Naya Rivera was set to appear once again in the third season of the Step Up television series before her shocking passing. On Monday, the former Glee star’s body was recovered in Lake Piru after she disappeared five days prior.
Back in May, Starz revealed that it had picked up the drama for its third season after YouTube had previously canceled it after its first two seasons. Christina Davis, the President, Original Programming of the premium network, said in an interview with Deadline that she was excited to see the series get “elevated” in its new iteration. “ The new season was set to focus on the story of Sage Odom, who is played by Ne-Yo, along with Rivera’s character, Collette Jones, as they continue on in their lives through High Water Performing Arts School. “This, coupled with the worldwide appeal of the multi-talented, multicultural cast, will make this series a great addition to our slate,” Davis explained. She added that the new season will contain “high energy, lots of heart and electrifying dance moves.”
The season is also set to return Petrice Jones, Faizon Love, Marcus Mitchell, Jade Chynoweth, Carlito Olivero, Terrence Green, Eric Graise and Kendra Oyesanya. There has been no update from the production team, which is headed by Adam Shankman and Jennifer Gibgot, who also were behind the films. After Rivera's body was found on Monday, Ne-Yo shared a photo of her on his Instagram story, writing, “Goodbye Mama, we’ll miss you. And we’ll never forget you.”
In an interview with E! News ahead of the Season 2 premiere of the show, Rivera said she really enjoyed the Glee-like vibes that came with Step Up, including all of the big dance numbers. “It definitely feels like home and feels like how much fun I had on Glee,” explained Rivera, who played Santana Lopez in the FOX series. She added that she really enjoys getting to go back to shows that have a high school atmosphere because she shared that “my high school experience was terrible.”
Rivera was 33 at the time of her passing. The Ventura County, California sheriff revealed in a press conference that there were no signs of foul play in her death and disappearance. A more in-depth examination will be following in the coming days. She was out on the lake with her 4-year-old son Josey, who explained to authorities that his mother had helped him get back on the boat before looking back and realizing she had disappeared below the surface.