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Netflix Cancels ‘GLOW’ Due to COVID, Reversing Renewal for 4th and Final Season

Filming was completed on one episode before production shut down in February

“GLOW” has been canceled by Netflix due to COVID-related circumstances, with the streaming service reversing the fourth and final season renewal it had given the Alison Brie- and Betty Gilpin-led comedy last September.

An individual with knowledge tells TheWrap filming on one episode of the final batch of “GLOW” installments had been completed in February and production had begun on a second before everything was shut down due to the pandemic. Netflix had been attempting to get “GLOW,” which is shot entirely in Los Angeles, back into production, but the ensemble cast of 20 and show’s inclusion of actual wrestling scenes that require heavy breathing and physical exertion put it at a “very high level of risk” to shoot amid the coronavirus, the insider said.

The fourth and final season of the Liz Flahive- and Carly Mensch-created series would not have debuted until 2022 at the earliest, according to the individual. Due to the COVID-related delay and the increased cost of production because of the pandemic, Netflix did not believe there would be enough of a draw for the show two and a half years after Season 3 launched to “justify” investing in it further, per the insider.

The streaming service made the decision to cancel the show to avoid holding the cast and crew indefinitely and preventing them from finding other work, the individual said, adding that all of the series regulars have been paid for the season in full.

“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 TheWrap. “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,” Flahive and Mensch added in their own statement. “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 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.”

Inspired by the short-lived but beloved show from the ’80s, “GLOW” stars Brie as a struggling actress-turned-wrestler in 1980s Los Angeles. Gilpin co-stars as a former soap actress who is sucked into the world of professional wrestling when her picture-perfect life is revealed to be less than it seems. Marc Maron plays a washed-up, B-movie director who now must lead this group of women on the journey to wrestling stardom. Season 3 moved the action to the Vegas strip, where the ragtag crew has set up shop as headliners at the Fan-Tan Hotel and Casino and quickly realize Sin City is much more grind than glitter.

In addition to Flahive and Mensch, “Orange Is the New Black” creator Jenji Kohan, Tara Herrmann and Mark Burley also serve as executive producers on the series.

“GLOW” was nominated for 18 Emmy awards throughout its three-season run and received three.