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GLOW - Cancelled by Netflix Due to COVID-Related Circumstances, Final Season to Remain Unproduced

5 Oct 2020

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GLOW, Netflix’s female wrestling dramedy, will not be returning to the ring for a fourth and final season. The streamer has reversed its renewal decision, made more than a year ago, in August 2019. The series, starring Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin and Marc Maron, has become the latest casualty of the coronavirus-related production shutdown.

“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 to Deadline. “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.”

GLOW was about three weeks into filming its fourth season when production was suspended in mid-March amid the escalating COVID outbreak. (Brie posted a photo from the set on Feb. 19) At the time of the shutdown, GLOW had completed one episode and had started on a second.

Over the past seven months Netflix, which is a studio on the series, had been working on ways to get the show back into production. 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. Additionally, the earliest GLOW would have returned to air would be 2022, at least two and half years after season three. With the significant delay and the increased costs of production, Netflix brass didn’t have confidence there would be a big enough audience who would tune in at that point to justify the investment.

All of the series regulars have been paid for Season 4 in full.