Both of FX’s awards stalwarts on the comedy side, Atlanta and Better Things, are coming to an end. Better Things co-creator, writer, director, executive producer and star Pamela Adlon announced that the upcoming fifth season will be her show’s last back in October; FX Chairman John Landgraf revealed at TCA today that Atlanta will end with its two upcoming seasons, 3 and 4.
During Atlanta’s TCA panel, the series’ creator, writer, director, executive producer and star Donald Glover was blunt. “To be honest I wanted to end it at Season 2,” Glover quipped, adding “Death is natural.”
That was news to FX executives who had accommodated Glover’s burgeoning music and feature career with a lengthy Atlanta hiatus after Season 2.
“He never communicated to us that he wanted to end the show then but, after the second season, he obviously was very busy in other medium, in his music career, so there was an extended time but that was the first time I’d heard that he wasn’t sure he could continue the show which would make sense because there was a delay in what he wanted to do,” FX Entertainment President Eric Schrier told Deadline in an interview tied to FX’s TCA presentation. “Luckily, him and [EPs] Stephen [Glover] and Stefani [Robinson] and Hiro [Murai] came up with what I think people are really going to love for the next two seasons.”
Season 3 and 4, the first of which comes four years after Season 2 aired on FX, were ordered by the network with the clear idea that they would be Atlanta‘s final chapter.
“He came to us and said, I think there is a way to do two more seasons, and that’s how I want to end the show,” Schrier said. “Obviously we’d love Atlanta to continue to go on as long as it could but I think as Donald articulated, he had a finite ending and wanted a closure to the show, so we were very supportive of that as we have been with shows that have come to their fruition. I think part of what we try to do with all of these shows is not extend them on beyond their life cycle and let the creative and their creators drive their conclusion.”
While Atlanta and Better Things both are ending their runs, FX is opened to potential spinoffs. Atlanta, in particular, features popular characters around Glover’s Earn played by an all-star cast including Brian Tyree Henry, Lakeith Stanfield and Zazie Beetz.
“I think if Donald or Pamela came to us with that idea, we sure would be opened to it but right now there are not currently any plans,” Schrier said.
Adlon has been open about her desire to continue the story of Sam Fox and her daughters.
“This is gonna be a wrap on Sam Fox (for now),” she wrote in her October note to fans announcing the end of the show.
During today’s TCA panel for Better Things‘ final season, Adlon quipped that she may go down the Sex and the City and Veronica Mars route and do a revival.
“We have 52 episodes of these stories of this family, and I don’t think there’s any doubt that we could go on and on,” she said. “The stories would keep changing.”
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