The coronavirus has affected everyone from all professions, all over the world. Countries have closed their borders, banned public gatherings and issued health advisories to their citizens. The World Health Organisation has reported 125,000 cases of COVID-19 infections and 4,613 deaths at this point.
Cancelling public gatherings is one of the most important methods of curtailing the spread of this highly infectious disease. As a result, the entertainment industry, in particular, is feeling the brunt of this global pandemic. NBCUniversal has made the most sweeping changes in response to this threat, as they have halted production on 35 different shows at the same time.
NBC Universal’s Drastic Response
These cancellations are across every single production division which comes under NBCUniversal, such as Universal Television, UCP, Universal Television Alternative Studios and First Run Syndication productions. The halted shows include Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., Chicago Med, Law&Order: SVU, The Kelly Clarkson show and so many more.
Uni TV’s Netflix show Russian Doll, which was due to begin production on Season 2, has also pumped the brakes. Season 1 of Rutherford Falls, starring The Office star Ed Helms, as well as Season 2 of Little America, won’t be filming either.
NBCUniversal’s Chicago shows, such as Chicago Med and Chicago P.D., all film in the titular city. According to Deadline, this is also where they found the first case of a TV production staffer testing positive for COVID-19. This is most likely what forced their hand in taking such a drastic measure.
Impact Across Hollywood
NBC Universal has by far had the most drastic response to the coronavirus outbreak. Many other production studios are also taking a step back due to this disease, though. Disney themselves have stopped production on their upcoming Disney+ series The Falcon And The Winter Soldier. Numerous late-night talks shows have also halted production. Both Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon posted clips of themselves doing their show with no audience members.
Multiple Major Releases Delayed
Even major Hollywood studios have decided to push back the release dates of some of their blockbuster films. A Quiet Place Part II director John Krasinski also took to his social media to inform fans that this film, which was only a week away from release, would be delayed. Disney is also delaying upcoming releases Mulan, The New Mutants and Antlers.
The upcoming Bond film No Time To Die, as well as Universal Studios’ own Fast 9, are also being delayed. Fast 9, in particular, is moving from May 22, 2020, all the way to April 2021. Popular indie film festival SXSW also had to be cancelled in response to this disease.