loss into a 'death of Finn' storyline may simply prove to sad and all-consuming for the show.
"Whatever they decide, the writers will have to proceed very delicately lest dealing with the outcome overwhelm the show's generally light, fun-loving tone," Huver said.
Crisis communications expert Glenn Selig of The Publicity Agency says approaching the tragedy head on may be the best way to deal with the star's sudden death at the weekend.
He explained that dedicating a storyline to Finn's untimely death may help fans cope with the sad news in real life.
"They may decide to handle what happened honestly; his character may be portrayed as dying suddenly and shockingly. That may provide both the cast and the public to grieve," he said.
Representatives for Glee and Fox executives released an official statement after learning of Monteith's death.
"We are deeply saddened by this tragic news. Cory was an exceptional talent and an even more exceptional person. He was a true joy to work with and we will all miss him tremendously. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones," it read.
The cause of death is currently unknown, but it's been reported an autopsy has been fast tracked.
Results are expected in the next few days according to E! Online.
Monteith was dating his Glee co-star Michele at the time of his passing. She has asked for the space and time to grieve privately following his death.
- Cover Media