Ryan tells The Hollywood Reporter, "When you’re faced with something so sad and so shocking, what do you do? Do we cancel the show? Do we start shooting in January? What do we do? Ultimately, we decided the best thing for everyone is to get back to work and be around people who knew him and loved him so that everyone can grieve together."
The season will now start September 26th -- a week later than scheduled -- with production set to begin in August rather than late July.
Ryan reportedly told Lea Michele that "it would be fine by him if she decided that the show or her role in it should not continue." But, according to him, Michele "bravely" suggested that that wasn't an option.
However, producers haven't decided yet how to address Cory's absence on the show. The current plan is to pay tribute to the late star during the show's third episode.