Television Production Halted Due to Pandemic

By Elizabeth Nowak

Production on multiple television shows has been halted due to the social distancing put in place because of the coronavirus. Whether it is the filming or the editing, they are sat a stand still. It is almost as eerie as the Writers Guild of America strike of 2007-2008. Besides some streaming services affected by the shutdown like Amazon having to put on hold their production of Lord of the Rings, primetime television has been dramatically altered.

Two shows in general that managed to survive the writers strike from 2007 and are still going strong are Grey’s Anatomy and Supernatural. Grey’s Anatomy which is in Season 16 has been an emotional drama series created by Shonda Rhimes. The show follows Meredith Grey as she embarks on her life as an intern to a surgeon filled with twists and turns along the way. According to Fox News, ABC announced that “…it does not plan to resume production of Season 16 amid the coronavirus pandemic.” The season ended with episode 21 as its finale having aired April 9 but the show will be back for Season 17.

Supernatural on the other hand seems to be teetering on the edge as the show is currently in its final season. After 15 years of fighting off angels and demons and things that go bump in the night, Sam and Dean Winchester are hanging up their hunting life for good. The show began in 2005 following the story of two brothers who are hunters looking for their father. When Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, and Misha Collins personally announced that Season 15 would be the last for the Winchesters, fans were heartbroken. But 15 years is a good chunk of time for any show in this era. Even though the next episode that was to be released was filmed, post-production still has not done the finishing touches for it to reach public. On a positive note, this extends the season for the fans who are not ready to part with the brothers just yet.

Shows that are produced for streaming are for the most part not as affected because they are filmed and released after completion. Unlike primetime television shows which are filmed throughout the duration of the shows season. As USA Today reports, streaming services are not going to be highly affected by a pause in production because they do not follow the same schedule as live TV. Many live late-night shows were filmed without an audience and currently several hosts like Jimmy Kimmel have even transitioned to video hosting from their home. Daytime shows like Live with Kelly and Ryan have taken this route as well.

Lucifer, a popular show based on a character from a comic series by Neil Gaiman, seems to be having no luck lately. The show originated on FOX in 2016 and was axed just after three seasons. After some fan petitioning, the show was shopped around and saved by Netflix. The streaming service produced a Season 4 and announced that there would be a fifth and final season of the show. Season 5 which had been mostly completed is delayed once more as the pandemic continues to plague the world. There are currently rumors surfacing the internet whether Lucifer would be renewed for yet another season and that it was down to talks of Tom Ellis who plays the titular character over his contract agreement. In March Express wrote, “Back on February 13, TV Line broke the news talks had begun between Warner Brothers TV and Netflix about season six.” Fans remain hopeful for more of the devilishly handsome devil himself.

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