Donald Glover explains why he decided it was time to end Atlanta

donald glover explains decision to end atlanta
Donald Glover at The Lion King Press Conference held at the Montage Beverly Hills Luxury Hotel. credit: © Hasegawa/

After winning multiple awards over the past five years, including Golden Globes and Emmys, news has arrived that the hit television series Atlanta will end with its fourth season.

The announcement came on Thursday via FX chairman John Landgraf, and Emmy award-winning star and producer Donald Glover spoke about it during the Television Critics Association panel.

Glover commented on the decision to end the show, citing writers’ room dynamics as the reason, and revealed he wanted to end things sooner than the fourth season.

Donald Glover comments on why Atlanta is ending

If it were up to Donald Glover, fans would have seen Atlanta wrap up with its second season. Glover not only stars as Earnest “Earn” Marks in the series but also writes, directs, and executive produces.

During a TCA panel for the show, he commented on how it was a natural progression that all things come to an end at some point in their run, mentioning “when the conditions aren’t right,” things don’t happen.

“To be honest, I wanted to end it at Season 2,” Glover said, per Deadline. “Death is natural … When the conditions are right for something, they happen, and when the conditions aren’t right, they don’t happen. Things start to get weird … you can’t do too much. The story was always supposed to be what it was and the story, it really was us.”

Along with that, Glover also said the new season’s writers room was nearly split down the middle in terms of men and women, which brought arguments, and that is what ultimately led to the show’s end.

“It was great, all of that came out this season, and it ends perfectly,” Glover said.

His work on the show has earned him a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Television Series (Musical or Comedy) and a Primetime Emmy for both Outstanding Lead Actor and Outstanding Direction for a Comedy Series. In addition, Glover has won at the Critics’ Choice Television Awards and NAACP Image Awards.

The second season won an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for Katt Williams’ appearance as Alligator Man. Over the show’s two seasons so far, it won a total of five Emmys.

Glover’s Atlanta co-stars speak about series ending

Two of Donald Glover’s Atlanta co-stars also spoke about knowing the fourth season will be their final one. Zazie Beetz has played Earn’s ex Van in the series and said she used the knowledge of the series ending to really “lean into the relationships.”

“I’m glad I knew it was ending because then I could lean into the relationships knowing this was my last chance to play Van,” she said. “I think Van changed my life. I’m glad I had the opportunity to…put [her] in the back for now,” Beetz said.

Actor Brian Tyree Henry has held the role of rising rapper Paper Boi, also Earn’s cousin.

“That’s the great part of coming to an end, it’s in the ethos. It’s up there. You can imagine anything you want to,” Henry said.

He also compared Atlanta to being like an “institution” due to the length of the show’s run.

“You go to high school, it’s four years. You go to college, it’s four years. This is in our own essence like a graduation,” Henry commented.

The third season of Atlanta will premiere on March 24 and is primarily set in Europe as the group, including Earn, Van, Paper Boi, and Darius (LaKeith Stanfield), are navigating a world tour along with all the success they’d hoped to attain. A teaser trailer (below) arrived last month showing glimpses of what’s on the way.

Atlanta Season 3 premieres on March 24 on FX with streaming available on Hulu.

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