Initially it seemed like just ceasing production of shows in front of live studio audiences would be enough, but by the end of last week, production on most shows—from talk to late-night to scripted to reality—had halted completely.
While the shut-downs affect the production of some 100 current shows, including Netflix’s Stranger Things 4 and CBS’ Survivor among many others, what it seems they will most strongly affect is pilot season.
At this point, shooting had been completed on only one broadcast network pilot out of nearly 60: Warner Bros.’ B Positive from Chuck Lorre and Marco Pennette, starring Thomas Middleditch and Annaleigh Ashford. The show is highly likely to be picked up by CBS.
A few other pilots are near completion—such as Lionsgate’s This Country and Warner Bros.’ Lost Boys —so production on those few shows is also likely to be completed. And still others—such as CBS’ The Lincoln Lawyer, which already has a series commitment, and CBS’ Clarice, based on the iconic character from Silence of the Lambs—may go straight into series production.
Other series—including ABC’s The Big Sky, NBC’s L.A. Mayor and Young Rock, Fox’s Call Me Kat, and CW’s Walker and Superman & Lois—already had straight-to-series orders and thus should still be headed for air next season.
Depending on how long it takes to slow the progress of coronavirus, pilot season could be canceled altogether. That could mean that some network bubble shows will return next season because it will be easier to put those programs back into production than mount new ones.
Meanwhile, the major studios—Universal Television Production, Disney TV Studios, Warner Bros., Sony Pictures Television and CBS TV Studios—all announced production shut-downs as the week wore on. By the end, very few shows were left in production.
So while TV will likely end up being a major source of entertainment during the nation-wide coronavirus shut-down, new episodes of programs—like toilet paper—may be in short supply relatively quickly.
READ MORE: Deadline