Health

As COVID-19 deaths spike, studios delay production on L.A.-based TV shows


Universal Television is extending its holiday hiatus on six shows by at least a week, as COVID-19 deaths continue to rise and overwhelm L.A. County hospitals.

Production on five shows — NBC’s “Mr. Mayor,” “Kenan” and “Good Girls,” HBO Max’s “Hacks” and Netflix’s “Never Have I Ever” — will resume Jan. 11, instead of Jan. 4, according to a person close to production, who declined to be named. Production on NBC’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” will resume Jan. 18, said the source, who was not authorized to comment.

The decision comes as L.A. County’s Department of Public Health has encouraged the film industry to pause production for a few weeks in light of the spike in COVID-19 deaths. Morgues are becoming too full to handle the number of bodies. On Wednesday, Los Angeles County reported its 10,000th COVID-19 death.

Other productions have also extended their winter hiatus. CBS Studios has delayed resuming production by a week, to Jan. 11, on some of its shows.

The affected CBS Studios-produced programs include “NCIS,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “SEAL Team,” “Why Women Kill” and “Diary of a Future President,” according to a studio source who was not authorized to comment.

ABC Signature and 20th Television will restart production in L.A. on 16 programs Jan. 18, at least a week later than planned, according to a source close to production who declined to be named. Those productions include “911,” “911: Lone Star,” “American Crime Story: Impeachment,” “American Horror Story,” “American Housewife,” “Big Shot,” “black-ish,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Last Man Standing,” “Love, Victor,” “Mayans,” “Mixed-ish,” “The Orville,” “Rebel,” “Station 19” and “This is Us,” the source said.

A Disney spokesman declined to comment.

Sony Pictures Television has delayed resuming production on ABC’s “The Goldbergs” and Netflix’s “Atypical” by a week to the week of Jan. 11 to accommodate additional testing, according to a person close to production who declined to be named. “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune” will resume work Jan. 11 as originally planned, the person said.

Hollywood has put guidelines in place to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. In September, studios and unions agreed on safety protocols, including testing before employees start work on a set and during production.




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