screen cap of Glow on Netflix
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Netflix’s ‘GLOW’ Canceled Due to COVID-19

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It’s a sad day for GLOW fans.

Netflix’s female wrestling dramedy will not be returning to the ring for a fourth and final season as planned.

Netflix Canceling GLOW

On Monday, the streaming giant announced that it would be canceling GLOW — reversing its original decision to renew the series for a fourth and final season.

The critically acclaimed series doesn’t get to finish what it started. Starring Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, and Marc Maron, the show has been canceled after three seasons.

Netflix via GIPHY

According to Netflix, the decision not to resume filming was “due to COVID” and its related restrictions. The decision comes more than a year after the show was renewed.

“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. “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.”

Statement From GLOW Creators

Series co-creators Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch also addressed the show’s cancellation.

“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,” Flahive and Mensch said in a joint statement.

“We were handed the reactive freedom to make a complicated comedy about women and tell their stories. And wrestle. And now that’s gone,” they continued. “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.”

Added Flahive and Mensch: “We’ll miss our cast of weirdo clowns and our heroic crew. It was the best job.” They ended the statement with a plea: “Register to vote. And please vote.”

Production on Season 4 Had Already Started

GLOW was already about three weeks into filming the fourth season when production was suspended in mid-March. At the time, the Netflix original series had already completed one episode, and had started on a second.

Netflix via GIPHY

But like just about everything else at the time, it was put on hold amid the escalating coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Since then, Netflix had been working on ways to get the show back into production. Unfortunately, the wrestling series faced unique challenges in the face of a pandemic.

Too Many Hurdles to Continue Filming Safely

GLOW was shot entirely in Los Angeles, where it’s been difficult to get large-scale productions back up and running. Some productions have begun venturing back to their studios under enhanced safety protocols. Read: no more live audiences for taping, ample testing, minimal crew, and some are even utilizing a “quarantine bubble” format to keep people safe. Other shows have pivoted entirely, moving to new locations.

With GLOW, though, the large ensemble cast of 20 people and the physicality of wrestling — a focal point of the series — made it too risky to resume shooting. There was a lot of physical contact, heavy breathing, and exertion. You know, the kinds of things that should be avoided during a pandemic because of the dangers of spreading the virus.

Trying to film such high-risk activities apparently pushed the cost of the show too high. Apparently the show was already expensive, and those additional COVID-related costs were too high for Netflix to invest.

Now, the show isn’t just suspended or delayed — it’s just full-on canceled.

Regardless, it’s being reported that all of the series regulars have been paid for Season 4 in full.