Another year, another “Atlanta”-less Emmys. After sitting out last year’s ceremony, the Donald Glover series will miss the Emmy cycle for the second year in a row as the third season is eyeing a January 2021 premiere.
FX previously renewed “Atlanta” for a third season in June 2018, but production was delayed to accommodate Glover’s busy schedule. Last summer, FX renewed “Atlanta” for a fourth season, to be shot back to back with the third season this spring.
At Thursday’s Television Critics Association winter press tour, FX Chairman John Landgraf shared that both seasons are still on track to film this year — a majority out of the country — with Season 3 being 10 episodes and Season 4 being eight episodes (the initial plan was for each season to be eight episodes). He expects the third season to be ready for air by next January, with Season 4 to follow later in 2021.
“They’re going to shoot them all in sequence. A good chunk of it shoots outside the United States,” Landgraf revealed. “The plan is that one will air in January, so early next year, and the other would air late that year, somewhere around the fall, so it’ll be less than a year break between them. I just can’t tell you how excited I am and how pumped I am that they’re making two more seasons.”
“Atlanta” hasn’t aired since May 2018, when Season 2 — which premiered 18 months after Season 1 — concluded. It competed at the Emmys for its first two seasons in 2017 and 2018, winning Best Comedy Actor and Best Comedy Directing for Glover for Season 1, and was nominated for Best Comedy Series both times, losing to “Veep” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” respectively.
Landgraf lamented the “long break” between the second and third installments, especially because the network didn’t have some of its other acclaimed, Emmy-winning programs on its 2019 slate either. “Part of what was hard for us this year was so much of our best shows didn’t air [in 2019]. We didn’t have a ‘Fargo,’ we didn’t have an ‘American Crime Story,’ we didn’t have ‘Atlanta,'” he said. “Some of that has to do with how truly busy and great the creators are.”
But Landgraf is happy to let “Atlanta” operate on Glover’s timetable. There’s been no discussions yet on a fifth season, but “as long as Donald wants to make more ‘Atlanta,’ I’m down for making more ‘Atlanta,'” Landgraf declared. “It’s his choice.”