We've watched Midge Maisel endure setbacks before, but none quite so sudden as the final moments of season 3's finale, in which the talented young comedienne loses her touring gig with singer Shy Baldwin and her glamorous New York City apartment, courtesy of her manager Susie's reckless gambling. Perhaps Midge deserves to be rocked back on her heels a bit. In her stand-up performance at the Apollo, her naïveté gets the best of her when she takes the opportunity to riff on Shy himself. The ruthless comedy for which she's earned a fanbase proves too ruthless when Shy's beneath the microscope; she essentially outs him as gay before a live audience. Even if the crowd doesn't fully grasp the meaning of her “closet” or Judy Garland jokes, the singer himself sure does, and he promptly boots her from the tour.
Leaving the characters in such a moment of distress immediately signaled that writer-director Amy Sherman-Palladino had plans for a fourth season. Sure enough, less than a week after the third season's premiere, Amazon announced Midge and Co. would return.
"We were thrilled to hear that for the fourth time, we do not have to pack up and vacate the premises," Sherman-Palladino and executive producer Daniel Palladino said in a joint statement. "We’d like to thank Amazon for all their faith and support, their partnership and enthusiasm, and for letting us hang with our favorite people, the cast and crew of Maisel, for a little while longer."
News of a fourth season comes after the series earned two Golden Globe nominations, for Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy, and for Rachel Brosnahan in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Series, Musical or Comedy category.
Here's what little we know about what could be Midge's greatest comeback yet.
Has production started?
Filming for season 4 kicked off in January 2021, with Brosnahan sharing an image from set with the caption, “It looks a little different this year...but we’re back!”
And in early July, the actress confirmed the season had wrapped, posting, “I am so in awe of this crew who had each other’s backs and kept each other safe during this strange and challenging time in the world outside our bubble.”
Are there any images from the set?
Yes—a lot of them. In fact, if you don't want to be spoiled for season 4, we suggest you skip the gallery below. But if you want a taste of what's to come (and a sampling of Midge's colorful hats), click away.
Who's in the season 4 cast?
Most of the recurring cast is confirmed or expected to return in the wake of a season 3 finale that sees many of the characters in flux, financial or otherwise. In addition to Brosnahan and Borstein, the cast includes Tony Shalhoub, Marin Hinkle, Michael Zegen, Kevin Pollak, Caroline Aaron, Luke Kirby, and Jane Lynch.
But there are a couple noteworthy newcomers to season 4. Milo Vintimiglia, of This Is Us and Gilmore Girls, will play an “undisclosed guest role,” per Deadline. His character appears to be a romantic interest for Midge, judging by the photos from set, but if he's only a “guest,” we doubt the feelings last for long.
Adding another Gilmore Girls alum to the roster, Amazon recently confirmed Kelly Bishop had joined the season 4 ensemble. No word yet on which type of role the actress will tackle, but, judging from the video below, it seems clear she'll be serving just as many withering looks as she did in her Gilmore days.
When's the release date?
Amazon has not announced an official release date yet, but given that production has finished, we could expect to see Midge back on our screens in her signature black cocktail dress as early as fall 2021.
Will there be more seasons after this one?
Although none are confirmed, there certainly could be. Palladino told THR's TV's Top 5 podcast in December 2019, "We have no pressure on us. We have an idea of sort of emotionally where we want the Midge character to end." She added, "We don't know exactly how long it's going to take. We're only about two years into her journey 'cause time is kind of slowed down in TV land for us."
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