Despite plans for a fourth and final season of GLOW, Netflix apparently has reversed course and given the show an abrupt conclusion thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Deadline reported on Monday that GLOW‘s fourth and final season won’t happen, apparently due to coronavirus. According to the report, GLOW had finished a single episode and was three weeks into shooting its final season before the mid-March COVID-19 shutdown hit. Citing difficulty in getting the show back up and running, Netflix decided to pull the plug:
Shot entirely in Los Angeles, which has proven to be one of the more challenging locations to get large scale productions back up and running, GLOW faced its own unique challenges with the physical requirements of wrestling — a focal point of the show — that make it high-risk to produce safely during COVID. That includes physical contact, heavy breathing and exertion, which are required for wrestling but should be avoided during a pandemic because of danger spreading the virus.
Already an expensive, high-end series. GLOW faced high additional, COVID-related costs for its large cast of 20. That, combined with the uncertainty around COVID-19, the inherent physicality of the series whose risk had to be mitigated, ultimately pushed the budget of the series too high for Netflix to proceed, sources said.
Another concern was apparently what would have been a long delay between the third and fourth season actually hitting Netflix. If the show were able to resume production, it reportedly wouldn’t get on air until at least 2022. Despite the bad news, the report indicated the cast was paid in full for what would have been Season 4. And even GLOW‘s creators gave a rather upbeat and introspective statement about its abrupt demise:
“COVID has killed actual humans. It’s a national tragedy and should be our focus. COVID also apparently took down our show. Netflix has decided not to finish filming the final season of GLOW,” series creators Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch said in a statement to Deadline. “We were handed the creative freedom to make a complicated comedy about women and tell their stories. And wrestle. And now that’s gone. There’s a lot of sh*tty things happening in the world that are much bigger than this right now. But it still sucks that we don’t get to see these 15 women in a frame together again.”
It’s a sobering statement about the current state of things, but it’s certainly another loss for fans who were hoping to see the show finish the way its showrunners had intended. Netflix had quietly trimmed some shows from its roster and even went back on other renewals as pandemic fallout hit the streaming giant, but GLOW seeing an abrupt end is certainly the biggest entertainment casualty from Netflix to date.
Alison Brie and Marc Maron have bid farewell to the show on social media.
No more GLOW. Sorry. Stinks.
— marc maron (@marcmaron) October 5, 2020