Donald Glover’s semi-autobiographical tragicomedy Atlanta has been renewed for season four ahead of its season three premiere. In fact, it has been renewed so in advance that both seasons are expected to be filmed next spring, with season three potentially airing by the end of 2020. This information was previously revealed at the press tour for the Television Critics Association.
While Atlanta is notorious for taking time between seasons, season one having debuted in the fall of 2016 with season two following in spring of 2018, there are several potential reasons that could have held up production. As the name would suggest Atlanta takes place in, and thus films in Atlanta, Georgia, and has yet to announce how it will respond to stricter health laws in the state. In the past couple of years, FX has also been officially acquired by Disney, under the 21st Century Fox deal. Glover is also known as a bit of a renaissance man in the entertainment world, sometimes as himself and sometimes as his musical alter ego, Childish Gambino. While season three has been on the table since its renewal in 2018, Glover has been writing, directing, and starring in Guava Island with Rihanna, as well as starring alongside an award-winning ensemble cast in the CGI remake of The Lion King, and performing as Gambino for the This Is America tour. But the heads of FX don’t seem to mind, because at the end of the day, Atlanta is an award-winning show.
In its first two seasons it picked up five Emmy Awards, two Golden Globes, two AFI awards, and a Peabody. It also has an NAACP, a PGA, a TCA, a WGA, and Critics’ Choice Awards as well as numerous nominations. Glover is the sole owner of two of those Emmys as season one’s Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series. FX Entertainment president Eric Schrier says, “What more can be said about Atlanta than the critical acclaim and accolades that [the creative team] have earned for two exceptional seasons of what is clearly one of the best shows on television. This group of collaborators and cast have created one of the most original, innovative stories of this generation and we are proud to be their partners.”
In that same vein, the series was set to air within the 2019 Emmy eligibility window, but FX CEO John Landgraf previously announced that the show wouldn’t make the cut. Landgraf says, “One of the things that is just a reality of television today is you have to wait. We have so many things now that don’t cycle back on a regular basis… From my standpoint, I wish for the fans as well as for us that we could get everything back on an annual basis, but, again, you just have to make a decision about quantity over quality at a certain point, and we’re just erring on the side of quality.”
Seasons three and four are set to have eight episodes each.
Seasons one and two can be streamed on Hulu.