12:00pm PT by Jackie Strause
'GLOW' Renewed for Season 3 at Netflix
GLOW is heading to Las Vegas for round three.
Netflix has renewed its female wrestling comedy for a 10-episode third season. The news comes on the heels of the series nabbing a whopping 10 Emmy nominations for its first season, including best comedy and a supporting nod for Betty Gilpin. Netflix has not yet announced a return date, but the series has bowed in summer its first two seasons.
GLOW, a critical and awards season darling, sports a combined 96 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes for seasons one and two. Netflix, like fellow streamers Hulu and Amazon, does not release viewership information.
The series is set in 1985 Hollywood and was inspired by the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling syndicated series of the 1980s. While that show ran for four seasons with more than 100 episodes, creators Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch say their fictional GLOW was always intended to chart its own path. The pair, who executive produce along with Orange Is the New Black's Jenji Kohan, has long eyed a multiple-season run. Kohan has a massive overall deal with Netflix; in addition to her two shows on the streamer, she has Lifetime’s American Princess.
"The more seasons we go on, the further we go from the original [GLOW], and that’s based on the fact that we created very different characters and now we follow our characters," Mensch told The Hollywood Reporter about veering even further from the '80s series with season two, which launched June 29. The finale also effectively shifted the show's backdrop from Hollywood to Las Vegas.
After two seasons of building GLOW, aka Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, as a TV series, the show-within-a-show at the center of the comedy gets canceled in season two. The finale sees the 15-woman ensemble of actresses-turned-wrestlers — led by Alison Brie and Gilpin — boarding a bus to Las Vegas in a bid to continue their GLOW careers with a live nightly show in Sin City.
"I hope we have the number of seasons we dream of having because I think that we can then equally explore all of the women," Flahive said of the creators' long-term plan. "With season one, we had the structure of what we needed to accomplish. And I think that is the great freedom of season two and of future seasons; that we can move around more now that you know and love the characters and understand the story of the show and wrestling. We have these 15 amazing women and ideally by the end of the show, you will know them all in a deeper way."
The first season of GLOW, which was met with critical praise, played out like an origin story, introducing the ensemble and focusing mainly on the fractured friendship between Ruth Wilder (Brie) and Debbie Egan (Gilpin). The second season continues to chart the highs and lows in that relationship, but it also takes time to feature emotional arcs and LGBTQ storylines with several of the other characters, including director Sam Sylvia (Marc Maron), producer Bash Howard (Chris Lowell) and wrestlers Tamme (Kia Stevens), Arthie Premkumar (Sunita Mani) and new character Yolanda (Shakira Barrera).
"We have hundreds of ideas of what we want to happen, both in Vegas and beyond," Mensch said before the official renewal was handed down. While Flahive said they do a "little bit of both" when it comes to mapping out their long-term plan and taking things season by season, she added of the future, "We have some character arcs and ideas. It's enough to hold on to and enough to drive forward, and yet there’s a lot of stuff that feels incredibly open as we build." Whether the show will film on location in Las Vegas remains to be seen.
GLOW debuted ahead of the #MeToo era with a female-dominated set in front of and behind the camera. In addition to being led by two female showrunners, 60 percent of the season one and two directors were women. The second season was also well-received by critics, and the creators have acknowledged the rarified air they are breathing in Hollywood. As for the two leads, Brie and Gilpin have expressed interest in remaining on the series for years to come. "Give me six seasons and I would be happy. We’ve done two, give me at least four more and I’d be a happy girl!" Brie recently told THR, while Gilpin echoed, "I would do this show forever."
The renewal follows recent scripted series pickups at Netflix for the controversial teen-suicide drama 13 Reasons Why, the Justin Simien dramedy Dear White People andthe Anne of Green Gables adaptation Anne With an E; all three series renewals landed shortly after their second seasons launched. The streamer also recently gave the go-ahead to a sophomore run for the sci-fi drama Altered Carbon.