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Netflix cancels GLOW due to coronavirus pandemic

Staff Writer

Netflix has cancelled GLOW in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Created by Liz Flahive (Homeland, Nurse Jackie) and Carly Mensch (Nurse Jackie, Orange Is The New Black, Weeds), and exec-produced by Jenji Kohan (Orange Is the New Black), the wrestling comedy has become one of Netflix’s most distinct programmes. Inspired by the short-lived but beloved titular series from the 80s, it follows Ruth Wilder (Alison Brie), a struggling out-of-work actress as she joins the first ever women’s wrestling TV show, alongside a mixed ensemble of costumed misfits. Season 2 saw the women become local celebrities, confronting the good, the bad, and the ugly realities of their newfound fame. Season 3 followed them as they went to Las Vegas and headlined at the Fan-Tan Hotel & Casino. Continuing to open up the world of the series, it added Geena Davis to the impressive ensemble that also includes Betty Gilpin and Marc Maron.

Last year, Netflix renewed the show for a fourth and final season, which was a sad enough prospect for fans. Now, Netflix has reversed that decision, meaning viewers won’t even get that chance to bid farewell.

The programme had begun filming Season 4 earlier this year, before production was suspending due to the coronavirus outbreak. Since then, it has struggled to secure its locations in Los Angeles to get the production up and running again, but also faced a difficult challenge in performing wrestling sequences that required close physical contact and heavy breathing and exertion. With safety requirements pushing the budget of the show higher, and with Season 4 unlikely to be ready until 2022, Netflix has now decided to scrap the whole endeavour.

“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, which broke the news. “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,” series creators Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch added. “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*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.”

The decision follows a similar move by Netflix for two other original series, both of which were equally unexpected by the programmes’ makers: The Society and I Am Not Okay with This.

Netflix renews GLOW for fourth and final season

20th September 2019

Netflix has official renewed GLOW for a fourth season, but the good news of more episodes of the wrestling comedy comes with a sting in the tale: Season 4 of GLOW will also be its last.

Created by Liz Flahive (Homeland, Nurse Jackie) and Carly Mensch (Nurse Jackie, Orange Is The New Black, Weeds), and exec-produced by Jenji Kohan (Orange Is the New Black), the show has become one of Netflix’s most distinct programmes. Inspired by the short-lived but beloved titular series from the 80s, it follows Ruth Wilder (Alison Brie), a struggling out-of-work actress as she joins the first ever women’s wrestling TV show, alongside a mixed ensemble of costumed misfits. Season 2 saw the women become local celebrities, confronting the good, the bad, and the ugly realities of their newfound fame. Season 3 followed them as they went to Las Vegas and headlined at the Fan-Tan Hotel & Casino. Continuing to open up the world of the series, it saw Geena Davis join the impressive ensemble that also includes Betty Gilpin and Marc Maron.

Now, we have one more season to bid farewell to all their fan favourite characters, with Netflix ordering 10 more episodes. Flahive and Mensch will once again serve as showrunners, writers and executive producers.

The decision to end the programme arrives as GLOW continues to prove an awards success as well as an audience and critics darling: it has so far earned 15 Emmy nominations and three wins, plus a Screen Actors Guild and two Art Directors Guild awards. It follows Netflix’s tendency to evaluate the future of its original series after three seasons, although the writers left Season 3 on a cliffhanger with the hope of a fourth run.

“We’ve played it this way every season, where we’ve sort of left it all on the field. This show has a big heart and a big cast and big story to tell, and other people are not going to set that limit for us,” the showrunners told THR when Season 3 was released this summer. “We can’t do that, because it wouldn’t be fair to what we’re trying to do. We’d love to have the opportunity to give the show a satisfying ending.”

The decision also follows the streaming giant’s move to wrap up two other signature original series: Kohan’s other show, Orange Is the New Black, which ran for seven seasons, and Grace & Frankie, which will return for a seventh and final season – making it the longest-running Netflix original, in terms of episode count.

Kohan, meanwhile, has another Netflix show in the pipeline already: Slutty Teenage Bounty Hunters.

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