Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: You’ll have to wait a little longer for the next season of Atlanta. The Emmy-winning series was initially pegged to return for a third season in January 2021. That date is now in flux due to production delays stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.
During a press call to discuss FX’s programming lineup, FX Networks and FX Productions chairman John Landgraf said that season 3 of Donald Glover’s critical darling will premiere later in 2021. The plan, for now, is that production on season 3 will resume in early 2021. Complicating matters are Atlanta’s intense production schedule: Season 3 and 4 were written together and are being shot together. To pull that off requires working around scheduling commitments from a cast that has become a hot commodity in Hollywood since season 1 premiered all the way back in 2016. Glover’s co-stars—Brian Tyree Henry, Zazie Beetz, and Lakeith Stanfield—are just as busy these days as the series’ Emmy-winning creator/writer/director star.
With productions starting up again after COVID-19 halted the film and TV world back in March, FX committed to safety being the “No. 1 priority,” citing new health guidelines, testing procedures, contact tracing, and having doctors and epidemiologists on hand.
Atlanta Season 3 will feature 10 episodes, while season 4 is set for eight. The third season will be set in Europe after season 2 ended with Alfred and Earn boarding a flight and narrowly avoiding serious legal trouble.
Speaking on the direction of the season, Glover previously said at an FYC Emmy screening, that Atlanta Season 3 will be the most “accessible” season to date. “I align the seasons I think, to me, like Kanye records,” Glover said. “I feel like this is our ‘Graduation.’ This is probably our most accessible but also the realest — an honest version of it — and I feel like the most enjoyable, like the third album.”
Atlanta has aired two seasons and 21 total episodes since it debuted on FX almost exactly four years ago. Glover notoriously likes to take his time with his work, and the long waits between seasons hasn’t quelled interest from viewers, critics, or the network. Atlanta season 2 won three Emmy awards (including Katt Williams’ win for Best Guest Actor) and was nominated in the Outstanding Comedy category. FX then made the unusual move in August 2019 to renew Atlanta for a fourth season before season 3 was shot.
We’ll keep you posted on an official premiere date for Atlanta season 3.