Donald Glover’s “Atlanta” won’t be returning for its highly anticipated third season in 2019, which means the comedy categories at the upcoming Emmy Awards just got a little more open. FX executives John Landgraf and John Solberg confirmed the delay while addressing press at the Television Critics Association critics tour
“I don’t know whether we’ll have ‘Atlanta’ or not,” Landgraf said. “The writers are back working right now, thank God.”
Solberg added that whenever “Atlanta” does return “it won’t be for this Emmy cycle.” This cutoff date for this year’s Emmys is May 31, 2019, so we know at the very least “Atlanta” will not return to television before that date. With writing currently underway and production most likely beginning later this year, a 2020 release for Season 3 seems most likely at this point.
“As you might imagine, Donald Glover is sort of the king of all media, and he just has had an incredibly complicated life,” Landgraf said about the show’s delay. “He’s had personal things he’s had to deal with, from injuries to other things I’d rather not say publicly that just have to do with not with his personal life but his extended family.”
Landgraf continued, “I think 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.”
The confirmation about “Atlanta’s” delay falls in line with what star Zazie Beetz told IndieWire at the Sundance Film Festival last month. The actress said it’s been difficult to get everyone’s scheduled aligned but that Season 3 is a priority for all involved.
“Ideally we would be shooting now; that’s not happening,” she said. “Everybody’s schedules are sort of all over the place — they’re hoping for spring sometime, but no dates. Everybody’s busy, and Donald [Glover] had his tour in the fall, and that doesn’t lend itself to time for scriptwriting. I know that they have a couple of episodes together, but I don’t have any real information.”
“Atlanta” wrapped its second season last September. Glover has spent much of the last year on tour as his music alter ego Childish Gambino. The actor has a voice role in Disney’s summer blockbuster “The Lion King,” in theaters July 19.