There’s been yet another TV casualty due to the pandemic.
The fourth and final season of Netflix’s wrestling series, GLOW, has been canceled as a result of coronavirus-related setbacks, ET has confirmed. The dramedy, which follows a group of female wrestlers in the 1980s led by Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin, had just begun filming on the second episode of season 4 before COVID-19 shut down production in mid-March.
“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 told ET 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.”
“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. 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***y 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,” Flahive and Mensch said in a statement. “We’ll miss our cast of weirdo clowns and our heroic crew. It was the best job. Register to vote. And please vote.”
Netflix had been working to find a way to get the show back into production for its final season, however the large ensemble cast of about two dozen actors and the physical requirements of wrestling put the show at a high level of risk to produce safely during COVID. Had there been a safe way for production to resume, GLOW would not have returned until 2022 at the earliest. All the series regulars have been paid for season 4 in full.
Deadline first reported the news.
Last week, ET spoke with cast member Sunita Mani, who played Arthie/Beirut the Mad Bomber, about saying goodbye to the series and she admitted they didn’t have a date set to resume production in Los Angeles.
“We have gotten word from Netflix that all the logistics of both the pandemic and it being a large-scale wrestling show with a high context, we are just going to defer until 2021,” she said on Sept. 29. “I’m really hopeful for the final season. Like, I want us girls to to have that closure. I hope we come back. It’s such a special unique show and it’s funny that it is like theater on film so that it is unfortunately suffering during this pandemic.”
While we won’t be getting closure like the GLOW cast and crew initially planned, Mani said she hoped “to see Arthie have a badass ownership of her identity.” “She’s sort of going through these stages and and really finding herself and then is comically bad. Sometimes I feel like she’s such a heartbreaking and heartwarming character. I love her so much, but I would love to see her [be] herself,” the actress said. “It’s such a special thing. I have high hopes for this final season. It’s going to be truly cathartic. It’s been like the joy of all of our lives so it will be sad to see it end.”
Just a few weeks ago, Brie and Gilpin teamed up to produce a special video urging viewers to register to vote ahead of the November election.
It’s #nationalvoterregistrationday and the gals of GLOW are partnering with @headcountorg to get you activated! Link in my bio to register to vote and join the GLOW cast for a q&a/hang! ❤️
A post shared by Alison Brie (@alisonbrie) on
Cast members are gradually reacting to the surprising news of GLOW‘s cancellation.
No more GLOW. Sorry. Stinks.
So glad to have been a tiny part of this show.
I will play Betty Gilpin’s husband or ex-husband or mail carrier or anything, anytime anyone ever asks me to. She’s one of my favorite scene partners of all time, and I was beyond lucky to get to stand toe-to-toe with her. https://t.co/RgoPjZRJU0
GLOW is just the latest high-profile series to have its renewal reversed as a result of the pandemic, following Netflix’s The Society, truTV’s I’m Sorry With Andrea Savage and ABC’s Stumptown, just to name a few.
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