Yesterday as Coronavirus (COVID-19) spread and studios such as Disney, Paramount and others have delayed the openings of major tentpole films such as Mulan and The New Mutants and a Quiet Place II, the virus has now hit the TV industry as Reel 360 has confirmed that all 35 NBC Universal shows including Dick Wolf’s Chicago Med, PD and Fire have suspended production.
According to Deadline, the network (which has plans on launching its own streaming platform Peacock in April) has stopped production on the majority of its TV series across all entertainment production units, Universal Television, UCP, Universal Television Alternative Studios and First Run Syndication productions.
In addition to the Chicago shows, the list includes other Wolf series Law & Order: SVU for NBC and FBI for CBS, as well as NBC’s New Amsterdam — all from Universal Television — upcoming limited series for Peacock Angelyne starring Emmy Rossum from UCP and NBCU’s breakout freshman syndicated talker The Kelly Clarkson Show.
“The safety and health of our cast, crew and employees is our top priority,” NBCU said in a statement Thursday night. “Where possible, we are pausing production for two weeks as a precautionary measure, following which we will reassess and determine an appropriate start date. In some cases, we are accelerating plans to wrap up physical production.”
While most shows are expected to resume production, the Dick Wolf dramas, which are possibly one of two episodes away from wrapping their seasons, are among a few that will not return, calling it a season. That is a strategy also employed by CBS TV Studios on its procedural dramas.
An unnamed source on one of the Dick Wolf shows told Reel 360, “Not sure at this point we just know it’s going to be an extended period of time… Nobody can really predict how quickly the pandemic is going to die down.”
The Chicago shows film in Chicago, which had the first known case of a TV production staffer testing positive for the coronavirus, a crew member of new Fox drama NeXt.
Meanwhile, the FBI dramas shoot in New York, where Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today declared a state of emergency over the rapid spread of the coronavirus. Here is a partial list of shows stopping production:
American Ninja Warriors (NBC, delayed)
Chicago Fire (NBC, halted)
Chicago P.D (NBC, halted)
Chicago Med (NBC, halted)
Late Night with Seth Meyers (NBC, halted)
New Amsterdam (NBC, halted)
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (NBC, halted)
Angelyne (Peacock, halted)
Rutherford Falls (Peacock, delayed)
Little America (Apple TV+, delayed)
Russian Doll (Netflix, delayed)
The Kelly Clarkson Show (halted)
Earlier this week, NBCUniversal announced the cancellation of its live Upfront event on May 11th due to health concerns. The company will instead televise and stream the Upfront Presentation for the 2020-21 season to ensure the safety of all participants. The company released this statement:
“At this moment in time, we can embrace a new future that puts our audiences and our partners first. This year’s Upfront Presentation will ensure everyone’s safety, while allowing us to give fans and marketers a preview of the upcoming season.” said Linda Yaccarino, Chairman of Advertising & Partnerships, NBCUniversal.
According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) there are a total of 1,215 confirmed cases in the U.S. and 36 deaths. Forty-three states, including the District of Columbia, have reported cases.
UPDATED: A spokesperson from #OneChicago Publicity Team has since spoken to Reel 360. Original episodes of all three Dick Wolf Chicago series will still air for the next few months. Current and upcoming airdates are not affected.