The current rambling wave of COVID -19 fueled by the spread of the Omicron variant has halted the production of several TV series in the US. In fact, there are several shows that have had to stop filming, including Grey’s Anatomy, Station 19 and The Rookie, for ABC, and NCIS and Ghosts for CBS.
At least three Los Angeles-based ABC dramas, including Grey’s Anatomy, Station 19 and The Rookie, have delayed the restart of production due to the pandemic. Grey’s and Station 19 were due to start again on January 10 and instead will start shooting on January 12. For The Rookie, however, there are no updates.
According to sources, ABC would have made this choice to prevent rather than cure, and there would be no positive cases within the production. Also, at the moment, the temporary outage is not expected to impact TV series programming.
Even the ABC daytime soap, General Hospital, has delayed the start of filming until next week. In fact, the US recorded over half a million new cases of COVID on Tuesday. The increase is largely due to the Omicron variant, which in fact is more highly transmissible, albeit less lethal.
Meanwhile, CBS, NBC, Fox and The CW are also considering how to move with their shows. CBS had to stop filming NCIS, due to a positive case between the cast and those who interact with them. It looks like the show will resume filming for the NCIS: Hawai’i crossover episode next week, but it’s unclear if that will be the case.
Even NCIS: LA would have halted production until February, according to some sources, as a precaution, since CBS has different material ready. In fact, the network can afford a break without affecting the release of the show’s episodes. Instead, the CBS comedy Ghosts temporarily halted production due to a positive case on the set, Deadline confirmed.
OTT Are Not Far Behind
On the other hand, as far as Disney is concerned, there seems to be no problem, and all the productions of the week until January 10 are still active. For the other networks and platforms, it is instead a matter to be evaluated case by case, in fact, Amazon Studios has delayed the production of some series to January 10, and others to January 17. Instead, other shows were allowed to continue production as planned.
Other studios, including Universal Media Studios, Warner Bros. TV, CBS Studios and Netflix, appear to have let their productions proceed, in some cases delaying the reboot by just a couple of days. In other cases, shooting was suspended for a day or two, following positive cases on the sets. The situation in these cases does not seem dramatic, so much so that no names of shows that have had to stop production for longer have been leaked at the moment.