With the global pandemic seeing the streaming platform forced to evaluate which productions to fund and which to cancel, Netflix has elected not to proceed with the previously announced fourth and final season of GLOW, according to Deadline.
“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. “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.”
Inspired by the short-lived, but beloved show from the ’80s, GLOW tells the fictional story of Ruth Wilder (Alison Brie), an out-of-work, struggling actress in 1980s Los Angeles who finds one last chance for stardom when she’s thrust into the glitter and spandex world of women’s wrestling. In addition to working with 12 Hollywood misfits, Ruth also has to compete with Debbie Eagan (Betty Gilpin) a former soap actress who left the business to have a baby, only to be sucked back into work when her picture-perfect life is not what it seems. And at the wheel is Sam Sylvia (Marc Maron), a washed-up, B-movie director who now must lead this group of women on the journey to wrestling stardom.
“We’ve made the difficult decision not to do a fourth season of GLOW due to COVID, which makes shooting this physically intimate show with its large ensemble cast especially challenging,” a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement. “We are so grateful to creators Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch, Jenji Kohan and all the writers, cast and crew for sharing this story about the incredible women of GLOW with us and the world.”
Brie (Community, Sleeping With Other People) stars along with Betty Gilpin (Nurse Jackie, True Story) and Marc Maron (Almost Famous, Marc Maron: Thinky Pain). Breeda Wool (UnReal, Mr. Mercedes) has also signed on for a recurring role in Season 3 alongside Geena Davis. GLOW was created by Liz Flahive (Homeland, Nurse Jackie) and Carly Mensch (Nurse Jackie, Orange Is The New Black, Weeds). Orange Is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan and Tara Herrmann executive producers alongside Flahive and Mensch who are serving as showrunners.
The fourth and final season was set to consist of ten episodes and was about three weeks into production and completed one episode before having to shut down in mid-March due to the global pandemic. With the wrestling nature of the show and its Los Angeles-set shooting proving to be challenging amidst the new health practices and even more costly than the already-expensive budget, sources report Netflix chose to pull the plug on shooting the final season, especially with there set to be a two and a half year gap between release that the platform felt would see a dip in audience interest.
GLOW marks the third season at Netflix to be cancelled by the streaming platform after originally be renewed for another season, with the acclaimed teen mystery dramas The Society and I Am Not Okay With This both having their second season renewals reversed “due to circumstances related to COVID.”