The global coronavirus pandemic which has already been taking its toll on live events, conventions, and the movie release calendar is unsurprisingly now starting to effect the TV schedule. With so many TV shows in production, and in particular broadcast and network TV shows deep into their seasons with finales looming, it was only a matter of time before the shutdowns began to hit, even if it’s just out of an abundance of caution. Two high profile hits this week that have had press the pause button on filming are Den of Geek favorites The Flash and Riverdale.
The news comes via Deadline, who reveal that Riverdale “suspended production two days ago over a crew member’s suspected contact with coronavirus.” To be clear, as of this writing, there have been no reports of any of the Riverdale cast or crew being diagnosed or treated for Covid-19, merely that there was concern that a member of the crew had been exposed.
The Flash production shutdown was effective as of March 13, and is “until further notice.” There’s no information about what prompted the shutdown, so let’s hope for the best and that it’s merely a matter of taking necessary precautions. Batwoman and Supergirl have also reportedly been shut down (via the THR link below).
Additionally, Supernatural, currently filming its final episodes, has seen production suspended. The Supernatural series finale had been scheduled to air on Monday, May 18, but it seems like this will have to move.
The Hollywood Reporter has an ongoing breakdown of all of the TV shows that have already suspended production or might be considering it. As we’ve seen with the rest of the entertainment world, you can expect the TV schedule to be significantly impacted as we head towards the end of these seasons. If these delays continue for much longer, the fall season will likely be impacted.
The suspension of TV production comes after a whirlwind series of last minute release date delays and changes that hit the entertainment world over the last few days. Just this week we’ve seen A Quiet Place Part II and Fast & Furious 9 disappear from the 2020 calendar and Disney temporarily pulling high profile projects like Mulan, New Mutants, and Antlers from the schedule and then stopping filming across the board. Earlier in the week Tom Hanks announced that he has tested positive for COVID-19 and just yesterday Destin Daniel Cretton, director of Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings went into voluntary self-quarantine while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. Gatherings from sporting events, concerts, and conventions like WonderCon and E3 have been postponed, as well.
For the most reliable information and guidance on the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit the World Health Organization.