Deadline is exclusively reporting that wrestling-comedy series GLOW, which had been renewed for a fourth and final season back in August last year, has now been cancelled by Netflix as they have reversed their decision due to COVID-19.
GLOW is set during the 1980’s in Los Angeles where we follow struggling actress Ruth Wilder searching for a role, any role, that she can sink her teeth into. As she auditions for roles of secretaries, she still has little success until one day a casting director calls her for an unconventional project. She soon learns that the project is auditioning to compete in a fledgling professional wrestling promotion called Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling aka GLOW. The series then eventually located to Vegas, where we followed the ladies of GLOW adapting to their new surroundings on the Vegas strip as the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling headline at the Fan-Tan Hotel and Casino.
Creators Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch released a statement saying:
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*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. We’ll miss our cast of weirdo clowns and our heroic crew. It was the best job.
The fourth and final season was three weeks into filming when production was halted in mid-March amid the escalating COVID outbreak. Only one episode had been completed and they started on the second when the shutdown on production came into effect. Over the last several months, Netflix had been working out ways to get the show back into production in Los Angeles. Though getting a large-scale production back up and running in one of the more challenging locations wasn’t the only issue considering Netfllix, with the physical requirements of the wrestling being a focal point of the series, making it a high-risk to produce safely during COVID due to the physical contact, heavy breathing and exertion that would be required in the wrestling sequences. I suppose it didn’t help that the series was already an expensive production for Netflix, especially with its large ensemble of twenty cast members. A source told Deadline that due to the risks that had to mitigated and the uncertainty around COVID, this pushed the budget of the series too high for Netflix to proceed, especially as the earliest the final season could be aired would be 2022, at least two and a half years after season 3 and, with the significant delay and the increased costs of production, the Netflix brass didn’t have confidence that would be a big enough audience who would watch at that point to justify the investment. The report states that all of the series regulars have been paid in full for the fourth season.
Not going to lie, this one stings. GLOW has been one of the most consistent shows of the Netflix originals and the fact now that we’re left with the cliffhanger of season 3 as the last bit we have of this show is a bit sad. I for one would definitely have tuned in at 2022 to watch the closure of the series and I’m sure there’s going to be a fair amount of unhappy people reading this news, but I highly doubt Netflix will reverse their decision, considering the other series they’ve cancelled before COVID that had solid fanbases.
GLOW stars Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, Marc Maron, Sydelle Noel, Britney Young, Kate Nash, Gayle Rankin, Kia Stevens, Jackie Tohn, Chris Lowell, Kimmy Gatewood, Rebekka Johnson, Sunita Mani, Ellen Wong, Marianna Palka, Shakira Barrera, Bashir Salahuddin, Britt Baron.