It will be a long wait for Atlanta fans to see Donald Glover’s followup to the breakout first season of his FX comedy series. The network announced at TCA this morning that the acclaimed comedy will not air in 2017, with Season 2 slated for 2018 due to Glover’s production schedule.
Glover, of course, has a big movie commitment, playing Lando Calrissian in the Han Solo Star Wars movie, which will film this year for a 2018 release. For Glover, that has been a dream role. “Lando’s a big deal to me,” he said at the Golden Globes on Sunday. “It was literally the first toy I ever got.”
At the Globes, Glover landed two awards as Atlanta won best comedy series and he was named best actor in a comedy series.
During the TCA executive session, FX Networks CEO John Landgraf said the network was “fully supportive” of Glover’s need to pull away from Atlanta to play Lando. “We are thrilled for him,” Landgraf said.
Hailed as one of the best new comedies of 2016, Atlanta also won the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, and Glover was recently nominated for a WGA Award and DGA Award. Atlanta also has been a ratings breakout, ranking as basic cable’s most-watched new comedy in three years in Adults 18-49 and the highest-rated comedy in FX Networks’ history, averaging 4.84 million total viewers across all linear and non-linear platforms.
While this is not a new paradigm for FX, which has another praised comedy series, Louis CK’s Louie, on an extended hiatus for the second time, it is rather unusual for such a break to come so early in the series’ run but the circumstances are rather unusual as Glover is the main creative force and main star of the show, so his big film commitment makes it very hard to produce a new season of Atlanta at the same time.
Another comedy whose creator and star is branching out into features in a major way, Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, also is on a long break after Season 4 to accommodate her schedule.
And while Glover won’t be able to deliver a second season of Atlanta until 2018, in the meanwhile he may develop new series for Atlanta studio FX Prods. under the new overall deal he just signed there.