FX Boss Expects ‘Atlanta’ Season 3 to Premiere January 2021, Season 4 to Follow in the Fall

TCA 2020: John Landgraf says third season of Donald Glover’s series will consist of 10 episodes, fourth season will have eight

Donald Glover Atlanta
Guy D'Alema/FX

We know you’ve been waiting for more of Donald Glover’s “Atlanta” for a long time now — and it turns out you’re gonna be waiting a lot longer. FX boss John Landgraf said that he expects the third season of the show to premiere in January 2021 and Season 4 to debut “somewhere around the fall” of that year.

“The plan is that one would air, I think, in January,” the FX Networks and FX Productions chairman told reporters during the Television Critics Association press tour on Thursday. “So early next year. Then the other would air I think late that year, somewhere around the fall. So it’ll be less than a year break between them. And I just can’t tell you how excited I am that he’s making two more seasons and doing them back to back.”

FX announced that it renewed “Atlanta” for a fourth season in August, during TCA’s summer press tour. At the time, the cable channel said that production would begin on both the previously ordered Season 3 and Season 4 in Spring 2020.

“Initially, his intention was to make 16 episodes that would be broken into eight and eight. He came back to us recently, because things went so well in the writers’ room, and asked if we would support 10 episodes [in Season 3] and we said yes,” Landgraf said. “So actually the first of those two seasons will be 10, as of now the second will be eight.”

Though the FX chief did not confirm exact shoot dates, he said the plan is still to film Seasons 3 and 4 back to back.

“They’re going to shoot them all in sequence,” Landgraf said. “A good chunk of it shoots outside the United States, which is fascinating, though a lot of it will be shooting where it’s been located, in Atlanta.”

And yes, Landgraf knows you’ve been waiting since Season 2 a.k.a. “Atlanta: Robbin’ Season” ended in May 2018 for new episodes — but there’s a reason why the break has been so long.

“Look, part of what was hard for us this year is so much of our best shows didn’t air this year,” he said. “We didn’t have a ‘Fargo,’ we didn’t have an ‘American Crime Story,’ we didn’t have ‘Atlanta.’ And some of that has to do with just how truly busy and great our creative is. Noah Hawley was off doing a feature film with Natalie Portman, and Ryan Murphy is obviously really busy and turns out Donald Glover can do anything. If he said he was gonna try to solve Einstein’s unified field theory, I would say, ‘Well, finally, somebody’s gotta do that job and he’ll probably figure it out.”

“Atlanta” stars Glover, Brian Tyree Henry, Lakeith Stanfield and Zazie Beetz and was created by Glover, who executive produces with Paul Simms, Dianne McGunigle, Stephen Glover and Hiro Murai. The show hails from FX Productions.