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Why Donald Glover Is Ending Atlanta With Season 4

Donald Glover in Atlanta.
(Image credit: FX)

With Atlanta Season 3 coming around the corner, fans are amped to see the return of Earn, Paper Boi, and the gang. But in a bittersweet moment, it was announced that the FX comedy would be ending with Season 4, which has already been filmed. With many viewers questioning the decision, Donald Glover chose to explain why the series will end with the fourth season.

News of the series ending with Season 4 came as a shock to many viewers, especially after waiting for four years for the third season. Of course, the long wait had more to do with the cast’s booming careers than anything else. But it appeared Season 4 was the result of the comedy’s meteoric success. Donald Glover spilled to Deadline what the original endgame for Atlanta was.

To be honest I wanted to end it at Season 2. 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. It was great, all of that came out this season and it ends perfectly.

So, Seasons 3 and 4 were never part of the original plan. But the successful show needed more than two seasons to wrap up all the characters’ storylines. Leaving Earn and Paper Boi going on a European tour in the Season 2 finale would’ve felt incomplete. Fans wanted to see what tour life is for the gang. So, hopefully viewers will get all their questions answered in Atlanta Season 3. As Glover mentioned, the fourth season will end adequately.

But Donald Glover wasn’t the only one proud of the final season. Eternals' Brian Tyree Henry also revealed multiple scenarios about Paper Boi’s future that were playing out in his head after filming the final episode. Henry equated the fourth season to graduating from school.

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. 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.

Equating Season 4 to senior year is a great thing about the series' conclusion. It sounds like the perfect number to end on for the beloved show. Some shows tend to overstay their welcome. At least, Glover knew to end it while the stories were still fresh after working hard to get both seasons done. So, those now-deleted tweets fired at fellow FX comedy Dave made sense after viewers compared the two series.

In the time since Atlanta premiered, the cast has been booking job after job. Donald Glover has been in blockbusters like Solo: A Star Wars Story and The Lion King remake. It was announced in 2021 he was developing a television series based on the Brad Pitt-Angelina Jolie film Mr. and Mrs. Smith with Phoebe Waller-Bridge before she left the project.

While Glover was silent most of 2021, his castmates were on television and in movie theaters. Brian Tyree Henry had a banner year with the successes of Godzilla vs. Kong and Eternals. Lakeith Stansfield received his first Oscar nomination for Judas and the Black Messiah before popping up in Netflix’s The Harder They Fall with co-star Zazie Beetz.  

So, filming Atlanta’s third and fourth season was a commitment for Donald Glover and his co-stars. Viewers won’t have to wait for Season 3 much longer with the premiere set for Mar. 24. With Season 4 premiering in the Fall, it will one of many returning TV shows ending in 2022. Hopefully, the final season will be worth the wait. If you want a refresher on the first two seasons of Atlanta, you can find them streaming with a Hulu subscription!

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).