"Covid-19 is a pernicious virus, and it just needed more time than usual to begin impacting a seemingly immune part of the world like television," says Alan Sepinwall. "In recent weeks, the pandemic has resulted in a wave of 'un-renewals,' a term which means exactly what it sounds like: TV shows who’ve had defeat snatched from the jaws of victory by networks and streamers that no longer want to make planned new seasons under these rapidly-shifting economic conditions. The highest-profile un-renewal was GLOW, the women’s wrestling comedy, which had already filmed an entire episode for its planned fourth and final season when Netflix reversed course. The stated reason was that it’s too difficult to film a show with lots of wrestling scenes, featuring a huge ensemble, while taking the necessary Covid precautions. But Netflix also recently un-renewed teen shows The Society and I Am Not Okay With This, while ABC, TruTV, and Showtime gave the same treatment to, respectively, Cobie Smulder’s private-detective show Stumptown, the Andrea Savage sitcom I’m Sorry and the Kirsten Dunst dramedy On Becoming a God in Central Florida. None of these shows contain wrestling, though they admittedly had other logistical difficulties of varying degrees. (The Society featured big crowd scenes, for instance, and takes place in summer, while the lockdown would have pushed filming in New England back into the fall.) Mostly, though, the issue seems to be the added cost of making shows while keeping the cast and crew as safe as possible from Covid. Several prominent showrunners, speaking under condition of anonymity, suggested to me that (Star Trek boss Alex) Kurtzman’s $500,000-per-episode figure was in the ballpark, but perhaps on the low end. There are the PPE supplies themselves, including transparent shields to allow actors to run lines together before cameras roll. Studio HVAC systems need to be upgraded to meet the new air safety standards. Vans that could once ferry a half-dozen actors or more to a set are now allowed to carry at most two at a time, so everyone needs more vans. One showrunner estimated that testing alone is over $100,000 per episode, and fees for crew, director prep, and shooting, plus guest-star salaries, are all up 25 percent over normal, because they have to film episodes on a 10-day schedule rather than the usual eight to accommodate the new protocols. Depending on the regulations in a given state where production happens, shows may also have to pay to quarantine any actors flown in from out of town for 14 days, and also pay that actor a higher rate to cover work they potentially missed during that quarantine period. Bit by bit, it all adds up, making hits less lucrative and turning borderline shows into ones that are no longer tenable."