The streamer has also canceled Teenage Bounty Hunters after a single season, though the decision there was not COVID-related. Both shows are executive produced by Jenji Kohan.
“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,” said a Netflix spokesperson. “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.”
GLOW had started production on season four, which was to have been its final one, in February. It completed one episode and started a second before the coronavirus pandemic led to production shutdowns for it and hundreds of other series and films in mid-March.
Sources cite the large ensemble cast of GLOW and the close contact and physical exertion required of its wrestling scenes as making the show tougher to produce safely during the pandemic. The additional costs related to COVID guidelines, and the fact that the series wouldn’t have aired before 2022, led the Netflix’s decision.
“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,” said creators Flahive and Mensch in a statement. “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 shitty 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.”
Added series regular Marc Maron on Twitter, “No more GLOW. Sorry. Stinks.”
The third season of GLOW debuted in August 2019. Netflix announced the show’s renewal for a fourth and final season six weeks later; it likely would have been on track for a late 2020 or early 2021 release had production not stopped in the spring.
GLOW is one of several series to have renewals taken back due to COVID. Netflix has also cited the pandemic in canceling YA dramas The Society and I Am Not Okay With This, and TruTV cited COVID in rescinding a season three pickup for its comedy I’m Sorry.
As for Teenage Bounty Hunters, it becomes the latest one-and-done show at Netflix. The series stars Maddie Phillips and Anjelica Bette Fellini as sisters who go to work for a skip tracer (Kadeem Hardison) and start bringing in local criminals while trying to maintain their high school lives. Kathleen Jordan created the series and executive produced with Kohan, Tara Herrmann, Robert Sudduth and Blake McCormick.
The show made Netflix’s top 10 list in the United States for a week following its August release but slipped off the rankings after that.
Kohan, meanwhile, remains in business with Netflix. Her pandemic anthology Social Distance is due to premiere Oct. 15, and she also has a docuseries in the works there. Kohan was also one of the first showrunners to sign a big overall deal with the streamer.
Deadline first reported the cancellations.