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GLOW Canceled After Three Seasons at Netflix Due to COVID-19

Netflix has reversed its earlier renewal for a fourth and final season

Keisha Hatchett

In crushing news, GLOW will not be returning for a fourth and final season after all. Netflix has reversed its earlier renewal and has decided to cancel the series due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Creators Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch opened up about Netflix's decision not to move forward with finishing production on the show's final season. "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," they said in a statement shared with TV Guide. "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--ty 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... We'll miss our cast of weirdo clowns and our heroic crew. It was the best job... Register to vote. And please vote."

Netflix also responded to news of the show's cancellation. "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," Netflix 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."

Betty Gilpin Embraces the Vulnerability of Filming GLOW: 'We're All in This Together, Pantsless'

GLOW was among the more than 100 shows to halt production in mid-March as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The series was only three weeks into filming -- they had only completed one episode and started on the second episode -- before the shutdown. Since the show filmed entirely in Los Angeles, which proved to be one of the more challenging places to restart production, Netflix had a hard time figuring out how to pick up filming on those final episodes.

Additional factors that hindered a production restart included the series' massive 20-member ensemble and the physical requirements of wrestling -- which is essential to the series -- which made it risky to produce the show safely during the pandemic. In particular, the heavy breathing and level of exertion required for wrestling was a huge risk for direct exposure and potential infection. Plus, with production delayed, the series would not have returned until at least 2022, two and a half years after Season 3 ended, and Netflix was not confident that the show would draw a big enough audience to justify an investment in that final season given the circumstances. The show's high production value and incredibly high COVID-related costs for a cast of that size, along with the show's extreme and unavoidable physicality, made GLOW too costly to produce.  

Since the series resumed production and then was forced to shut down, however, all series regulars have been paid for Season 4 in full. GLOW's core cast includes Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, Marc Maron, and AEW's Kia Stevens

Deadline was the first to report this story. 

Seasons 1-3 of GLOW are currently streaming on Netflix. 

Betty Gilpin and Alison Brie, GLOW

Betty Gilpin and Alison Brie, GLOW

Ali Goldstein/Netflix