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Why canceling GLOW made sense for Netflix

  • When GLOW was renewed last year for a fourth and final season, the pickup was possibly "a bit of a stretch" and "the new COVID realities changed the equation just enough to make resuming production too much of a reach," says Vulture's Josef Adalian. "Whatever fondness Netflix execs have for the show probably just couldn’t overcome a simple cost-benefit analysis," he says. "The same likely goes for the other two series Netflix has recently unrenewed because of the pandemic (I Am Not Okay With This and The Society) as well as ABC’s decision to take back its second-season order of Stumptown and Showtime’s late Wednesday call to claw back its commitment to a second season of On Becoming a God In Central Florida." Adalian adds: "Network execs and producers I’ve spoken to in recent weeks have all told me that making sets safe(-er) from COVID is proving to be incredibly costly, so no doubt continuing on with plans to film season four would have meant spending lots more than originally planned. Given the nearly two-year delays between seasons of The Crown and Stranger Things — or the five-year gap between seasons four and five of Arrested Development — citing timing as a rationale as well strikes me as … odd. Fans of GLOW aren’t going to suddenly grow disinterested in something because its return is delayed six or nine months. On the other hand, Netflix’s scheduling needs and budget realities are probably different now than they were in August 2019, when GLOW was initially renewed. Netflix loves it some data, and the numbers which supported one verdict a year ago may be saying something different today. After all, dozens of other shows and movies have debuted on the service over the past 14 months, some of them likely of great appeal to the same taste clusters who love GLOW. If Netflix has something else that can service those viewers, it may have decided it was safe to move on. It’s also possible that the core of viewers who loved GLOW simply was never that big in the first place, something series star Betty Gilpin suggested in a Vanity Fair article post-cancellation." “Apparently numbers-wise GLOW really only appealed to men in kimonos and women in cat hair, who as far as I’m concerned are the beating heart of the arts and the reason to keep waking up,” Gilpin wrote.

    TOPICS: GLOW, Netflix, Betty Gilpin, Coronavirus